WLM is a strong supporter of the Government’s proposed Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms. The goal of the reforms is to provide a more robust and transparent financial advice industry. This will benefit consumers of financial advice and products as well as continue the evolution of the financial planning industry into a profession.
Interestingly WLM has built its practice on an approach similar to the proposals that are now contained in the Government’s reforms, and on professional standards promoted by the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA).
For example, WLM already operate on a fee-for-service basis and do not take commissions on products. In fact we’ve taken it one step further than the FoFA recommendations and don’t even take commissions on insurance products.
FoFA reforms are targeted at setting an acceptable minimum standard for the industry, but firms that are serious about professionalism must conform to a higher standard. WLM has consistently aimed for ‘best practice’ and professional standards.
All our advisers are members of the Financial Planning Association and designated by the FPA as having obtained the status of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional, the highest such designation in the industry and recognised globally. Only 35 to 40 per cent of advisers in the country are CFP-qualified.
Although, currently the FoFA proposals come into effect on July 1, 2012 and only technically apply to new clients, WLM has been applying these standards to all clients for a long time. So, we’re already there and won’t need to change our business in any meaningful way. This is good news for our clients as there will be good continuity of business.