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Professionalism must be married with intent

The financial advice industry is striving to earn its status as a profession, but any conversation about professionalism must also centre on intent, according to Strategic Consulting and Training’s Jim Stackpool.

“I believe [Future of Financial Advice reforms], best interests and APES 230 are base camp on our journey to professionalism. We as an industry have an opportunity to look beyond that,” Mr Stackpool said at the Industry Super Network’s Symposium on financial advice in super this week.

“We have a wonderful opportunity over the next 10 years to find out how we deliver better client outcomes rather than simply trying to maximise returns on their investments.”

Clients can also suffer from an “irrational exuberance” on behalf of advisers’ and their ability to maximise returns at a given time, Mr Stackpool said.

“The advisers that we work with fundamentally understand that the best chance they have of maximising the probability of their clients achieving their financial destiny is actually managing their behaviour year in and year out, not just managing their investments year in and year out,” he said.

The industry needs to move beyond its genesis and realise client relationships won’t be determined by the cheapest product but by advisers’ ability to help clients in the most efficient, most effective way to achieve the outcomes that are most important to them, he said.