The challenging period for financial advisers surrounding regulation and education is coming to an end and advisers are able to look ahead for the first time.
The last few years since the Hayne Royal Commission had been characterised by increasing regulation and scrutiny, more paperwork and stringent educational requirements with the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam.
But those in the industry said they were beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Jodie Blackledge, chief executive of Fitzpatricks Private Wealth, said: “I feel the industry is at a tipping point and people are starting to think about doing what they enjoy again. They now have the capacity to think about the future and it’s the first time in a while that I’ve seen that.
“There have been lots of exits from the industry so it has suffered but the people who have stayed are the ones who are going to be here for the long term and they have a bright future.”
According to the Money Management 2021 TOP Financial Planning Groups data, the number of financial advisers had fallen to 11,500 from 16,140 in 2018.
Steve Donald, financial adviser at ANZ, said: “It’s always a shame when you lose good people who have seen the industry grow and have a lot to offer but if we want to get to the next step in becoming a profession then there is only way to go. It’s the right thing to do in the long term in terms of people’s livelihood”.
Chair of the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), Marisa Broome, said she felt the current environment was only a “speed hump” in people’s careers rather than a long-term change.
She said the current changes had meant financial advice had been less flexible as a career than but that she hoped this would change, particularly as the pandemic had increased the number of people who were working remotely.
“There isn’t as much flexibility anymore but I think this is a moment in time and a speed hump from the regulatory change but hopefully we will go back to being flexible again,” Broome said.
“Working from home is definitely helping with that and I am hopeful we are seeing a change.”