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Personal Advice, General Strategy Information, and General Product Information;
In the RG90 Example SOA, personal financial product advice is provided to clients, along with reference links to general product information. Also referenced are product providers PDS’ and general strategy information from the ASIC Moneysmart website.
Currently, licensees prefer general strategy information to be included in the SOA. Consumers can access this information without having to reference a separate document by “digital clickable links” that can take clients out of the SOA to view educational information about products or strategy.
However, where this clickable information lives requires a separate project. Currently, individual planners or licensees are responsible for creating this information for their clients. However, one central body could take responsibility for client strategy literacy and provide all planners with access to a standardised library of ‘General Strategy Information’. This body (although outside the scope of this report) could be a nationally backed organisation like the ASIC Moneysmart Website or a professional association.
Financial literacy plays an important part in the advice process as the clients’ decision-making ability to accept and implement advice is based on their ability to “understand” the information provided to them. This includes pros and cons, risks and rewards. Having consistency of “General Strategy Information” and regulatory oversight of this content would benefit all consumers during their decision-making process.
Providing General Product Information is currently the responsibility of the product providers via their PDS. Product providers could be encouraged to produce their content in a far more engaging way, as discussed in this report; appealing to the way people remember information via digital techniques such as video, audio, infographic and other techniques. This will help consumers to truly understand the information provided by product providers.
As part of this project, the FPA would like to include practical examples and provide access to current suppliers to help planners provide general strategy and general product information to clients.
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