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Hewison Insights
Education in Financial Planning

Education of your financial adviser is paramount

Nathan Lear
Partner/Private Client Adviser
25 Aug 2014

Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of negative media coverage about financial advisers, in particular the low level of education of many financial advisers practicing in Australia. 

Hewison Private Wealth has been vocal on the need for the corporate regulator, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), to lift the bar in terms of minimum education standards for many years. Given a financial adviser is responsible for managing individuals’ life savings, it is a very important role in society and the Government and regulators must take notice.

It is disappointing that financial advisers with low levels of education tarnish the reputation of all financial advisers. A recent article in The Age said that “hairdressers, tyre fitters and mechanics require more onerous standards of work experience than a financial planner.”

While I acknowledge that the current minimum education standards for financial advisers are far too low, it’s important to remember that there are in fact many that invest heavily in their education and training.

Hewison advisers are all university degree qualified, and have completed the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation which involves the completion of five rigorous units and is globally recognised as the highest designation for financial advisers. All Hewison advisers are also SMSF specialist advisers, accredited by the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia. Some of us have also completed a Masters of Applied Finance at Kaplan Professional, which involved the successful completion of 12 units of study over many years.

In addition, Hewison advisers have all undertaken an internal graduate mentoring program which involves many years of work experience and on the job training before advising clients in their own right.

We are not alone, there are many financial advisers out there that have completed many years of education and training. It is important for consumers to be diligent when selecting a financial adviser and understand that the recent negative media coverage is not true of all financial advisers in Australia – therefore do not put us in the same basket.

Using an analogy, if someone is looking to engage a personal trainer and they were faced with the choice of selecting one with the basic level of training and experience or one that has completed additional education over and above the minimum requirements and had a lot of experience, it would be an easy decision who to choose. The same can be said when selecting a financial adviser. I would encourage anyone looking to use an adviser to do their research.

Let’s hope ASIC does its job and lifts the minimum education requirements. 



Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email info@hewison.com.au or visit www.hewison.com.auPlease note: The advice provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial advisor. The views in this blog are those of the individual and may not represent the general opinion of the firm. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.