What’s Been Going On – Feb 2022

It’s been an eventful few months at this end, that’s for sure. Here’s a brief summary of some of the big things that have been keeping us busy lately:

Super Typhoon Rai

Just before Christmas, Super Typhoon Rai hit Cebu, in the Philippines. As those of you that work with us would know, our absolutely vital Office Manager, Kim, lives in Cebu.

Thankfully, Kim and her family are alright, but they didn’t have electricity until well into January (thousands of people in Cebu still don’t).

There were many, many other impacts from the typhoon, so the efforts Kim has made to get back to work in her usual ultra-productive way has been terribly impressive.

Impressive, but if I’m totally honest, not surprising!

Educational Standards

I try not to talk too much about the regulatory machinations in the background of financial advice – they’re quite dull and irrelevant for the people we work with.

But this one’s a bit different.

Basically – back in 2017, the government legislated that every financial adviser in the country would have to have a relevant degree to keep operating, by 2026.

Thanks to recognition of prior training and experience, this meant that for the (surprisingly numerous) advisers who didn’t have a degree, they would have had to complete between 6-8 units.

At 1 unit per semester, this would have taken 4 years.

9 years to do 4 years worth of work seemed quite generous to me.

Well, now the government and the opposition have decided to throw out what seemed, to me, a really positive requirement. Instead, they’ve proposed that anybody who’s been doing this for 10 years wouldn’t have to do a degree.

You might be able to tell by my tone here how I feel about this regressive step.

In fact, I’m so frustrated by it that I’ve even spoken with a reporter about it, and taken the time to make a submission to the Treasury review.

It’s led to some…uncomfortable discussions with some colleagues, but I really believe this is an important step to take.

I still hope that common sense will prevail, and we’ll get back to increasing standards for the people helping Australian’s with their financial questions. But I’d be lying if I said I was optimistic about it.

VACP Board

It hasn’t all been typhoon’s and picking fights though! In December I joined the board of the Victorian Association of Collaborative Practitioners (VACP).

Collaborative practice involves members from several disciplines – lawyers, psychologists, financial advisers – working together to help clients navigate really tricky times, like their divorce or the administration of a person’s estate.

The VACP is a small but growing group dedicated to getting this message out there.

I’ve never sat on a board before, so it’s been interesting coming to grips with my new role as Secretary. But it’s awfully exciting to see how we can get the message out to more people, with a group of people committed to helping people find a better way to do things.

The last few months have been rather eventful, considering this is our ‘quiet period’, so I’m keen to see what happens in the next few months!

This is from the first issue of our new newsletter. My aim is to share four things with each, monthly, issue:

  1. Something of interest about the financial world for you to read.

  2. Notes on how we’ve been helping people lately.

  3. An update on things at our end.

  4. Something you could share with people that you think they’d benefit from.

If you’re not already subscribed, please feel free to join the list for next month’s issue.

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