Advice issues stem from writing of SOAs, says Raftery

Advice issues stem from writing of SOAs, says Raftery

Many of the issues with the provision of financial advice stems from how advisers write the statements of advice for clients, according to Deakin University associate professor Adrian Raftery.

Speaking to ifa, Mr Raftery said that, when looking at the core issues surrounding advice, most of the poorer forms of advice comes back to the SOA, where regulators can pick up problems with how a certain paragraph is expressed.

“It's just about how a certain paragraph has been written, that may be poorly written or a poorly explained strategy – a complex strategy not explained in clear, concise language, as what's required,” he said.

However, Mr Raftery believed there shouldn’t be an expectation on advisers to be an absolute expert in soft skills, as it is something that you’re continually learning and evolving throughout your career.

He noted that even excellent advisers with 30 to 40 years of experience might be rough with their soft skills, such as writing, and not realise the smaller mistakes they might be making.

“I know I'm far from perfect and my staff will be far from perfect in them as well, so no way in the world would we hold ourselves as the leading experts on them. But we're learning all the time,” he said.

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In his experience as an academic, Mr Raftery has found the subject dedicated purely to managing client relationships as the one most positively received by his students.

“It's actually been the most positive subject out of all of the subjects in our degree, because there's been a real takeaway for advisers,” he said.

“Even just with the client fact find – just being asked how that process will evolve. It's constantly evolving.

“Hopefully, there will be an improvement in the first semester, and there will be another improvement in the next semester, and there will be another improvement in these softer skills.”

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