I've been doing this my whole career...

Let me show you how to create a strong, independent, fee-for-service business that provides full, comprehensive advice to your clients while giving you the lifestyle you want. 

Living and working abroad brings challenges. With my unique understanding of these, along with German laws, I provide you with the discipline, structure and control to help you make the most of your income and spend time doing what you enjoy. I have been and am an expat myself, both in London and now in Germany. However, my clients are not limited to the expat community. Rather, they also include Germans who have worked overseas and those who have not.



Helping expatriates in Germany build, manage and protect their wealth.


I enjoy working with my clients

I began Summerhill Financial Services GmbH because I want to use my global financial knowledge to help clients realise their potential as individuals, not to just make money. I carefully select clients to ensure that our goals are aligned.


How I work with clients

Letting someone into your financial life is one of the most intimidating things that many people do. Since I began my Australian financial planning business in 2006, many clients have become friends. I hope to develop similar relationships with you. 



Understanding what is taking place in the world and how it affects your financial situation is important in successfully managing your finances. I strive to educate clients, as well as advising them on the best course of action.

allowing me to pursue my passion for travelling the world while helping clients gain financial freedom through building wealth.


All photography is from my travels.


Small Business Coaching

Running a small business isn’t about “buying yourself a job”, neither is it just about making money. To be truly successful in your business, it must be aligned with your personal goals. 
I founded Summerhill from the desire to use my financial expertise to help clients realise their potential as business owners and individuals, not just as money makers. 
Having successfully met, then exceeded, the goals of my original business plan before the timeline I’d set, I began consulting to other planners in Australia and Germany, providing advice on developing and implementing their own processes — transforming from commission-based advice to fully independent financial advisers. 
However you don’t have to be in finance for me to coach you: I work with a wide range of businesses, across many different industries. No matter the sector, every successful business needs the right structure, staff, clients and processes.  
In business coaching, I will guide you through setting goals and making sure that the business is running to achieve those goals effectively. This also ties in personal and financial coaching, to make sure the business is aligned with your personal goals.



Personal Coaching

Some of the people I coach personally are small business owners, others are professionals who want to achieve certain things in their careers. In each case, we look at setting professional or personal goals – or both – and then setting the steps to achieve those goals. A big part of how I work is to hold you accountable. That doesn’t mean you have to be 100% perfect all the time. However, it does mean you realise I can’t do it for you, and that it is up to you. My role is to keep you on the path to achieve what you desire.



Personal Financial Coaching

Some of the people I coach personally are small business owners, others are professionals who want to achieve certain things in their careers. In each case, we look at setting professional or personal goals – or both – and then setting the steps to achieve those goals. A big part of how I work is to hold you accountable. That doesn’t mean you have to be 100% perfect all the time. However, it does mean you realise I can’t do it for you, and that it is up to you. My role is to keep you on the path to achieve what you desire.




What If My Goals Change?

Some people worry about if their goals change and what will happen. A goal is only worth pursuing if it is adding to your life. Doggedly sticking to a goal when your circumstances change because you “said you’d do it” is not serving you well. On the other hand, wanting to change a goal because it’s “getting hard” may be a lack of confidence and looking for an easy way out. I see both these occurrences, and have the objectivity of distance to point out the difference to you and guide you on the best decision.

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Letting someone manage your finances can be a nerve-wracking decision – but it can also be one of the most liberating, once you start seeing the potential of what you can achieve.


Take your time here to learn more about Summerhill Financial Services GmbH, its licensing, membership and fees  and the Principal Caroline Bell.  You can also read about my Australian financial planning business.


It’s my job to make sure you are focused on what is most important to get you to the lifestyle you want while living and working abroad, while still planning for the future – wherever that may be.



I am a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), the highest financial planning designation worldwide, and hold numerous professional memberships. The FPA, Australia's leading professional association for financial planners, is one such example. I am also a member of the Network Financial Planner.


Growing up, I knew what I wanted to be pretty early on: a travel agent and a financial planner. Later I added “fitness instructor”. 
I did eventually become a travel agent out of an interest in travel, but my main passion has always been financial planner – and I became a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) actually, which is the highest financial planning designation worldwide. Having worked for several years for a large then a boutique firm in Australia and Europe, dealing with clients who were getting on their feet right through to high net worth individuals, I decided to start my own practice. Why? Quite simply because many financial planning businesses put constraints around how clients can be advised, and – very importantly to me – what should be invested in. My financial planning practice is purely fee for service; there are no ties (or kickbacks) from any investment area. The plan is the best for that individual client, no one else. 
The other reason for establishing my own business is that given I enjoy what I do, I have no plans to retire, so running my own business gives me the flexibility to indulge in one of my passions: you guessed it… travel.
You can read more about my financial planning business in Australia here. While here more detail about my memberships and achievements.

Fit for your life

As for wanting to be a travel agent, well that came from my desire and dream to travel. At one stage, I even toyed with the idea of setting up a travel agency after I qualified. But while I love both organising and travelling, what drives me more is guiding people to travel their own path, to achieve their own desires and dreams – whether that’s buying a house, building wealth, educating their children, investing, building a strong business, forging an amazing career path, seeing the world, or all of them.  

Having found myself in a health rut in my 30s, I approached it as I do all areas in my life: with thorough research. One of the outcomes was becoming a qualified personal trainer, and although I don’t practice as a PT, I still use the guiding principles of discipline, goal setting and fitness of mind and body as useful tools in what my coaching business.


Why Me

The three areas I coach in use my skills, training, knowledge and background perfectly. 
Having run my business in Australia for several years and travelled frequently on holiday, I wanted to expand my travel in a different way. Berlin is a city that kept calling me more than any other, so in 2016 I moved here. I’d always worked when I travelled because I’d set up my financial planning business to give me that flexibility. Structuring my business to achieve my personal goals has given me the freedom to work from Berlin, Australia, or anywhere in between. 
When I coach, I can also draw on my own experience and success of running a small business, of achieving what I want to career wise and achieving what I want to financially.



No Office.

I work with clients anywhere in the world, but I'm happy to meet as well, at a suitable location (office independent). Today's technology means I'm available to clients regardless of where I am at that moment. In fact these days, many clients find it more convenient to meet via web conferencing, Skype or Google Hangouts — and that's regardless of where they are too. Another advantage of virtual meetings is that we can meet outside of “normal” work hours. All this lets me live the lifestyle I want (which is what I aim to help clients do!), while serving my clients in the best possible way.


Follow Caroline on social media






One of the reasons that I run my own business is to provide flexibility to pursue my love of travel and experiencing different cultures. Here you can either visit my Trip Advisor profile or see a selection of photos from recent trips.



How it all works

Life is too short to settle for “something”. Here is an outline of how I’ll work with you to shape your desired business, career or finances.



Who Uses A Financial Planner?

My expat clients have one thing in common: they are all living and working abroad in Germany. Apart from that, they come from all sorts of backgrounds, with all sorts of different aspirations, and a vast range of experience in managing money. Some are very wealthy professionals, some are not; some are excellent at managing their money, some … are not.

However, all of them want expert guidance while on their overseas journey in building their wealth, so they choose to receive financial advice because they have neither the expertise, time nor desire to manage their personal finances themselves. They want to spend their time on pursuits and activities they enjoy, rather than using up their free time trying to keep up-to-date with what they should be doing to make the most of their income and investments – which has an added level of difficulty when you’re in a foreign country. Expats assigning or choosing to live in another country for a period of time can complicate their financial affairs and require specialist advice. I ensure that your documents for compliance (both German and English) are in order. I also make these documents easy to understand and clear - this is a main part of my role as a financial adviser.



What I do

I provide you with the financial coaching to make the most of your income and wealth. I want you to have the time to do the things you want to do now, as well as making sure you are on track financially to continue to live the life you want to in the future – in whichever country that may be.

Many people get the general idea of what “financial advice” is, but have no detailed understanding of how it all works. Some people have wondered if I set them a budget? Or buy shares for them? Or take over managing their bank accounts? Handle their insurance? And so on. 

What I do for every client is what that client wants me to do and what we agree on. So firstly, I want to understand why you want to seek advice, and then my role is keep you on track to make sure you get there.



The steps below show how I help you achieve your financial goals.

First steps: getting to know you.

Take a look at the (shortened) example below. In it, you’ll see the (example) clients’ goals and the timeframe in which they want to achieve those.

Together, you and I then go through your “personal balance sheet” – your assets and your liabilities – and now we have our starting point for tracking your financial progress.



Controlling the basics. 

As you work through that attached example, you’ll see we look at everything: your cash flow, wealth accumulation, debt management, tax planning, superannuation planning, investment management, risk management, estate planning, insurances and any other issues we need to discuss to make your goals reality. You’ll also see there’s a place for a summary of the next steps.

Under each of those areas is a series of action points, the reasons for those, the status – i.e., whether we need to discuss it, you need to find out some extra information, whether it needs to be implemented at a later date, or reviewed as part of another process – and notes from our meeting on those action points. 

Because financial advice is different for everybody, and there’s no such thing as “one size fits all”, it’s important for both you and I to know what you’re expecting from it. So you’ll also see a list of areas that the example clients noted as needing to “happen to call our relationship a success five years from now”.



How we control the basics

Take the first action point under “cash flow” for our example clients: “we’ll use strong cash flow to build wealth and aim to save €1,400 per month for future home renovation/ changeover”. To make that happen, we might track their cash flow and assess their progress against agreed savings targets.

Moving through the action points in other areas, examples of what we do are:

  • ensure any debt you have is structured the most effective way for your circumstances and future ambitions 

  • manage your superannuation strategy so you’re making appropriate contributions, which are invested suitably

  • review your insurance so you and your family are financially protected 

  • ensure your Wills and other estate planning documents, such as Powers of Attorney, are up to date and reflect your needs (we can work with your solicitor here)

  • provide specific investment recommendations

  • …and we also handle the administration for all these areas


Not taxing

Sometimes clients ask if I do tax or provide accounting services. I don’t: I purely offer financial planning and financial coaching services. 

However, I can work with your accountant where I need to, and the same goes for any other specialist service you may require – legal, insurance, stock broking and so on. If you don’t have someone you like to work with in those areas, I can refer you to an independent specialist.

Like a personal trainer ...

for you finances

We regularly review your goals together. That’s because these may change as your life changes – particularly as an expat living and working in Germany. Regular reviews are perfect to adjust and update your goals as necessary. Over the years, I have found this also helps clients to maintain their commitment to meeting their financial goal.


How and where do we meet?

I hold many client meetings virtually, either via web conferencing, Skype or Google Hangouts.

I do this so I’m available to you regardless of where either of us is that week – Germany, Australia or anywhere in between. Virtual meetings also have the great benefit of allowing meetings outside “normal” work hours. Although most clients prefer meeting virtually, I am also happy to meet clients face-to-face. It’s whatever works for both of us at the time. The method of catching up doesn’t matter, touching base is the important thing because it allows me to continue giving you excellent service.

Tools to help you succeed

As well as our regular meetings, I also provide you with a range of tools you can use to manage your finances between meetings. These include a software solution developed by Neunundvierzig GmbH as well as many others.

Next steps

I only choose to work with clients who are looking for a long-term partnership. There are no “quick fixes” or shortcuts in financial advice, so a long-term approach is the best the way I can help you. This also means I choose clients I’ll enjoy working with over a long time, and who will enjoy working with me. There has to be more to the connection than the fact we might both be very committed to accumulating air miles.

I also expect clients to be engaged with their finances: yes, it's my role to provide you with the information on which to base your financial decisions, but this is your money and your life, and I expect our clients to engage.

One of the rewards of providing financial advice in this way is seeing the tangible improvement in a client's financial position, which gives them more choices than they would have had otherwise.

So please get in touch with me.


Summerhill Financial Services GmbH is privately owned by Caroline Bell. Caroline’s Australian business, Summerhill Financial Services Pty Ltd is also privately owned by Caroline as Principal.

Neither business has any affiliation to any institution or product provider, so can develop the most appropriate strategies for each client.


SFS is a Professional Practice of the Financial Planning Association of Australia Limited, the financial planning sector’s peak professional organisation in Australia. Practices in this category must pass rigorous pre-admission standards and maintain education levels.

As head of Summerhill Financial Services, Caroline Bell is a Certified Financial Planner, which is the highest level of education and ethics in financial planning globally.

You can find more about Professional Practices and Certified Financial Planners here.


Caroline Bell set up both SFS GmbH and SFS Pty Ltd as fee-based practices, so they don’t accept investment commissions.  

Fees will always be agreed with you before you become a client of SFS GmbH, so you know exactly what to expect.


I'd love to hear from you...


+49 (0)151 661 301 29


My Australian website: www.summerhillfs.com.au