[The Wrap] Big Year; Big Issues

Looking back over the year and the hundreds of stories Good Returns has published, there have been two clear themes, but there is one story which deserves more attention.

Thursday, December 23rd 2021, 6:10AM

by Philip Macalister

One thing I enjoy at the end of each year is reviewing all the stories we have run on Good Returns in the past 12 months.

We're not into counting the number of stories we publish, it's more about the quality. Many of the stories you read on Good Returns you won't see anywhere else. 

A few themes stand out. The first is how focussed our stories are on advisers. One of the themes of the year has been adviser regulation.

It is no surprise regulation of financial advice is top of the pops. Interestingly, regulation is quite broad and captures preparing for full licensing through to enforcement actions taken by the Financial Markets Authority.

There is no doubt that it is a theme which will keep on giving.

The second theme is KiwiSaver. This has clearly been helped by the government's big KiwiSaver shake up around default providers.

It's also been interesting that more adviser-focussed schemes have come to market recently. 

Perhaps the story which is most important though is the research AIA is doing around wellbeing of financial advisers. It's well and good to have excellent products whether it be life insurance policies or managed funds, but it's just as important, if not more so, that advisers, the distribution part of the industry and healthy and well.

Mental health is a massive issue facing all of us, and getting a check up on how advisers are feeling is critical.

The initial findings from the still-to-be completed report are disturbing. While there is some good news it is clear that much of the change being imposed on advisers is having a detrimental impact on people.

This is an issue that regulators and policymakers need to be aware of.

We have already lost many good advisers due to regulatory changes and this is a trend that needs addressing.

On that note I hope everyone takes some time off over Christmas, relaxes, recharges and reconnects with loved ones.  I'm planning to turn off my phone and computer for a while - with the only exception to check the weather and fishing conditions.

With this Wrap I wanted to take a moment to thank our advertisers - as without them there would be no Good Returns. Our readers, with special mention to those who comment on articles. And of course to our little team here who keep the site running.

While we have been providing news to advisers for more than 20 years there are some changes in the wind for 2022. It's all quite exciting really, so stay tuned for more news next year.

In the meantime, everyone deserves a well-earned break at the end of a topsy turvy year.

Tags: Opinion

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