Let's assume that a “professional" is an expert who you can trust.
So answer this:
Do you think the average financial adviser you meet in Australia would be a true professional?
The proof is in the pudding. Most Australians don't have a financial adviser, and it's largely because Australians don't know an adviser who they can trust.
We at Purpose Advisory want to make it easier for you to work out which advisers you can trust, so we created the “Awesome Adviser” certification to help you measure up any of the professionals and advisers use to help you make life choices.
An awesome adviser is a professional who provides advice services and who ticks all the boxes of someone you can trust. This means they've proven time and again that they are awesome communicators, they provide awesome services at awesome prices and that their clients also think they're just awesome!
Tristan Scifo, director of Purpose Advisory, hosted a conference for a small group of financial advisers back in 2016 where the idea of Awesome Adviser was born. Since then, Tristan and the team at Purpose Advisory have refined the framework for how to assess and accredit Awesome Advisers.
We've determined four simple ingredients that make any adviser awesome:
It's difficult to know exactly what to look for when seeking out an adviser. To help you out, we've developed the Awesome Adviser standard, which any adviser can apply for but not every adviser will achieve.
If you have or are thinking to work with an adviser, ask them if they've been certified as an Awesome Adviser, and if not, ask them to take our Awesome Adviser self-assessment tool. Everyone wants to know that they're working with an Awesome Adviser!
If you are a financial adviser, please download the self-assessment tool below and reach out to us if you'd be interested to apply to be an Awesome Adviser!
Before 1970, pretty much every financial adviser (or “agent” as they were called at the time) was really just a salesman of financial products, working for just one specific brand. Agents were paid via commission, as well as complex fee arrangements which were built into the products they sold.
After a while, agents began selling more than just one company's financial products. They still got paid via commission, but they began to have more choice on what to sell. This is when agents become “brokers”. Just like a mortgage broker does today, they 'broked' the market for the best product to sell. Finance brokers, insurance brokers and stock brokers alike still make money these days via commission, and if you're lucky, you'll get some worthwhile value-add advice and education along the way.
When more and more financial products became available to the common person in the 1990s and 2000s, clients began asking for genuine advice services, not just product sales. And so the financial advice industry began to emerge.
But there was no clear break away from the era of agents and brokers, and many advisers found it easier and more palatable to not charge their clients a fee, but to continue receiving commissions. Even when financial advice began to be increasingly regulated since 2012 with the “FOFA” reforms, there was still room for advisers to receive commissions on insurances and various other referral fees.
The REAL difference between an 'Adviser' then and a 'Broker' is that advisers work solely for you, the client. They charge you a direct fee, and they don't take commissions from any products or services they refer you to.
Many financial advisers these days still get paid either partly or largely by commission. I know, it's a shame! In truth, most advisers are great at what they do and they really do mean the best for their clients. But all of us as people are imperfect so you need to follow the money trail. If someone is still remunerated like a broker, they'll still act like a broker. And there are very few exceptions to this fact!
The Awesome Adviser certification is soon to be launched. We'd love to connect with you if you'd like to qualify and become a contributing and celebrated member of the community.
Our vision is to grow a collaborative community of professionals and advisers who are all aligned in the values by which they operate, and by being awesome at what they do.