Currently in the media there is a lot of talk about financial advisers, and practices exposed as part of the 2018 Banking Royal Commission. At Gold Leaf Financial Services we believe high standards of education, experience, professional conduct and professional ethics are required to provide high quality financial advice and service to our clients. At all times we ensure that our recommendations are in our clients' best interests.
Financial Advice Industry
There is concern in the community about the substantial financial loss suffered by clients as a result of poor financial advice provided by some advisers in Australia. This is a result of revelations exposed in the current Banking Royal Commission, as well as older examples such as the collapse of Storm Financial, Opes Prime and Westpoint where some investors lost their life savings in the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). The Australian Government Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms were introduced to improve the quality of financial advice in Australia, however it is likely further reforms will be necessary.
At Gold Leaf Financial Services we believe that in order to regain the trust of the community the financial advice industry needs to increase education requirements and increase the professional standards of all financial planners. Further, incentives to recommend specific products and services should be removed.
Gold Leaf Financial Planning
To ensure financial advice is provided in our client’s best interest we believe in high levels of education, experience, professional conduct and ethical standards.
Education and Experience: In addition to the RG146 financial planning qualifications required by law, we believe it is important for financial advisers to have a university degree in a finance related field so they have a more in depth knowledge and understanding of the economy, finance, taxation and legislation in Australia. According to The Guardian, the Banking Royal Commission was told only 35% of all financial advisers have a degree at bachelor level or above.
Principal Financial Planner Mary Campbell holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Planning and Accounting from the University of Canberra. Mary also completes ongoing education on a regular basis to maintain and update her knowledge of financial planning to provide quality advice to clients.
Professional Associations: We believe it is important for financial planners to be a member of a professional association and adhere to professional standards beyond those required by law in terms of ethics, conduct and continuing professional development.
Principal Financial Planner Mary Campbell is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and CPA Australia, complying with the FPA Code of Professional Practice and APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
Gold Leaf Financial Services is a CPA Public Practice and adhering to high ethical and professional standards including
CPA Australia Code of Professional Conduct
CPA Quality Control standards
CPA Risk Management standards
CPA Code of Ethics and
Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards (APES)
Fees and incentives: At Gold Leaf Financial Services we are transparent with our fees and we make sure all clients understand the costs and benefits of any financial strategy or product. We believe there needs to be a connection between the value provided and the fees paid. We do not accept commissions from investment product providers and we do not charge asset based fees. With insurance advice, we give our clients the option of paying a fee for the insurance advice and service or for the business to receive a commission from the insurance provider.
Products: At Gold Leaf Financial Services we believe products are a way to implement financial strategies that will help our clients to reach their goals. We are able to recommend a variety of products offered by a range of providers. Before any products are recommended, research is undertaken and products are required to meet minimum standards. We believe the role of financial planners is not selling a financial product. The role of a financial planner is to help you with your finances to put you in a strong position to achieve your goals in life.
At all times, Gold Leaf Financial Services will ensure that all our recommendations are in our client’s best interests.
For more information please see our Financial Services Guide.
Senate inquiry demands royal commission into Commonwealth Bank, ASIC, Pat McGrath and Michael Janda, ABC News Online 27 June 2014, accessed 23 April 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-26/senate-inquiry-demands-royal-commission-into-asic-cba/5553102
People are still crying out for justice, perhaps now someone will listen, Adele Fergusson, The Sydney Morning Herald 20 April 2018, accessed 23 April 2018 https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/people-are-still-crying-out-for-justice-perhaps-now-someone-will-listen-20180420-p4zau1.html
Banking royal commission told 90% of financial advisers ignored clients' best interests, Gareth Hutchens, The Guardian Australia Edition 16 April 2018, accessed 23 April 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/16/banking-royal-commission-told-90-of-financial-advisers-ignored-clients-best-interests