Is FASEA the opportunity that knocked?

Every cloud has a silver lining, it seems. Even when that cloud takes the shape of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) regime.

While many financial planners of Outsider’s acquaintance have been grumbling over the time and effort they are going to have to spend to ensure they meet the new FASEA requirements, your humble correspondent has noted that some other parties have been far less grumpy.

Because, it seems to Outsider, that where planners see challenge others see opportunity and thus, he has been counting the number of players who have started targeting financial planner education as a growth area.

The conventional wisdom may have been that it was the likes of Kaplan and the universities which would financially benefit from the new FASEA regime, but Outsider notes that others clearly have their eye on the prize.

Connie McKeague’s OneVue acquired Evolution Media’s No More Practice and is now offering services to planners, while the ever-ebullient Graham Rich has added to his successful Portfolio Construction Forum by adding “Finology” with an eye to meeting planner needs.

There will of, of course, be others because when opportunity knocks someone has to answer, don’t they?

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I think FASEA provides a great opportunity for those who want to support the Financial Advice industry to evolve in to the professional it should have been and will be. Financial Advisers, as you have noted, are overwhelmed by the double-whammy effect of the FASEA Standards and Banking Royal Commission and guidance, provided with integrity and the best interests (pardon the pun) of the industry and individual Advisers, is much sought after. I hope, and the initial signs are good, that it will not be a 'race to the bottom' across the range of changes in the pipeline (not just education focused) as was the case with the introduction of PS146/RG146. I believe the 'double whammy' effect may have knocked some real sense in to the industry.

ASIC has the mantra of "Why not litigate?" Maybe the mantra of the Advice Industry could be "(Why) Do people need advice?" People go to Doctors when they are ill, or Lawyers when they have a legal issue. Maybe ordinary Australians only need to see someone when they have a 'situation or circumstances' that requires expert financial advice, or have ongoing complex circumstances?

Maybe it's time to think outside the box and make advice human-centric, as opposed to the 'product' centric machine it has been to date. Advice sits at the individual level so maybe the Government could introduce a FinCare scheme whereby Australians can access subsidised financial advice once every (say) 3 or 5 years. What percentage of Australians actually need ongoing annual advice? Maybe one year after the initial advice is provided and then, from there, only when and if their circumstances change?

I'm sure there are significant holes in my logic (for example, what about insurance advice and the fact that this may need to be reviewed on a regular basis to avoid overpayment of premiums etc).

It is certainly going to be interesting times ahead and I, for one, am thankful for the 'double whammy' effect and the impact it is having on the advice industry. To be honest. it has hurt my business but I, like other people, are a necessary casualty as we evolve from industry to profession.

Excellent analysis. Everyone has been looking at glass half empty rather than opportunities to have a professional based advice industry. The weeding out and disappearance of those unwilling to change and to accept that things needed to change.

No, not everyone has been looking at glass half empty. Many of us have been looking at a glass we have already filled to the brim with high level education to improve our competence and professionalism. Yet FASEA says we need to overfill that glass in order to line the pockets of the conflicted, unethical board members who have hijacked the well meaning legislation for their own benefit.

Hedware, why not apply the same education standards to ASIC staff?

Why? They have different roles. Taking your line, it would be like getting a judge to do a plumbing qualification if she had to sit on a trial involving plumbers.
Anyway, financial advisors would not want more competition.

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