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.

Its horrific. thank you for the 2 main posts above. Im there and been off work since late last year with depression etc diagnosed in July. I go to the shop to get some things as asked by my wife. i have to call hger and ask when i get there. It has effected me so greatly and now she has started counseling yesterday as she too is greatly effected. Sadly my IP insurer is holding back since february and my claims guy cant even send the right form. He sends "partial disabilty" form but upon opening the attachment its the full disability claim form and I completed and sent back. He abuses me and tells me to do the partial claims form. My wife sends it 2 more times and then he keeps emailing me and telling me which email and what time he sent it. Ive tried to tell him im not partial and that he hasn't sent a partial form either (just labeled the attachments as partial claim form). So i call him and he starts speaking over the top of me and wont listen and eventually just hangs up on me. Great service from a claims team who supposed to understand mental health. I get the feeling they are bleeding with many claims and feel we are all putting it on. He said he was in charge of ten planners etc and performed lots of services and knows what i do, yet asks me for a description of my duties. Blimey. So for a month i leave messages for his manager who is always busy and doesnt return calls. Finally last week she called and another week without a return call and I was in danger myself (to be treated so bad everywhere is too much)
Its sad when we cant get suppport and reach out and our families are greatly effected. My son took training with a UK training team in january as he wants to play international soccer. he was selected and all schools etc were around the 45,000 English po8und plus flights and accommodation. About $100,000 a year to support his education (he is nearly 15). All this now goes out the window. I have a 4 month old baby too. To see your plans and dreams achievable and build a business over 30 years, and its all out the window now. Since 2014 in may when i rertuned to work after a year off as i could stand or walk and needed a double spinal fusion, i found it was a tough catch up period and so wrote more risk and little fee for service cases. Mostly, if i was to move clients to FFS, it would have cost them more than their commission as trail. This whole industry will hardly last and major insurers will have difficul;ties with so few remaining advisers serving only the wealthy. Not enough premium income coming in and rate rises pushing insured people out, all but the ones who know they may claim. Poor quality products and channels of influence may well be far worse in the future.

Hi Ten, so sorry to hear about your current state of health. I have had some recent success with a clients mental health claim and information that may be of benefit to you. If you would like to call me to discuss on 03 9802 1000, I would be happy to update you. All the best.

I exited financial planning two years ago having exercised BOLR after a 35 year career. It could be said that presience played a part of my timing, although no-one could have believed that the industry was destined to free-fall shortly after I left. The large organisation I was tied to tried to shortchange my BOLR but I appealed and won. During that process, like many contributors here, I lost weight, couldn't sleep, couldn't believe what was happening, couldn't believe that my strong complaint-free career has come to this. It is possible to be so, so down. Fortunately I have a wonderful mate who I could talk to and a fantastic wife (and best friend) & I survived it. Some very dark thoughts cloud your judgement when you're in this place, many tears were shed. Now it's happening again... it takes me straight back to that dark time.

My advice to planners who are going through this turmoil today is (a) talk to some-one you trust, talk it out (b) if you have a life partner, tell them everything, tell them how you're feeling and (c) get professional advice.

In years to come your mates and family will still need you. The events of 2019 mark a sad milestone in what used to be a great industry, but those events will be forgotten over time. As for the attitude which should be adopted to those middle and senior managers who have shamelessly pushed planners under the proverbial bus, shame on them. I trust they still have the ability to look at themselves in the mirror each morning.

Thanks Rob for your contribution. You understand it well and too think it was hard to exit 2 years ago even. Now its like a noose around you and you wait the fate of the bullies who want to strip you. It is a strange predicament for planners who built a career helping others to plan for the future and no we cant plan our own lives for the future, nor our businesses. We dont know whats around the corner. i feel that owning a FP practice is a bit like owning a saddlery business in the 1960's and 70's or may be a wheelwright business 100 years ago.

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