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After 25 years of compare the pair and painting (all) financial advisers as greedy, shonky used car salespeople, I thought we've moved beyond this when David Whitely strategically exited the ISA during the Royal Commission hearings. The Industry funds have been playing much more nicely in the sandpit recently, either building their own advice channels or partnering with licensees to benefit their members with quality financial advice (and retain members through retirement which is where they lose most of their FUM). But this says,
'the Whitely formula worked, the regular men and women in the street don't question the facts and as long as we can make someone else look more conflicted and dodgy than we are, we'll win the land grab for the $3 trillion super bucket.'

The ISA is riddled with conflicts (how does funding the Labor party meet member best interest and the sole purpose test?) but they are clearly a protected species. They got the equivalent of a thrashing with a wet lettuce leaf during the Royal Commission and with the banks blowing themselves up and exiting wealth, their multi-pronged strategy of lobbying for the legislative and regulatory changes to benefit themselves and wipe out the SMSF industry (Labor's franking credit proposal is a perfect example), and retail and corporate superfunds, and the mass marketing to win the hearts and minds of the average worker have worked.

I would really like the industry funds to have to go through what a financial adviser has to in order to recommend a superfund to a client - FDS, fact find, research and analysis, SOA, replacement product information, PDS, implementation and administration, reviews, opt in, annual FDS. The cost post-RC will make it largely unviable for an adviser to assist mass market mums and dads (another win for the ISA). I have a good mate in the construction industry who has a SMSF and this is paraphrasing the conversation he had with the Shop Steward;
SS: "This is a union site"
Dave: "I'm a member"
SS: "You need an industry super fund."
Dave: "I don't want an ISF. I have my own fund and prefer property, not shares or managed funds."
SS:"You're not f*ing coming on site until you sign up for an industry super fund."
I'm guessing union shop stewards are better qualified to provide advice on super than financial advisers?