The ‘Financial Adviser Register Check a financial adviser’ search page on the Moneysmart website has surpassed 40,000 views per month, an inquiry by Wealth Data founder Colin Williams has discovered.

In his weekly blog post analysing movement on the ASIC Financial Adviser Register, Williams was motivated to check with the regulator due to frequent comments on media sites questioning the relevance of adviser qualifications. 

That’s an incredible number of views and highlights that checking out an adviser through a government funded website is very important to a lot of people,” Williams said. 

We didn’t get a breakdown of the viewers. However, if you consider the number of people who have lost their adviser and the number of people who are approaching/considering retirement, these two factors alone would drive a lot of people to seek more information. 

However, Williams noted there is a potential issue with the MoneySmart website in the way it highlights qualifications.  

Advisers have their qualifications listed and if they have an approved qualification, it is shown as ‘Approved Qualification’,” he said 

It would be understandable for a user of the website, to value an ‘approved qualification’ higher than any other qualification, even though an adviser can be very well qualified without having an approved qualification. Approved qualifications initially appeared as FASEA approved qualifications, i.e. been assessed and approved by FASEA. 

Williams said he could not find any clarification on the MoneySmart website that clarifies the difference between an approved qualification and any other qualification.

“On the page ‘Choosing a financial adviser’, the first question they suggest that a person should ask an adviser is about their qualifications,” Williams said.

The current number of advisers on the ASIC FAR stands at 15,850.