FPA chief executive Dante De Gori

This forms part of an ongoing FPA consumer awareness strategy that includes Financial Planning Week (August 21-27), an advertising campaign, the promotion of the ‘find a planner’ feature of www.fpa.com.au, and social media engagement.

“It’s really important that Australians are aware,” FPA chief executive Dante De Gori said at the launch. “One of the biggest [pieces of] feedback that we often get is there is little awareness that financial planning exists, of what financial planners do.”

De Gori took the opportunity to try to dispel some of the myths around financial planning, including that financial planning is all about investments, or that you have to be wealthy to get financial advice.

The Money & Life website offers a range of content for consumers, from breaking down advice into key areas – grow your wealth, family and life events, and life after work – to helping people get answers to questions through an educational ‘Ask a Planner’ series of videos, and, of course, a facility to find a planner.

“Everybody has issues they would like advice on, or want some guidance on,” De Gori said. “Money & Life will be able to do that in terms of educating, and demonstrating how that can be helpful.”

The chief executive also covered the changes since the implementation of RG 146 in 2013, which are helping the financial planning sector shake the spectre of distrust among the general public and reinforce confidence. Part of this effort is the inbound code of ethics, which will be compulsory from 2020.

“We take ethical standards very seriously,” De Gori said. “Only recently, the FPA disciplined two members as a result of breaching their ethical standards. One of them was cheating on his certification exams…as a result of that he has been banned from the membership.

“It’s about their conduct and behaviour, both in giving advice [and in] how they conduct themselves as an individual.”

You can access the Money & Life website here.

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