Growth mindset neglected by advice firms

Advice practices should be focusing on business growth rather than concentrating solely on reforms, CountPlus believes.

CountPlus chief executive, Matthew Rowe, said the biggest challenge in the advice industry was “looking beyond the right here and now” as the past few years had led to a lot of reform fatigue.

"I think the biggest challenge facing advisers is having to think about a growth mindset. Over the last three to four years we’ve been in this war zone where advisers are getting smashed repeatedly by what’s been happening in our space,” he said.

Related News:

“When you’re in that siege mentality, you don’t think about growth in your business. Professional firms are like bananas, they are either only growing or ripening, not both.”

Rowe said the growth mindset was thinking about what the business would look like in the next three to five years, what people were needed to achieve that, and what did the business need in terms of infrastructure, utilisation, and leverage models.

“Profitability within financial advice isn’t around products, rebates and subsidies, it’s now about how am I setting up a profit margin for a client, how am I have a leverage model with people and systems, and how am i utilising the resources that I’ve got to be profitable and sustainable in the future,” he said.

“Firms that are generating $300,000 to $400,000 in revenue are going to struggle to be profitable in the new world of advice – they’re going to need to double that.  So, it’s about having a growth mindset and the strong firms are the ones that can scale up and they’ll survive the next lot of changes.”

However, Rowe noted there were huge opportunities in the advice industry given the fact that there would be less advisers but a growing unmet need for advice.

“Those firms that can get through the next six to 12 months have huge opportunities. I’d love advisers to look at the world a bit differently,” he said.

“Look beyond here and now and look at three to five years time which I know is hard because they’re getting smashed daily with all sorts of different things, but this is an exciting space to be in.”

On the efficiency side, Rowe said practices needed a tech stack and that there were a lot of fintechs in the industry that “are not more than a glorified spreadsheet”.

“If you break down your process – how your working papers work, your process at back end, even how much you can reduce the word count or text and advice document and generate efficiencies that’s the answer,” he said.

“It’s tech led but more importantly but led by your process review. But you can only do that when you have people in the biz that understand advice process and are willing to question and challenge how it’s always been done in the past.”

Recommended for you




Frankly I'm a bit sick of being lectured to by a guy who contributed greatly to the current mess through his incompetence as FPA president and FASEA Board member. He should be apologising to advisers, not lecturing them.

Wow this clown has the thickest hide ever.
The utter conflicted crap to the Advice Industry via his roles with FPA & FARSEA are disgusting.
If only the Advice industry in Australia could see the end of his like we have a chance.
Go and get stuffed Rowe !!!!

let's not even get started either with Orphan commission paying clients.

So the dealers and fund managers will slowly come to the realisation that advisers provided the increase in fund inflows and insurance premiums . Now that we're all too busy surviving the changes thrown at us by Government, licensee lookbacks and media hammering to worry about acquisition and what problems we might be picking up, why waste countless hours on that when we can work within our existing client base where at least we're welcome and appreciated.

Is this guy for real? He sure has a lot to say. Is he paying MM per article?
He has been toxic to this industry and preaches like he cares. Spare me.

I look forward to seeing Mr Rowe on stage at the next Melbourne Comedy Festival!
How he has any credibility left beggars belief!!

you have to have the talent to be at the Melbourne comedy festival. the guy is a desperate loser. business is imploding as he has lost over 100 advisers over the past year and now crying and still blaming advisers. F$00 OFF smelly TURD HEAD

Sick of hearing from him.
For the past 12-24months we have been in survival mode.
If there are practices out there with a growth focus, well good on them.

Rowe has no credibility whatsoever. he has contributed greatly to the demise of the industry. his business is imploding and he is not lecturing, this is a desperate cry for help what's pathetic is the subtext of the message that "we advisers don't get it", believe you me Mr. Rowe I have triple the qualifications you have, we get it, you won't be getting any sympathy from us, Mr. Rowe.

prepare for many more like him to follow, it will be dealer groups, insurance companies, compliance people all the hangers-on who have not thought for a minute about advisers or the client's best interest but pushed their own barrow.

not this time Mr Rowe. we will and are abandoning the likes of you. be prepared to be replaced soon.

goodbye, Mr. Rowe.

Thanks Mr Rowe - any chance you could have helped us when you were a FASEA board member.....

Come walk in my shoes for a mile and carry my load and then I will start to honour you.

The count propaganda rolls on.

Please mummy, make the stupid man stop talking.

Fun Fact: Bananas share 60% of their DNA with humans. If you don't believe me google it.

you mean monkeys.

Lay off the kool -Aid Mr Rowe. A growth mindset. Seriously, are you Oprah? I'll tell you what would give a me growth mindset, getting rid of the ticket clipping licensee's like yours!

the tribe has spoken. the answer is unequivocal. the message is clear: Get lost, Fool.

Taking business advice from Matthew Rowe... next we will have Melissa Caddick telling us how to build our client base.

One foot at a time?

GT, that’s real dark humour there. We should get a drink sometime, because that’s right up my alley and the best damned comment I’ve read on here in a decade!

Knowledge speaks and wisdom listens folks. Set aside Mr Rowe's past and his role in some of the painful but necessary change and you might concede his comments are worth considering. Clearly Mr Rowe has an agenda (as we all do if we are honest) but as a licensed financial planning professional with 20 years in this gig and a practice owner - it is time financial planning moved forward with a little more positivity and and a focus on growth. The number of very personal attacks in these comments saddens me for our profession? BTW We are not and never have been licensed with Count and hold our own AFSL.

I think the responses to Mr. Rowe have been very kind and generous. financial planners are a caring lot. had it been politicians or another profession, they would have been much much worse in their responses.


we've been blamed for all the problems of the world, even those not of our making. been called killers and treated like serial rapists.

now that we are a profession (or on the verge of becoming one), we are also turning around and blaming everyone else and leaving and saying you fix the mess.

expect more of this vocal blame game from advisers now. we won't be silenced anymore and all those who have left the industry make sure you lob grenades from the sidelines. it's our time to blame others. let's see how it goes down.

down with Count. useless licensee. everyone is leaving them, and no one is joining them.

why don't you join count and soothe Mr. Rowe's concerns? since you are so professional and the rest of us are not.

you will find most of us who are commenting are already fasea qualified and passed the exam and have higher qualifications than Rowe.

Unintelligent commentary from people like Mr Rowe is helping to destroy the financial planning industry. Growth? Most Practices are struggling to survive and advisers mental health is being affected every day. I am glad I am out and Mr Rowe's lack of understanding, empathy and stewardship has contributed to that. It's time he left the room.

To all the commenters here:

Here’s a quick question: Are we an Industry or a Profession?

Why do we keep using this word: ‘Industry’?

Time for a quick dictionary definition:
Industry: Economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials
and manufacture and distribution of goods

Profession: A paid occupation, esp. one that involves prolonged training and
a formal qualification.

Can you see the difference?

The financial services 'Industry' got us into the mess we're in. The 'Industry' is to

An 'Industry' that consists of Product Providers and Investment and Super Funds ‘manufacturing’ mostly unnecessary and expensive financial products that the vast
majority of people do not need or want.

Every week, a new fund here, a new fund there.
From my perspective, I'm thinking "We don't need any more new funds thank you!

We've got enough funds already! Besides, whose looking after all of the old ‘new’

In the past, these products were 'sold' by Financial Advisors in return for this thing called 'commission'.

In the past, the 'Industry' conveniently provided a regular supply of 'new' products, new funds, which conveniently gave Advisors a regular flow of ‘something else’ to talk about at annual review meetings - and an opportunity to earn some more commission. Perfect. Everyone is happy. It worked.

Egged on by the ‘Industry’ Advisors called this product focus their ‘service’.
The result being - in the past - that no matter how good or how BAD an Advisor’s 'service', clients were probably happy with it - because they thought it was free. They didn’t really know how (or how much) they were paying for it.

Unfortunately, thanks to the persuasive power and big budgets of the 'Industry', the sad end result of this system - that THEY controlled - was miss-selling scandal after miss-selling scandal. And it’s us Advisors (and our reputation) that carries the can, every time.

Post Royal Commission, the 'Industry' will continue to manufacture 'products' that still require Advisors to go out and distribute on ITs behalf. (It used to be called 'sell', now it’s called 'distribute' - same end result).
These big boys will continue to make vast sums of money off these products. They always have and always will. Advisors won't.

The 'Industry' has a powerful ally: the media. Financial porn - you know who they are - all happily making vast sums of money advertising countless products and investments, with their full page ads, their annoying pop ups and banner ads, their 'sponsored' emails and their TV commercials. The truth is THEY don't want you to stop focusing on products!

Advisors fall prey to the marketing methods and 'sponsorships' and free lunches
and free toys and water bottles intended to keep them focused on the distribution of the 'Industry's' products.

Many Advisors don't even realise they're falling for it. It's what they've always done.
The worse part though, is the distraction. There's only so many hours in the day.
There's only so much space in our heads - and while they grab your attention, it
leaves little if any time for what REALLY matters.

But now it’s wake up time.
The simple fact is this: although this may have worked in the past, it won't work in
the future.

We are now moving to a Profession. One where we get paid EXPLICIT FEES for delivering a demonstrable SERVICE.

Add new comment