He’s not heavy, he’s my brother

The words to that famous folk song pass through my mind as I continue to see the fallout bought about by the royal commission and the scandal our industry is going through. The road to change is long - with many a winding road, that is for sure. Some will make it, and others will fall by the wayside.

As CEOs and board members step down, and the status quo is changed, I believe it is now more than ever time for us to nurture the quality talent in our industry. I am particularly talking about advisers, who are once again suffering the judgement of a media and public who are see the bad behaviour of a few, rather than the life changing work of many.

While there is no doubt that this is the royal commission the financial services industry needed to have, it is also a time for reaching out and offering support and assistance to those who need it. The work we have done here at No More Practice Education has always been about promoting, educating and demonstrating the power of quality financial advice. The findings of the inquiry have been damning for some, but it certainly does not mean that there is no quality in the advice community. Far from it. I personally know some brilliant advisers, and can hand on heart say getting financial advice has changed my family’s life for the better.

I know many of you reading this will feel ashamed of the actions of your peers, and dismayed that financial advice is once again held in ill repute. The response from our community to Director of Fasea, Deb Kent’s article was overwhelmingly in agreement.

So, now is the time for those of us in the industry to show support and guidance to advisers who need us. To help them navigate through the tricky waters of new standards of education and new ways of running their business. Because the alternative is to have droves of advisers leave the industry, and ultimately Australians not being able to access quality advisers.

How to drive out those who are not quality? It seems the royal commission is doing a pretty good job. More shocks to come I am sure, but change is well and truly upon us. We at No More Practice Education remain true to our commitment to help Australians make the pension irrelevant, by supporting and educating quality advice and advisers.

So, without sounding too much like the eternal optimist (it’s in my nature, I can’t help it!), I hope that many of us in the position to make our industry better do so - not just for profit, but because it’s the right thing to do. Our industry has always held a huge responsibility for people’s financial futures. A responsibility most take very seriously.

Let’s learn the lessons from this commission, help navigate change and continue to focus on quality outcomes. While there is obviously a need for change, there is also much to be proud of. And in tough times like this, I urge our advice community to remember that. The difference you make can be life changing. That’s worth hanging in there for.

The opinions expressed in this content are those of the author shown, and do not necessarily represent those of No More Practice Education Pty Ltd or its related entities. All content is intended for a professional financial adviser audience only and does not constitute financial advice. To view our full terms and conditions, click here.

Russell McConachy


I appreciate your positive perspective and recognition of the many good, honest advisers in our industry. My issue, quite simply, is that we have legislation telling me that my 49 years of experience and provision of very good advice to thousands of clients must cease by 2024, whereas my 23 year old para planner, who is just starting in the industry, will be qualified to give advice! I believe that only 15% of planners have degrees and, quite frankly, many advisers including myself, will not or cannot complete a degree. The issue with advisers is not education but honesty and integrity. It is total overkill to force this unnecessary requirement on to established advisers so unless FASEA comes up with something brilliant, sensible and fair, the majority of advisers will sell up or retire.

John Cerniauskas


I can only reiterate what Russell McConachy has written in response to Vanessa's article. In my own case after almost 30 years experience in our industry plus prior 22 years experience working within the Department of Social Security, giving good advice to the clients that we have served and continue to serve. I have not completed a degree but have undertaken all requirements within the industry in giving specialised advice in the pre-retirement, retirement and aged care area. I don't think that the degree confers any particular advantage it's really the honesty and integrity of the person in their dealings with client's I believe that is paramount in all aspects of financial planning for clients. And I believe that majority of advisers follow the same path in their client dealings. How will "FASEA degree" teach Honesty and Integrity?

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