CPD: Greenwashing – a major financial consumer protection challenge

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Greenwashing, and the importance of being kind to trees Some readers with more than a few miles on the clock may remember a comedy show from the 1990s, Absolutely Fabulous, about a shambolic and vacuous Public Relations expert, Edina Monsoon. In one of the show’s more memorable scenes, Edina’s daughter Saffy questions the meaning of

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CPD: Bigger than Hayne? The ALRC Review and what it means for financial advisers

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The forgotten reform? Of all the regulatory reform implemented or in development – and let’s face it there has been a lot – one that seems to have slipped under the radar of many advisers is the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Review into the simplification of corporations and financial services regulation. Which is surprising,

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CPD: Sudden wealth is on the rise – how advisers can protect clients from its pitfalls

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The challenges of sudden wealth Most people, to a greater or lesser degree, dream of sudden wealth. But whilst the pursuit of riches can be a powerful motivating force that helps people cope with their day-to-day struggles, and has energised a legion of entrepreneurs, athletes, entertainers, and business owners around the world, it can also

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CPD: What Britney Spears can teach advisers about guardianship and consumer protection

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Introduction If we were to ever appoint a Patron Saint of Financial Advice and Estate Planning, a pretty strong case could be made for Britney Spears. Because, thanks to the worldwide attention garnered on her involuntary ‘conservatorship’ case, people everywhere are starting to wake up to the archaic, arcane, and sometimes frightening consequences of having

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CPD: Crypto – a regulatory and consumer protection primer for advisers

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Suspicious minds It is a normal human trait to be suspicious of things we don’t understand, which is why so many people still regard cryptocurrency as something of a fringe concept. And whilst the news may be increasingly filled with stories like the large, respected institution who allowed its 16,000 advisers to access crypto for

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CPD: Sophisticated investors – An essential guide for financial advisers

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Who are Sophisticated Investors? One of the more evergreen topics in financial advice circles is ASIC’s ‘Sophisticated Investor’ definition. It’s a topic that has received even more prominence in the wake of recently released research[1] showing that almost 1 in 6 Australians are now eligible to be classed as ‘financially sophisticated’, a figure that could

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CPD: 2022 Financial Adviser Regulatory Agenda – Key dates and developments

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The collective sigh of relief from advisers, licensees, and industry associations when the calendar turned over to 2022 could be heard all around Australia. After the tumult of 2021, which saw advisers face almost unprecedented levels of reform (including DDO, IDII, new fee disclosure and consent rules, and the removal of grandfathered commissions), the pace

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CPD: Identity theft – financial advisers at the consumer protection frontline

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The world is full of traps for the unwary. Seemingly every day, millions of Australians are bombarded with emails, SMSs and robocalls attempting to defraud them of money, data, and even worse, their identity. And it’s only getting worse. Thanks to the love affair we have with our mobiles, and our increasing preference for online,

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CPD: Retirement Income Covenant – background, adviser implications and trustee checklist

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Introduction As the ageing of our population continues to accelerate, the shortcomings of our national retirement incomes policy framework become magnified. A historically disproportionate focus by policy makers and product providers on the accumulation – rather than decumulation – phase of retirement savings, combined with entrenched cultural beliefs about the sanctity of home ownership, have

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CPD: Practical advice tips – the SMSF consumer protection challenge

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Introduction The growth of Australia’s Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) sector continues unabated, with ATO June 2021 statistics[1] revealing the sector now holds a record $822 billion in assets, an increase of $23 billion on the prior quarter, and around $80 billion higher than in June 2020. These assets are held in around 598,000 funds on behalf

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