Financial planning not yet a profession
Regulation might help, but financial planning won't become a true profession until consumers and practitioners see it as one, an Australian financial services veteran says.
Monday, July 2nd 2012, 6:00AM 1 Comment
by Niko Kloeten
Steve Helmich, AMP's director financial planning, advice and services, will draw on his 37 years' experience in the industry when he speaks at the upcoming Institute of Financial Advisers annual conference on what advisers can look forward to in 2020.
And he told Good Returns one of the themes would be how attitudes towards financial planning are likely to change.
"My underlying message is that I expect financial planning to be fully recognised as a profession; I don't think they are yet," he said.
"Financial planning is very young; we beat ourselves up about it at times but it really hasn't been around that long... there's a pretty strong desire from everyone involved in financial planning to see it recognised.
"Regulation is only part of it; what you have to do is earn the trust of consumers and show how you add value."
Helmich said as an example that when doctors hit the headlines for dodgy behaviour the public don't think that all doctors are untrustworthy; however, when financial planners are in the news it tends to be seen as reflecting badly on the entire industry.
"I think that's a sign it's not recognised as a profession; everyone gets tarred with the same brush."
However, he acknowledged it can be hard for advisers to think too far ahead into the future when they are focused on complying with the new regime.
"The old saying is that it's hard to remember your objective is to drain the swamp when you are up to your neck in alligators."
Helmich will also look at the switch to fee-based advice, which he said Australian advisers have found to be a positive one.
Niko Kloeten can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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