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RG146 Education Providers & Regulatory changes

Discussion in 'Financial Planning' started by Andrew F, 11th Feb, 2012.

  1. Andrew F

    Andrew F New Member

    11th Feb, 2012

    I've been considering a career in Financial Planning for 12 months now and have found the discussion in this forum valuable and illuminating, so first a thank you to all the contributors.

    I have three questions, the first relates to RG146 education providers. I have a BComm from Melbourne University majoring in Finance and am considering which provider to use for RG146 training. I aim to become a Certified Financial Planner but am just taking the first steps.

    Kaplan seems to be one of the more popular choices but I have had a small number of people recommend the RMIT course. I understand these courses are for compliance purposes rather than industry-quality training.

    I will complete the courses through distance learning (self-study), I work best when course materials use efficient language that conveys complex ideas simply and are backed up with relevant and challenging questions. From what I've read regarding the courses so far this may be asking for too much, but I'd value recent students input regarding any positive or negative experiences.

    For the experienced industry operators.. With all that you have seen and learnt about the industry, do you value candidates from one RG146 education provider above the others (assuming results in the upper quartile)? If your own son or daughter wanted to enrol tomorrow, which course would you recommend to them?

    Finally. My only concern about entering the industry is the role that commission-based sales representatives have played in the industry, certainly not in all cases, but on balance I believe this incentive structure lowers the quality of client-advice and reduces the earning power of professional Financial Planners.

    Throughout my research I am aware the industry is currently going through a period of regulatory upheaval. Without industry knowledge I am unable to comment on specific elements of the reforms, but would it be fair to say in broad terms that industry standards are being shifted and the winners will be planners that operate with integrity and offer quality, independent and client-focused advice?

    Thank you for your advice.

  2. AsxBroker

    AsxBroker Well-Known Member

    8th Sep, 2007
    Sydney, NSW
    Hi Andrew,

    Kaplan is the most popular as they bought both the FPA and FinSIA education providers.

    RG146 is for Knowledge Areas, a minimum of four (consisting of General Knowledge/Financial Planning, Life Insurance, Superannuation and Investments) are needed to give advice to the public. These four subjects are the Diploma equivalent, most people go on to complete the Advanced Diploma (which is an additional four subjects, consisting of Estate Planning, Tax, Investment 2 and a capstone subject).

    The Diploma and Advanced Diploma are open book, whereas the Grad Dip (from Kaplan) and RMIT are closed book. The main consideration for you is cost, the cost on Kaplan's Dip and Adv Dip are about $2k for each (not per subject but per award), once you go to Grad Dip or RMIT you are looking at $1,750 (Kaplan) and $1,178 (RMIT) per subject. If you are going to complete your CFP you will need to complete 8 subjects. The higher awards are more technical and qualitative based rather than minimum for compliance.

    If you do Kaplan's Postgraduate Financial Planning or other postgraduate on this list which have exemption CFP2, 3 & 4 (, means that you will not have to complete those subjects once you get into the CFP program.

    I started with DFP 1 and 2 (back when it was from the FPA in 2003) and then switched to RMIT as I wanted an undergraduate degree.

    Backed up by relevant and challenging questions, I think everyone that has studied at Kaplan will tell you that the questions (Dip level) are too broad brushed.

    Frankly, I don't think any employer cares about quartile results, Dip level give competent or not competent results, so it is near on impossible to figure out whether someone passed with a 99% or a 50% mark. It's more about what you are going to bring to the role.

    If it was my child or friend asking I would recommend a higher level than the minimum required. If you do decide to study it at RMIT you could apply for exemptions from your existing B Comm, so you could also get a B Bus (Fin Plan), if that's what you want.

    Commissions on investments have almost stopped in anticipation of 1st July 2012. Commissions are still paid on insurance products.

    This industry is constantly changing, if you don't want to work in an industry which is constantly changing you may be better off in investment banking or accounting.

    Independent is a funny word in the industry, it means that you aren't connected to a product provider, eg, banks own super funds so a bank planner can't say that they are independent.

    Also, if you can get into the industry, most employers will pay for your subjects once you have passed them.

    Hope this helps, just message me if you have any more questions.


  3. builder2818

    builder2818 Well-Known Member

    31st Dec, 2008
    Why go backwards since finishing your degree and want to pursue crappy studies to get into FP? Did you just scrape through? Why not go for your CFA or a Masters of Finance (from a university) and TRY TO become an expert on the subject matter instead of trying to sell dreams to unsuspecting people?

    Kraplan does seem to be the most popular of the "education providers". You will find many a fool on this site begging others to swap assignments or asking to "have a look at your assignment to see if I am on the right track" and this is the industry you want to get into?

    I finished my diploma through Kraplan but it was a waste of time and not worth the paper it was written on - they are terrible to get assistance from, the notes they send to you are full of spelling and grammatical errors and the scenarios they create for your assignments are ridiculous. In saying that though, you don't have much of a choice to answer your assignments properly. Instead, you'll end up responding to the questions like an adviser [with no idea] would.

    Any trolls studying for their diploma F right off too and do your own work and stop PM'ing for copies of my assignments or assistance with some answers. You could actually source the right answers from some of the original threads posted on here but no one seems to use what's between their ears and work it out for themselves, instead they flood the forum begging for the answers to be emailed to them.
  4. Andrew F

    Andrew F New Member

    11th Feb, 2012
    Thank you AsxBroker and builder2818, both are excellent replies.

    builder2818 I'll reply to some of your questions in the thread.

    Why go backwards since finishing your degree and want to pursue crappy studies to get into FP?...

    I understand your point.

    My goal is to become a CFP. From chatting with people in the industry and having a few consultations with CFP's; I know it's a profession that I'll enjoy being a part of.

    There are segments of the industry that are a real turn-off, and the "checking" of answers that you mentioned is one factor. However, these guys are only ever going to go so far. I know I wouldn't go to them for advice and I think enough people out there realize they get what they pay for.

    I think I am naturally suited to the profession. I like developing long-term relationships, and I've got both the numerical and communication skills that are critical to helping people navigate their financial future.

    I will pursue higher qualifications as I progress in the profession, but right now I'm new to the industry and I think I'll become a better planner by progressing through the ranks as my knowledge and experience develops.

    Thank you for your comments. You do seem a bit fed up with some people in the industry (and the training!), it was useful to hear this.

    Are you working as a financial planner now?