Get a compliance degree – or get out?

iStock_CompliantFacesTreasurer Scott Morrison’s recent Recommendation 25 seeks to advance the need for advisers to have a relevant tertiary degree.

While advancing yourself through study is never a bad thing, I want to ask if compliance degrees are absolutely the best way to advance the fledgling financial advice profession.

Is the Recommendation 25 advice the missing link for adviser competency? Further to that, will these newly-minted degrees ensure something more than competency in technical advice skills?

In 2002, the Australian government championed the Financial Services Reform (FSR), which sounded great at the time.

In the years since, we have seen an ever-increasing financial product compliance focus that didn’t stop or prevent a parade of scandals, crooks and unprofessional behaviour. Think of Storm Financial in one of the most quoted scandals following FSR, who were regularly assessed as being ‘compliant’ as they advised their clients into products and financial plans that sparked much of today’s conflicted debate.   Continue reading “Get a compliance degree – or get out?”

No prizes for second place when it’s all about the revenue split

ID-10067113Tell me if this ‘mutually beneficial relationship’ sounds familiar:

You have a new relationship with an accounting firm with great prospects. With five partners, a good name, and a similar culture to yours, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t provide wealth advice to this obviously high quality firm.

The only slight snag is the 10% revenue share they want on all introduced work, which was negotiated down from 15% from a previous ‘failed relationship’.

Nine months later, it’s all looking a bit saggy.

The five partners (well…two really) have referred 22 clients in total.

Of these 22 clients, only nine have actually turned up to appointments. Most of the no-shows have promised to ‘catch up very soon over coffee!’  Continue reading “No prizes for second place when it’s all about the revenue split”

Too much, too soon? When success becomes a curse

ConveyorBelt-1There’s good success and bad success but all success comes with strings attached.

For financial advisers, the biggest challenge with success is increased activity.

Not only does success draw in new clients but existing client work typically also increases.

The result is a lot more activity and many, many more hours in the office – often without an equal uplift in revenue. Success is commonly the death knell of work/life balance.

Holidays become a time and place to fall in a heap before returning to face more dreaded success. A momentary break from the treadmill of growing client and staff expectations, more meetings, supplier issues and financial pressures.

At first, success may be rewarding. Your competitors, colleagues and clients will certainly be impressed but what is the purpose of all this activity? What are you working towards?   Continue reading “Too much, too soon? When success becomes a curse”

Is Robo-advice advice?

iStock_000019494556_SmallIf you can learn how to drive a car, you can learn to manage your own money.

That claim was recently made by the chief executive of a new fintech startup – BigFuture Pty Limited.

The cloud-based wealth management service is on a mission to “democratise wealth management” by providing ordinary everyday Australians with sophisticated financial planning tools and resources.

It’s a commendable goal but the notion that if you can learn how to drive a car, you can learn to manage your own money, makes me uncomfortable.

Advice is not a car.

Just understanding or having access to the tools and workings of a car, is far from being able to guide that vehicle on the unique journey to maximise all your probabilities required to reach the most desired financial destinations unique for you.   Continue reading “Is Robo-advice advice?”

Is this a new generation of advice appearing?

iStock_SpanishProtesterI reckon financial advice industry is entering a new phase of professionalism and opportunity, only everyone doesn’t seem that excited about it.

As with any change there are many advice licensees and practices that refuse to embrace anything new  and evolve.

No matter what happens there will  be advisers that’ll ultimately find themselves trapped in untenable positions beyond their control due to the convergence of factors like technology, regulation and increasing consumer knowledge which is already causing radical disruption.

With the inevitably tightening of advice fees and margins across the industry, consumers won’t buy much of the ‘spin’ from advisers self-proclaiming their ethics and professionalism, expecting consumers to pay higher pricing based upon only their word for it.

Today’s advice consumers is more savvy and cynical.   Continue reading “Is this a new generation of advice appearing?”

How to Start Great Advice Conversations

clock face stopwatchGreat financial advice isn’t about the money – it’s about something much more meaningful.

Great advice is about taking clients to places they haven’t been.

Great advice is about helping clients manage their un-manageable things.

Unfortunately though, when it comes to financial advice, most Australians have become conformists. Unable to easily value, trust or assess most of the financial advice available, they conform to beliefs that financial advice is either for the rich, the lazy, or someone approaching retirement.

There is however an antidote to break this conformity.

It starts with a conversation.

Specifically a different conversation.   Continue reading “How to Start Great Advice Conversations”