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‘On the front foot’: advice body outlines 2024-25 action areas 

The Financial Advice Association Australia ranks the “urgent” shortage of advisers among its key focus areas for 2024-25.

Cost pressure is another priority for the peak body, according to CEO Sarah Abood, who told members the FAAA will adopt a proactive mindset.

“We want to be on the front foot as a profession and as a professional association; we feel that we spend a lot of time reacting sometimes to legislation … or things that emerge,” she said. “That is a very big thing for us, being on the front foot leading as a profession rather than being led.”

The FAAA has already launched initiatives to attract new talent to the profession, and is establishing an advice academy to encourage more professionals to work in the field.

FAAA membership current stands below 15,590, and about 312 people became advisers last year.

“That [312] is not enough to offset the advisers that are going to retire,” Ms Abood said. “We can put a zero behind that and not really impact meaningfully on the supply of advice, so we must focus on that. It takes four years to train an adviser.”

She says a profession in decline is not a strong one. “It’s not going to end up well if we don’t stop that.”

The loss of experienced advisers – either retired or quitting the profession – has been problematic.

“We lost a lot of experienced advisers who we didn’t need to lose and we didn’t want to lose, and their clients are trying to find new advice relationships and are finding that hard,” Ms Abood said.

The association says the response to its advice academy has been good, with employers interested in sponsoring and taking part.

GM of education Anne Palmer said: “The FAAA sees the need for a profession-wide academy to educate high school students about financial advice being a fulfilling and rewarding career and to encourage university students to complete financial planning qualifications.”

The academy will also help qualified graduates find entry roles in the profession and emerging professionals find and complete professional-year placements.