Australians urged to seek advice during Financial Planning Week
“We want all Australians to experience the life-changing benefits that financial advice from a trusted professional can bring.”
These are the words of Mark Rantall, CEO of the FPA, speaking about Financial Planning Week, an annual initiative of the Financial Planning Association. This year, Financial Planning Week will run nationwide from 26th August to 1st September.
Now in its 13th consecutive year, the aim of Financial Planning Week is an extension of the work of the FPA community by encouraging, educating and empowering all Australians to experience the positive difference that qualified financial advice can make to their lives.
Mr Rantall highlighted the tireless work the FPA community has done to transform financial planning into a respected and trusted profession, and pointed to Financial Planning Week as an extension of this work and engaging with all Australians.
“There can be a misconception out there that financial advice is only for the wealthy, but the FPA wants to raise awareness of the true benefits trusted financial advice can have by improving the life of all Australians. Financial Planning Week is one way in which we try to get that message out there to the general public,” he said.
Mr Rantall went on to say that choosing the right financial planner was crucial.
“Choosing a respected professional with an appropriate industry qualification, like a Certified Financial Planner, is the best guarantee that your adviser will adhere to the highest standards and do best by you and your needs,” he explained.
“And if the person advising you on your financial future is a member of a peak professional body, like the FPA, you know that they have signed up to a Code of Professional Practice and you have an entire community fighting in your corner,” he said.
Mr Rantall then encouraged as many people as possible to get involved with ‘Ask an Expert’, a Financial Planning Week initiative to increase access to advice. The FPA community is now accepting questions from the public.
“’Ask an Expert’ is an initiative that allows Australians to ask all their financial questions, no matter how simple or complex, and in their own words, and have them answered by an expert financial planner, for free.
“‘Ask and Expert’ is an online forum on the FPA website (www.fpa.com.au/askanexpert), and questions can also be posed via Twitter. Questions should be sent to @AustraliaFPA using #AskanExpert or to www.fpa.com.au/askanexpert and we are already accepting questions from the public on topics that concern them,” he explained.
“There will also be case studies, blogs and other material available through our website, and I would encourage everyone to have a look and engage with our financial planners. And if you are looking to find a reputable adviser, the Find-A-Planner directory on fpa.com.au will help you to find one in your area.”
Mr Rantall concluded by talking about the success of Financial Planning Week in 2012.
“Last year, ‘Ask an Expert’ had nearly 10,000 hits, Find-a-Planner over 4,000 hits and we tracked more than 200 tweets on the topic of FP Week,” he said. “The FPA’s twitter followers increased by nearly a third and almost 700 people accessed our ‘Real Life Stories’ consumer web page.”
“The results really showed that we were able to engage with Australians on the topic of financial advice, and we are hoping for even better things this year,” he said.
“I can’t stress enough what a difference financial advice from a trusted adviser can make to each and every one of us. I would encourage all Australians to embrace Financial Planning Week by asking their financial questions, reading the real life case studies and thinking about getting professional financial advice.