Join our investing community

RG146 and CFP courses - generally rubbish

Discussion in 'Financial Planning' started by bigbuddha, 16th May, 2009.

  1. bigbuddha

    bigbuddha Well-Known Member

    17th Jan, 2007
    Brisbane, QLD
    For some reason I feel the need to write this.

    I feel the education provided within RG146 (formely DFP1 to 8) and CFP are rubbish.

    it doesn't teach economics either keynesian/chicago school or my preference Austrian (real) school economics.

    it doesn't teach you how to actually invest!!!

    now many planners will try and convince you that, oh, we aren't investment specialists, that's what fund managers are for, we STRUCTURE your finances and estates. We are asset allocaters and diversifiers because as we all know that's what keeps your investments afloat in tough markets. Ohh hold on ... GFC may have binned that notion.

    You can do all the 'structuring' you like. in the end it all leads to how to invest and how to do it prudently.

    RG146 and CFP courses peddles some bulls&*t about what is better strategic asset allocation vs tactical asset allocation.

    get real, that's fund manager blind sider spin talk wrapped up to convince novices that investing is "much to hard" leave it to us, we know what's going on.

    it is unbelievable to me, that someone can be a financial adviser and not even be able to read a company P&L or balance sheet properly or know how to derive a companies intrinsic value.

    it is unbelievable to me, that you don't even need to understand basic economics to be a financial adviser.

    at minimum, the educational minimum should be a thorough reading of BEN GRAHAM - INTELLIGENT INVESTOR and GRAHAM/DODD - Securities Analysis.

    also i honestly believe that anyone wishing to become a planner should have a commerce/business/accounting type degree.

    that's the end of my rant
  2. AsxBroker

    AsxBroker Well-Known Member

    8th Sep, 2007
    Sydney, NSW
    Hi BigBuddha,

    While RG146 are certainly below what I would call standards...(Hello Open Book tests?) I think you are confused with what RG146 and CFP are for.

    "RG 146: Training of financial product advisers" says enough doesn't it?

    This is not a course on how to invest...Though it seems with the number of posts in relation to the education thread on this forum that some people may be taking up the course for the wrong reasons.

    Let's have a quick dissection of the full Advanced Diploma in Financial Services (Financial Planning)...

    ELC -> A general subject into the finance industry
    Risk Management -> Insurance
    Investment Planning 1 -> An introductory to investments
    Superannuation and Retirement Planning -> The name says it all...
    Taxation -> Tax...
    Estate planning -> What happens to estates...
    Investment Planning 2 -> A bit more on investments
    Financial Plan Construction and Review -> Once again the name says it all

    As you can see the Advanced Diploma in Financial Services teaches you about Financial Services...not investing.

    In relation to reading a company P&L, balance sheet or how to derive a company's intrinsic value... It's all based on historical, just like technical analysis, it's always "old" data. I think alot of investors have realised that a company's intrinsic value has little meaning at the moment as stockmarket values are below "intrinsic value" but trading at markets future expectations.

    A good book to read is "A random walk down wall street" by Burton Malkiel, very insightful.

    You should look for some courses that are related to investing, possibly Diploma in Financial Services (Financial Markets) which has the subjects which you are wanting:

    The Finance and Investment Industry
    Financial Market Economics (it might not be Austrian but it's economics)
    Securities, Derivatives and Managed Investments

    Then there is two electives which you can choose from:

    Analysing Financial Statements (because you are passionate about this)

    Unfortunately this course was also bastardised (can I say that?) when it was previously a Diploma in Financial Markets from FinSIA being 8 subjects, then it got converted into a Diploma in Financial Services (Financial Markets) when they got all funny with Australian Qualifications Framework.

    If you have already studied at a higher level than a diploma, you are probably best to study the Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance which is much more in depth that Diploma subjects and may challenge you to learn as it is closed book exams (unlike the Diploma of FS (FP)), there are many more subjects to learn as well. You can read about it here Kaplan Professional | Course Map


  3. bigbuddha

    bigbuddha Well-Known Member

    17th Jan, 2007
    Brisbane, QLD

    I think doing a CFA would alleviate many problems of advisers lack of investment knowledge. Although even the CFA has a number of pitfalls it certainly is better than any "study course" i've looked at offered by the ASX or kaplan or RG146 (or was that ps146)

    In regards to being "open book". I have no problem with that, we shouldn't be testing peoples memory capabilities, but their ability to reason and construct legitimate analytical arguements as to why their view point is correct.

    In saying that ,"open book" i do not have a problem with, "multi-choice or multi-guess" i do have for the reasons above.
  4. joanmc

    joanmc Well-Known Member

    10th May, 2009
    hI Guys
    this is only my opinion on this but here goes.
    I think that financial planners purpose is to help the non-motivated investor toward a moderately comfortable retirement. They are not for creating real or substantial wealth. In my experience they are usually quite risk averse and seem to prefer middle of the road type investments. I actually met one once who thought managed funds were too risky, his whole plan was fixed interest!!

    So I think it depends what you are trying to achieve financially as to whether a financial planner is for you. That being said they could be a good place to start while you are learning more advanced investing techniques. Now a good accountant who understands taxation- indispensible:D
  5. bigbuddha

    bigbuddha Well-Known Member

    17th Jan, 2007
    Brisbane, QLD
    Hello JoanMC,

    The financial planners you saw was super right and super wrong at the same time.

    Managed Funds are too risky, they do not invest in the best interest of investors, they are a horrible and terribly run group of "investment" heads who are just making money for themselves.

    Using only fixed interest is the road to financial ruin in the long run because of tax costs, inflation costs and interest rate movement costs.