Support needed for troubled advisers’ families

1 August 2019

The pressure on the families of financial planners should not be dismissed as advisers grapple with stress and depression caused by the changes in the advice sector.

According to Barry Daniels, former financial planner and founder of PFM Australia, many advisers were finding the educational and regulatory requirements were becoming the ‘final straw’ for them.

Many of these self-employed advisers will have been hoping their business would fund their retirement, but Daniels said, the effects of recent changes have made that unlikely.

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“In 2019, FASEA, education requirements and crashing practice values- destroyed through the legislated removal of income from their business- mean the planned exit and succession aspirations for many advisers have evaporated, devastating the lives of many planners who can no longer cope.”

Much has been written about the mental health difficulties for advisers but Daniels said this awareness should also be extended to their partners who were having to pick up the load.

“These advisers, however, often continue to present a stoic persona to their peers and even to their family, while they suffer inner turmoil and pain - in isolation and without help.

“Into this battlefield, which is now stressing advisers and their families to breaking point, the adviser’s husband or wife find themselves having to step-in to support their spouse and save the family.

“It is heartening to see dealer groups, professional associations and media groups reaching out to help planners cope with mental illness. But where is the ally and support structure for planners’ partners to help them save their spouse and their family?”

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Well spoken but not that much has been publicised about financial planner mental health. ASIC and the Government are saying how wonderful they and how bad, greedy, unethical and unqualified financial planers are. I am on the verge of losing everything, i have debt,on my insurance book. My expenses have gone through the roof and my income . plummeting. I was unfortunate enough after 20 years in the industry, (happy clients,no complaints and no audit issues for the smart arses about to have a go) to get caught up in ASIC closing the licensee i had chosen to work with. NO one, i repeat noone, has called, followed up, asked how things are going. The FPA is interested in CFP designations and the great new CPD website and they gave an email to how they now have a mental health plan and then got on to CFP and CPD again. I am stuffed. I am working hard and i am doing my best. But sometimes your best just isn't good enough anymore. So yes mental health is a massive issue that Josh, ScoMo and Jimmy S couldnt give a rats arse about.Thats it. I am back to studying for National Exam, the on to the Ethics Course and then the 6 subjects to be degree qualified because i woke and i now know nothing now according to everyone that make decisions. MY 20 years experience and My 40 yearly hours CPD for the last 20 years is worthless, like me. Somewhere in their i will squeeze in time for my clients because they are what all this change is about improving their experience. Sorry family i will see you again.

I am stunned - who would have thought this would happen - this is very sad. 12 or so months ago I rang the FPA about this very issue and spoke to them about this potential issue due to the Royal Commission and continual change over past many years. The response I received was amazing. The fellow I spoke to would find it difficult to be believe that these changes would lead to advisers taking their lives. Sadly I think this will be the tip of the iceberg. Oh yes how many marriages will be ended because of this. But who cares

Thanks for your comments dun n dusted. Reading this and your comments, I now understand the impact of an asset built up over a lifetime now worth considerably less, moreover I think the media and community view of this profession must hurt a lot and lead to diminishing self worth for many.
I do have to push back on some of your comments. 1. You go with the typical pile on of the FPA however People suffering need to seek help, and be a part of recovery. FPA has announced a "free comprehensive program.. providing counsellors and psychologists for FPA members". The cost of providing this service would be high, and the value to anyone utilising it would be a great help financially, as privately psychs etc charge very high. My advice, dont knock it and get off your butt and use it.
Lastly, I'll take your word that you are knowledgeable, and experienced...however if you gave your objective opinion you must accept the entry to FP was pathetic and for such an important job the education that you could acquire from private colleges was pitiful. CPD can be worthless, particularly for hungover attendees at Conferences and PD days or multi choice quizes.

This is 100% correct. I have my own practice and my own husband did exactly this and burnt himself out as a result. He had just spent the last 10 weeks in hospital suffering from Severe Depression and a Anxiety. What makes it worse is that currently there is no clear solution to get away from the stressful situation we are in.

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