New brochure promotes better consumer awareness of advice as CFP designation takes hold
The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has launched a new plain English guide to simplify the complexities that financial planning can entail for Australians seeking financial advice.
The brochure is available on the FPA’s new consumer website, fpadifference.com.au. The site was launched this week as part of Financial Planning Week, an annual initiative held by the FPA to raise consumer awareness about the positive difference sound financial advice can make.
Mark Rantall, FPA CEO, said the brochure speaks to the FPA’s fundamental commitment to supporting ordinary people’s quest for financial security.
“The FPA has always been an advocate for consumers receiving sound financial advice from qualified, professional financial planners. Ensuring Australians understand what the financial planning process entails by providing clear and simple information such as that contained in this brochure is one way the FPA is reaching out to consumers to make sure they’re well informed,” said Mr Rantall.
The brochure, which both consumers and FPA members can order to be sent to them free of charge, includes a range of helpful jargon-free information, such as:
In addition to the brochure, the FPA has also created the first easy-to-understand guide on the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms for consumers, which is also available on the website.
Mr Rantall added, “The FoFA reforms have been a major focus for the entire financial planning industry over the past year or more. Whilst these reforms were designed for the benefit of consumers there’s a much lower level of awareness among consumers about their practical effect. Our guide to the FoFA reforms will hopefully increase this level of awareness among consumers.”
Mr Rantall went on to highlight another important feature of the FPA’s consumer awareness initiatives: choosing a qualified professional, who is a member of the FPA and preferably, who enjoys the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(R) (CFP) designation. He welcomed research findings that reported increased acceptance and understanding, among consumers, that CFPs must meet high levels of professional training and competence.
Initial recent research findings, from Investment Trends1, into the public perception of CFPs reveal, for example, that:
- If they were looking for a new (or additional) financial adviser today, a CFP designation was the most commonly cited qualification desired in a financial adviser (35%);
- 87% of those who currently use a financial planner as their main source of advice say their adviser made a positive or significantly positive difference to their life;
- Among those who currently use a financial planner as their main source of advice, 89% said their most recent discussion with their financial planner was valuable or very valuable.
“Ensuring Australians are aware of what professional standards to look out for when choosing a financial planner and providing them with clear, simple information about financial planning are two important prerequisites to improving public trust and confidence in our profession. In the end, we hope our initiatives will empower and encourage Australians make informed and therefore better financial decisions,” said Mr Rantall.