Not all advice is created equal

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FPA welcomes recognition of value of professional advice

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) welcomes all moves that promote the value of financial planning advice, encouraging ISN members to make sure their advice meets with the professional standards of the FPA.

“We know it’s difficult for Super Fund members to trust whether they’re in the right fund or getting the right advice,” said FPA CEO Mark Rantall. “However cost and the way a Financial Planner charges for their services should not be the primary focus as is the case with the current ISN advertisements.”

“If there is a crisis of confidence in Superannuation funds, financial markets and advice more generally, it should encourage people to make sure they’re getting the best advice and that the advice they’re getting takes into account their own and their family’s complete financial circumstances, not just their superannuation needs.”

The FPA continues to receive widespread support for its new strategic plan to make it a true professional association, providing even greater confidence in professional advice for all Australians. The introduction of the new strategy, to be voted on by members in April, will be supported by a national advertising campaign to promote the benefits of seeking advice from FPA members.

Research shows that financial planners with the full range of FPA expertise are the preferred source of advice for people considering their retirement.

The FPA offers a checklist for consumers whether using a certified financial planner or an adviser within your Super Fund:

1. No client should pay fees or commissions (or cross subsidised fees from other fund members or any other form of fee) if they are not in receipt of professional services.

    • Check your Super Fund statement and with your Financial Planner to make sure you are not paying fees for services you don’t get.

2. No client should have their investment advice services paid for by Super Funds or any other product providers because you then can’t be sure whose interest they are acting in. FPA members have already committed to full product and advice transparency and the banning of commissions for investment products.

    • Check with your product provider adviser (Super Fund or other) to make sure you’re paying for the advice you receive – you deserve to know they’re interested in only your future and not theirs or other members.

3. No client should be forced into the formula advice a product provider or financial planner wants to offer you. Your retirement future is all about you and your family and you deserve to make an informed choice about the right services for you. In many instances the right choice will be to call your super fund and get the advice they can offer only within the scope of their product capabilities.

    • Check with your advice provider (Super Fund or Financial Planner) and ask them about the choices of advice and financial strategies for your future. It’s your choice and your future.

4. Every client deserves the maximum consumer protection available when getting advice.  Financial Advice is complex, even when it’s only about Superannuation. Different product providers and Super Funds have different limitations on their liability for the advice they give you. Only Financial Planners, fully authorised under the Corporations Act are subject to the full obligations of the Corporations Act and only FPA members are required to maintain professional obligations over and above the law.

    • Check with your Financial Planner (they might work for your Super Fund or outside of a product provider). Is the advice they’re offering you subject to Corporations Act and have they met the full professional obligations as members of the FPA?

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