MM to help fund those addressing adviser mental health

Amid serious financial adviser concern about the recent number of suicides in their ranks, Money Management has decided to provide funding to services which specifically seek to address depression.

Responding to this week’s warning that there is dark side to the changes impacting the financial advice industry and the reality that more than a dozen suicides have been reported in the wake of some recent changes, Money Management has decided to donate $5 to Beyond Blue on behalf of  every financial adviser who attends the upcoming Future of Wealth Management – Advice conference in Sydney.

What is more, because the conference is in large part aimed at helping advisers deal with the new post-Royal Commission and Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) environment, Money Management has decided to waive all charges for financial advisers.

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Earlier this week, former financial planner and founder of PFM Australia and Alliton Capital, Barry Daniels pointed to the distress being caused by the constant changes to the advice industry and warned of the mental health issues being driven by reform fatigue.

He said these factors were driving many advice practitioners to terminate their careers and exit the industry but that, more worryingly, there had been tragic mental health consequences.

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Tragic news. The mental toll on financial advisers during this period of unprecedented and relentless change cannot be overstated.

Personally, I have had to seek ongoing medical help including medication and counselling for an extended time due to the stress, anxiety and depression I now suffer from working in a business I love but now struggle with.

More disturbing is the 4 other advisers I know who are in similar situations and have discussed these issues with me. All of these advisers may not be in this industry in 2 to 4 years due to these issues with multiple advisers already looking for new careers. How many advisers are suffering silently? This is verging on an epidemic!!

The lack of regard by the government for the mental health of advisers especially those that have borrowed or put their house on the line to grow their businesses or are just close to retirement, is appalling and shortsighted.

Between LIF, FASEA, the removal of Grandfathered trails, falling register values and massively increased compliance I would be surprised if more than 30-40% of current advisers will still be in the industry in 5 years.

If something is so wrong, it should be stopped. How about the government sits back and has a think about this one (rethinks before proceeding). Something has gone very wrong and how many lives and families need to be destroyed before something is done?
FASEA have completely stuffed this up. Imagine having an industry wide 3.5 hour exam with no study material? Imagine having an exam which gives you 4 answers to choose from, all of them are correct although in "their" opinion one is more correct (referring to one of the questions in the practice exam which ask "what you would say to someone who is worried about volatility"). Imagine asking a risk writer to explain what are the benefits to a retiree (I've never given advice to a retiree in 20+ years). Imagine telling a year 12 math teacher if you want to continue teaching math you need to answer questions on teaching year 12 history. It's wrong and everyone knows it. Imagine telling advisers you need to complete study at a level you haven't either ever done or haven't done for many years by 2024 and you still haven't released the names of the education institutions or the subjects. All the while time ticks away.
All this putting more and more pressure on the poor advisers who are trying to manage their business and life (family).
Is anyone surprised that this is creating stress and depression. So we are aware of suicides, 12 that we know of (OMG, I can't believe how sad that is). What we aren't aware of is the marriage stresses and breakdowns as a result of this. Businesses struggling and staff losing their jobs. We don't hear about these figures. Imagine the spouses trying to understand why their loving partner is no longer talking to them as they did just a couple of years ago. Alcohol abuse, drug abuse. Are we hearing these figures. Lives destroyed, families destroyed, businesses destroyed.
I have suffered depression and I recovered, I am now seeing the signs I saw all those years ago coming back to me as a result of this. I can't sleep and when the morning comes I can't get out of bed. I can't remember things like I did a few years ago. My concentration is terrible. I want to be alone always because I can't speak to people. All the signs I know because of my history. But I can see it in myself, the terrible thing is many people who will be suffering with mental health issues for the first time will not recognise the signs and see it for what it is. They are often the ones who suffer in silence and do something terrible before they can get help.
Now see how someone suffering like this goes in an extremely stressful situation like an exam where your future in your profession is riding on the result. HMMMMMMMM I wonder if they will excel? I wonder if the exam will be a true indication of their ability?
FASEA needs to be stopped now. Before more people suffer.

I just had a look at the practice questions and I found the one you are referring to. It's question 9. You are spot on - every one of the four possibilities is correct. Whoever wrote these questions has no idea. If this is the standard of questions they are willing to publicly release, god help us with the actual questions which are top secret. Where is the accountability?

Ben you are 100% correct. If the questions require us to imagine their idea of what is the most appropriate response good luck with that. This is ridiculous.

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