Despite the overall positive adviser sentiment for the coming months, the absence of young people coming to the industry might be one of the biggest challenges, Mia Johnson, a Professional Year adviser at Keyman Financial Services, said.
Johnson, who said she was passionate about the profession and making it more attractive for young people, felt part of the problem was there were few positive stories to help young people understand what the industry was really about.
“Everybody is so worried about the cost of advice, and all the issues that we are facing but they forget that if we do not have more people coming into the industry, then we are not going to have an industry,” she said.
“I think this is a huge problem that nobody is really focusing on addressing and I think if there is any way we can help with the professional year requirements and just make it more attractive to advisers to get younger people in, and make it less burdensome that could help.”
She also said that the message for young people about the state of the industry should be better emphasised as they did not currently view it as an attractive career choice.
“People who are in high schools and universities, they do not see it as an attractive profession and I don’t know why that is the case. I think maybe because there is not enough positive stories out there how we actually help people in their time of need and how we help people plan their future.”
When asked about what the licensees could do to help bring in younger advisers, she said that in the case of smaller practices, often with just one planner, it was extremely hard to take on a PY adviser
“I think if there is any way we can help with the professional year requirements and make it more attractive to advisers to get younger people in, and make it less burdensome that could help.
“There needs to be some type of balance between making it easier for practitioners to take somebody on but still teaching them everything they need to know to be good advisers,” she said.
At the same time, Johnson stressed there was even a larger part for industry bodies to play in making the financial advice industry more attractive for younger people.
“I think there is probably a room for licensees to help in that space but I think that industry bodies like AFA (the Association of Financial Advisers) or FPA (the Financial Planning Association) have such respected and trusted opinion on the industry and I do not know why they could not get out there and help promote the industry because maybe they are too concerned with other issues that we [advisers] are facing like the exam and the educational requirements.
“But I think that a lot of the responsibility could fall on their shoulders to get the word out there, I think that would be a big help.”
Previously, the FPA has stated it was working with universities and students but this had been more difficult during COVID-19.
Ben Marshan, head of policy, strategy and innovation at the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), said: “The FPA is working with members to get to universities and to talk about how much opportunity there is in financial planning and how positive the future of financial planning is looking but COVID-19 has certainly been very challenging and it’s hard to get to universities at the moment and have those conversation with students.
“But as you start to see consumers trust in to financial planning, it’s easier to start having conversations with students in high schools and universities and how much how positive the future of financial planning is.”