The SIAA proposes a definition of “strategic advice”

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The Stockbrokers and Investments Advisers Association (SIAA) defended the title “general advice” and refuted suggestions that it should be changed to “information”.

In its submission to the quality of advice review, the SIAA said that relabeling general advice as “information” did not take into account that it must contain a recommendation or an opinion and that general advice were a significant part of the counseling spectrum.

“Greater clarity in the law is needed on the line between personal and general advice on the one hand and what constitutes factual information on the other.”

This was particularly relevant to SIAA members as it would affect their production of research reports on listed securities, which were currently classified as general advice, and investors feared the “information” would be dismissed.

“Investors are unlikely to place a value on material defined as ‘information’, as they would assume they can obtain it themselves from the Internet.

“There will be a cohort of consumers who don’t want or can’t afford personalized advice. However, they may wish to access general advice. There will also be a cohort of consumers who are happy to receive general advice or no advice for a while, then “jump in” and receive episodic, personal advice when it suits them. »

Instead, the SIAA suggested there could be a category called “strategic advice” that would be separate from advice on financial products to reflect the reduced risk of harm to consumers associated with this type of advice.

This would include advice on areas such as budgeting, home ownership or Centrelink pension or small business advice which included strategic financial advice.

The demarcation between the different terms would also help the industry understand where to draw the line regarding “finfluencers”.

“It’s important to increase the financial literacy of Australians, but those who do so on social media need clarity about the line between personal and general advice on the one hand (and why that advice requires licensing, qualifications in the case of personal counseling and continuous CPD follow-up) and factual information on the other hand.

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