Blog | Practical Compliance

With great power comes great responsibility

Originally published | 10th October 2017

Does the title sound familiar?

In 1962, the Amazing Spider-Man was introduced to the world and after gaining his powers he tried wrestling for money. His selfishness in using his power for himself saw him neglect to stop a burglar who later killed his uncle. 

So what has this got to do with Financial Planning?

I see the authorisation of being a financial planner/adviser as providing a great power in being able to help clients achieve their goals. But with that power comes responsibility and I feel lately that our industry isn’t learning from our mistakes. 

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Does history repeat itself?

Originally published | 18th October 2017

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.  

These words were penned in 1905 by Spanish-American Philosopher, George Santayana.  

But as a society, especially in the financial services industry, have we ever really given this aphorism it’s due?

Do you remember doing history at school?

I loved it, and still do.  To me, learning about history provided me with the way understanding how our current society was formed.  

Do we use the same philosophy in financial planning? I will put my hand up and say I do.

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Best Interest Jigsaw Puzzle

Originally published | 25th January 2018

We’ve recently seen a lot of action from the Regulator in regards to financial planners not meeting their best interest duty.  This action has seen enforceable undertakings, additional licence conditions and in some cases, banning orders.

It led an adviser I know to recently say to me that “The Best Interest Duty can never be 100% fulfilled because for every goal or problem there are many solutions possible and no one right approach. And hindsight will always be a factor. And ASIC seems to focus only on fees and so we are doomed if we offer any solution where the fees are higher no matter how good the advice or product is”.  

This seems to be a current reaction to any media in regards to this subject. 

What was my answer to this adviser?

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May I take your order please?

Originally published | 29th March 2018

Some habits are hard to break.

Being a financial adviser/planner (whichever term you want you use) means you are providing guidance and direction to your clients, not simply taking direction from them and placing products.

This seems to be the case mostly with life insurance advice when it appears that advisers are still uncomfortable in having the discussions with the client.

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The Wisdom of a Yoda

Originally published | 28th September 2018

“Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice”

With these words comes the thoughts of the new era of professional advisers that is almost upon us.

The industry is in a spin about the new education standards, CPD standards and the competency exam that will need to be done.

All of these things, whether you like it or not, will benefit our industry in the long term as they improve the education standards of the industry.

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Reboots

Originally published | 1st October 2018

Is the remake of a classic ever as good as the original?

I love a good reboot, Hawaii Five-0, Magnum PI, Macgyver. These are all great because the originals have been brought into the current.

But some reboots haven’t really worked. Think about the reboot of Ghostbusters or The Fantastic Four, even Batman, the way DC continually reboots.

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Rent or Buy

Originally Published | 30th October 2018

There are lots of questions being raised at the moment about the benefits of being licensed through an Australian Financial Services License or being self-licensed.

And when considering this I think that the easiest way I can explain the differences is as follows.

What is the difference between renting or owning a home?

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Natural Selection

Originally published | 03/02/2019

As the father of evolution theory, Charles Darwin once said that “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

If you have been in our industry for more than five minutes, I am sure you can relate to this.

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The Dogs are Barking

Originally published | 06/02/2019

“Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war.” (William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar).  This quote was spoken by Mark Antony shortly after Caesar’s assassination in the William Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar.

If you believe the media, this seems to have been the outcome of the Royal Commission.  We have Justice Hayne releasing his final report and then we have both the Government and the Opposition crying Havoc in response.

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Ethics in the face of Unethical Behavioural

Originally published | 17/02/2019

It is interesting that over the last couple of weeks I have read the diatribes of advisers who are bemoaning the changes that will come about because of the Royal Commission. It is interesting that we have yet to fully hear from the Australian Financial Services Licensees (AFSL) that have been caught up in so much of the misconduct.

The reason why we haven’t heard from them, in my opinion, is because they don’t care. These AFSLs are vertically integrated so the advice component is not important to them. The only thing important to them is selling products. And this leads to unethical behaviour.

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