It was with much satisfaction that I read the latest numbers from AFCA, which showed that in the past year, less than 2% of all complaints made were against advisers.
This number is a clear indication that the advice industry has managed to part with a large portion of advisers not doing the right thing. And those remaining are, by and large, doing a great job with their clients.
Combine this with some further statistics: unemployment is expected to peak at 9.25% for the December quarter (it’s currently 7.4%) and the budget deficit for 2020/21 is forecast to be $185 billion (its $85 billion for this year). Our economy, along with the rest of the world, is hurting in ways we have never seen before. And nobody knows where it will land.
So, in this period of economic uncertainty, where the industry funds tell us more than half a million people have wiped out their super account balances completely due to access to the early release of super scheme, the need for sound financial advice has never been stronger.
In fact, I would go as far as to say that advisers will be on the most wanted list for people who desperately need a plan to move forward financially – in a world where even the best laid plans have been torn apart due to something outside of all our control.
They that say in times of great need, heroes emerge who take on impossible tasks. For advisers to reach as many people as possible, they will need to continue to innovate their business model to a point where they can both manage the cost of compliance and risk and ensure that a large portion of Australians receive the help they need.
It appears that adviser models are changing more rapidly than they ever have before, with access to technology and client communications taking on a new speed and transparency due to COVID-19, that will most likely enhance the ability to access advice, and manage risk in a way that was impossible before.
So, advisers, take a moment to congratulate yourselves on getting this far – surviving the turmoil of industry change and rising education standards, along with changing your business practices and models with clients to serve them better, is a mammoth task not to be underestimated. And believe me when I say that the demand for your skills sets and services has never been higher. Now is your time.
Until next time,
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