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Hi there. Some study advice needed

Discussion in 'Financial Planning Study Group' started by Tronc, 10th Jan, 2008.

  1. Tronc

    Tronc Active Member

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    I was so pleased to find this forum. What a great place to get objective feedback, industry knowledge and new ideas from. I have been researching the various pathways into the Financial Services industry and would love to have some feedback on the available options.

    I am 31, married, 2 kids under 3, living in Canberra, mortgage and investment structure (through CALIA) and have a keen interest in the finance industry. Making the change is much easier in concept than reality though, so wanting to know what the industry is currently recognising/expecting from people.

    I have looked at Master of Commerce at ANU at the Tertiary level, and also the Diploma of Financial Services through Kaplan (now that it owns Finsia). I am making enquiries about the Post Grad studies at Kaplan, but as I haven't worked in the Financial industry (experience is in Training, Project Mngt, Business Analysis) I'm not sure I would meet their prereqs. I completed a basic Admin degree over 10 years ago, so would qualify as post grad.

    I would love to hear feedback from those in the industry about the paths that they have chosen and how they went about developing their careers. I am happy to provide more details if this is a bit too brief. Thanks in advance.

    Tronc
     
  2. AsxBroker

    AsxBroker Well-Known Member

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    Hi TronC,

    Welcome to the industry.

    I had a quick look on ASICs training register and couldn't see any reference to Australian National University (http://www.asic.gov.au/etraining/etrain.nsf/ByProvider?OpenView&Start=1&Count=999&Expand=1#1).

    If you are looking for a job, recruitment agencies and potential employers will ask you if you are PS146 compliant, if you want to show them how up to date you are you can tell them that ASIC has dropped the term "Policy Statement" and replaced it with "Regulatory Guide".

    After going to a mates bucks night last weekend, recruitment agents remind me of the security guards outside strip clubs in Kings Cross, basically trying to get everyone to come inside and sit down. They are your best friend so they can make a motza from you (obviously you don't pay recruitment agencies but if they successfully place someone they usually get paid between 10% to 20% of the persons salary), extremely lucrative business.

    Back to business...

    I would suggest that you do the Diploma in Financial Services (Financial Planning) to start. At Landing Page you can see the differences between FinSIA and Kaplan courses even though they are both administered by Kaplan. The only real difference is that the Kaplan one has open ended semesters which you can start at any time of the year and they give you a few months to complete (though you can do it as quickly as you want, possibly if your hardcore and know what your doing a month or so). FinSIAs semesters are alot more structured with 3 trimesters per year.

    Not quite sure why Kaplan is offering Post Grad courses, as this is done through their "finsia" education arm but this is obviously a sign of the times of what is going to happen, a "re-branding" of the Finsia course to Kaplan.

    I would suggest at the moment, staying away from the Kaplan post-grad course currently as it is not on the ASIC training register, you'd be better of (work wise) doing the same course through the "FinSIA" education arm of Kaplan as it is on the ASIC register.

    On the FinSIA and Kaplan websites it does say "any" degree from a university, basically they'll let anyone enrol, obviously you've got to work a bit harder if you've done a degree in something like science/botany to get a hang on the whole thing.

    The quickest way of getting your pay up is getting your experience up after you've completed DFS1, 2, 3 and 4. Hence, Kaplan will get you working in the industry in the shortest amount of time.

    Certainly once you complete the four subjects, many employers will be keen to talk to you.

    Good luck,

    Dan

    PS If you've got any questions let me know.
     
  3. Tronc

    Tronc Active Member

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    Thanks asxbroker

    Some good thoughts there. Regarding the Kaplan courses, it appears they have a Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning) and Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Markets). It would appear that they both provide the RG146 compliance. Do you have any thoughts on the DFS (Financial Markets) - I think it might be a new offering.

    I have worked in IT recruitment several years ago, and can only agree with your sentiments on the industry - but knowing how it works has been an advantage over the past several years.

    I don't think the Finsia courses can be done through Finsia anymore (happy to be corrected), seems Kaplan are going to absorb them. I have heard that Finsia is pretty well recognised by the Investment Firms (MacQuarie Bank, JB Were etc...). Will call Kaplan and have more of a chat to the as well.

    Thanks again
     
  4. AsxBroker

    AsxBroker Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tronc,

    I couldn't find the DFS (Fin Mkt) on the Kaplan website but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, especially as they are taking over all the other FinSIA courses. My first course was the Dip Fin Mkts (98 to 2000) at FinSIA, back in those days it was 8 subjects, I did feel a bit dudded when I found out that it is now 4 subjects and with all the rationalisation from Dip Mortgage Broking, Dip Fin Planning, Dip Fin Mkts and Dip Banking to Dip Fin Svcs (Mortgage, Fin Planning, Fin Mkts and Banking) as major streams.

    Like the name says Financial Markets is related to investment banking and Financial Planning is about financial planning.

    It does say on Landing Page that new students should access courses through Kaplan Education.

    I can tell you, that having worked with both Macquarie and Goldman Sachs JBWere, they do rate FinSIA highly, the Securities Institute of Australia (now FinSIA) was made for their members by their members (see "Securities Institute of Australia" under .: Finsia :. | History). Ie, a Financial Markets body for Financial Markets employees, hence the relationship with investment banks/stockbrokers.

    Good luck when you speak to them :)

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  5. Tronc

    Tronc Active Member

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    It is all a bit confusing at the moment. I will wait until I talk to someone from Kaplan and/or Finsia and then post the results here. I am sure I won't be the only one confronted with this.

    The DFS (Fin Mkts) info can be found here.

    I hope I can get some clarity from them. Thanks for all your feedback.

    Tronc
     
  6. The Stig

    The Stig Well-Known Member

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    I found it all confusing too. Don't worry :D

    I am currently doing my PS146 thru PS146 Training Australia. It's a good course.

    They have face to face workshops too which I like. It's a lonely world studying at home. No one to talk to and ask questions :eek:
     
  7. AsxBroker

    AsxBroker Well-Known Member

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    Hi Stig,

    I was a bit surprised that someone was silly enough to call themselves after the minimum training requirement as it changes it's name every few years.

    Before being PS146 it was IPS146 (Interim Policy Statement), so I wasn't that amazed when they changed it from Policy Statement to Regulatory Guides (RGs) on the 5th July 2007. Here is a list of all RGs at ASIC Australian Securities and Investments Commission - Regulatory guides.

    I remember early in 2007 the FPA had a monthly luncheon and the topic of this one was along the lines of "How can they get good advisers into the industry".

    I felt like going and saying that they have to get rid of the sleazy recruitment agents and being up to date with the industry terms (ie, changing PS to RG). I just did a search on SEEK - Australia's no. 1 jobs, employment, career and recruitment site for PS146 and over 500 hits came up, this shows us how much lag there is between ASIC and the industry...

    Anyway, I look forward to the training institute called PS146, shortly renaming themselves to RG146... ;P

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  8. The Stig

    The Stig Well-Known Member

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    Dan,

    What they call themselves isn't a priority to me.

    Everyone I see advertising on Seek or any other place are still calling it the PS146 too. I think people are sick of the name changes and refuse to call it RG146.

    All that matters to me is I pass and I understand what is being taught to the best of my ability.

    I tend to think it is stupid calling your company after a qualification that seems to change name every so often every decade.

    Cheers
    The Stig.
     
  9. FrankGrimes

    FrankGrimes Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the information guys, its something I'm interested in as well so I will follow this thread with interest.

    What sort of salary range does a FP get? Both entry level and mid / senior. Reason being is one can only take so much of a pay cut to make a career change because of -ve property.

    And there is no problem enrolling without a uni degree? I'm in IT and only have IT certifications. However I think I could manage the content ok.

    Once qualified, what sort of roles would one be looking at? What would a typical day involve?

    Cheers,

    Frank
     
  10. AsxBroker

    AsxBroker Well-Known Member

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    Hi Frank,

    Sorry about the delay.

    Entry level FPs get paid approx $50k to $60k and mid/senior get paid $70k to $100k plus bonus/commissions.

    FinSIA/Kaplan let you enrol in the Post Graduate Diploma courses with any university degree, naturally, if your degree is in Visual Arts you might want to start reading up before enrolling.

    If you don't have a uni degree go for the Diploma in Financial Services (Financial Planning), these are open book exams which take the edge off the stress for exams.

    Roles you would probably start with are as either an assistant planner or paraplanner, both are seen as starting roles. These roles would give you the actual experience in the industry and real life strategies to help clients (eg, Transition to Retirement).

    After a year or so, you can move up to a more client advising role, as opposed from a paraplanning role which is more technical and assistant planner which is more administrative.

    My typical day is slightly different to a standalone financial planning practice as I work in a bank, I work with 3 branches which are supposed to send me leads which can be potential clients.

    After getting leads through an online system, I check the notes left by branch staff and call the potential client to see how I can help them.

    When they say they want a better Term Deposit rate I reject the lead.

    When the client has a financial planning need I organise a meeting at a convenient time at the best branch for them.

    When a client comes in we build raport with them and get a better idea of their situation. After this initial meeting we find out what strategies are suitable to their situation and the cost of putting together a Statement of Advice (SoA).

    The client then has the opportunity to give the authority for a SoA to be produced. If the client wants us to create a SoA for them we will use software to produce a financial plan for the client. After the SoA is completed we will present to the client and show them how our recommendations will improve their situation and help them meet their goals.

    If the client wants to proceed with the implementation we will assist them to do this.

    Once you have a client base, you'll get calls from clients occasionally when their situation changes or when they get spooked from the market.

    Hope this gives a better understanding of what we do on a daily basis.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  11. The Stig

    The Stig Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Dan. Very informative.
     
  12. clayton4115

    clayton4115 Member

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    i definately wouldnt say i do alot of adminstrative stuff, i am a paraplanner, worked as a financial planner, hated the sales oriented nature of flogging products, i am CFP qualified with a B Com degree in Financial Planning, and enjoy doing paraplanning, we have 3 CSO's who do the adminstrative work, i basically do all the financial modelling, SOAs and strategy work, while my boss, the financial planner, sells it.