Use of the terms financial planner and financial adviser

Use of the terms financial planner and financial adviser

Dante De Gori CFP®, CEO Financial Planning Association of Australia

On behalf of the FPA, I express our concern for the wellbeing of missing Sydney women Melissa Caddick. I call your attention however to media reports in recent days referring to Caddick as a financial planner.

This is factually incorrect – Melissa Caddick is NOT a Financial Planner.

After over a decade of advocacy by the FPA, the use of the terms financial planner and financial adviser are restricted within the law to those authorised to provide financial advice and listed on the ASIC Financial Adviser Register.

I request all future media articles in relation to Melissa Caddick make this distinction clear.

Melissa Caddick is not registered on ASIC’s Financial Adviser Register (FAR) – therefore she is NOT a financial planner and is currently under investigation by ASIC. She impersonated herself as a financial planner and illegally used another financial planner’s AFS license number.

She is also not a member of the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA).

To be listed on the FAR an individual must meet the new professional education and experience standards, pass a tertiary level exam, maintain accredited professional development and adhere to a Code of Ethics.

When choosing a financial planner, the FPA recommends consumers search for a qualified FPA practitioner member who is either a CFP® professional or a Financial Planner AFP® professional to ensure they are dealing with a trusted practitioner who is subject to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism and obligated to always place the clients interest first.

FPA practitioner members are bound by the FPA Code of Professional Practice, which brings together a comprehensive set of ethical principles, practice standards and conduct rules.

The FPA has developed the Find a Planner directory to allow Australians to check whether their financial planner is a current FPA Practitioner member. Alternatively, the FPA’s Match My Planner service helps connect Australians looking to speak to a CFP® professional.

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