2020: The next phase

Welcome 2020.

A new decade for some.

Regardless – every new year presents a possible milestone or waypoint for fresh starts.

Waypoints are not just for new year’s or decades.

They can be stabbed into our lives – such as our devastating bushfire season. Other significant milestones can be our 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or similar birthdays which can overstep into our busy lives as an unwelcome affliction.

But the science suggests that significant waypoints in our lives provide something else as well.

It turns out that most of us don’t make fresh starts randomly.

We need nudging.

Those waypoints or milestones we consider significant in our lives often contain the motivation needed for those new starts. Here the waypoint can act to ‘clear our past slates’ helping us mentally to let go of former habits or thinking for desired ‘fresh starts’.


 The 2020 Financial Advice Waypoint.

With some commentators labelling the date the industry’s moment of truth, as of 1st January 2020, all financial advisers advising retail financial advice clients are legislated to abide by FASEA’s new Code of Ethics.

ASIC postponed some of the uncertainty late last year with the 19-319 Media Release stating that they will only be taking a facilitative approach to compliance on the contentious new FASEA standards 3 (i.e. act without conflict) and 7 (i.e. not receive any benefits), until a new single disciplinary body is operational.

That’s a big waypoint.

For an industry built on foundations of product distribution, there will never be enough time to prepare.


 Now isn’t the time.

Some can’t see much hope or opportunity beyond the impending FASEA Code of Ethics apart from a future business life increasingly governed by unrealistic compliance making it harder for advisers to stay in business and for their clients to afford advice.

Some continue to confuse advice incentives with professional biases citing that removal of conflict is an impossible concept floated by those ignorant of the day-to-day realities of the financial services industry of the past 40 years.

Some do not believe there will be a financial advice industry once the new Code of Ethics is enforced.

Others see the opportunities.


 Now is the time.

Valuations of financial planning client bases are reducing.

The demand for financial advice is growing as quickly as the range of options, complexities, and aspirations sought by Australians grow.

The options and range of out-sourced services for advisory firms explodes as working teams become increasingly global and former product distributors focus on becoming best-in-class product supporters.

Robo-advice and blockchain will do for firms what eftpos has done for payments championing the standards for new digital privacy, product platforms and data sharing.

With removal of systemic incentives, the boundaries between accounting and financial planning will soften. New energy and thinking from different but similar financial backgrounds will find the obvious balance of technical and client management skills to advise the whole client.

The opportunity is seen by some as a return to the future. Getting back to why they entered the industry – to help people achieve the value they seek from their financial lives.

Therein is the opportunity.


 The next phase

We won’t forget these bushfires. They will be long remembered as a significant milestone for Australia culturally, politically, socially and environmentally.

The opportunity for advisers is to use the milestone presented in 2020 as a valuable turning point for their businesses, their client and themselves

Hope 2020 is your best yet.




Photo Credit: shutterstock_710565352


For 30 years Jim has influenced, coached, and consulted to accounting & financial advisory firms across Australia. His firm, Certainty Advice Group speciality is the growth, client engagement and pricing of financial advice. He has created Australia’s highest and only ACCC/IP Australia Certification Mark standard of comprehensive advice – Certainty Advice. He is also an author, blogger, and keynote speaker covering topics on his expertise.

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