Advisers Keen to Hit the Books


More than half of financial advisers with five to ten years experience will undertake some form of study in 2016 with research indicating many regard higher education as a way to improve the reputation of their advice.The numbers are similar among advisers with 11 to 15 years experience, as well as those with 16-20 years experience, with more than half of advisers in each group planning on doing further education and regarding it as a way to improve the reputation of advice.

The findings are part of a survey released by Zurich Financial Services Australia, and conducted by Lewers Research, among 209 advisers earlier this year.

The survey found that 69% of respondents with five to 10 years experience believe higher education would impact positively on the reputation of advice, as did 51.2% of advisers with 11-15 years experience and 48.3% of advisers with 16-20 years experience.

“The survey found that 69% of respondents with five to 10 years experience believe higher education would impact positively on the reputation of advice…”

The only group to go against this trend was those advisers with 25 years or more experience, with only 27% believing the reputation of advice would be improved by education.

Advisers among the former three groups also expressed a strong interest in undertaking further education in 2016 with more than half of advisers in each group stating they would undertake some form of education.

More than 60% of advisers with 21 or more years of experience indicated they would not undertake any education in 2016, however the survey did not examine whether any adviser not undertaking education in 2016 already held relevant industry qualifications.

Of those who were looking at education, industry recognised certificates and diplomas were well ahead of any other form of education (21.5%) such as undergraduate or post graduate degrees (10.5%).

The only group indicating a strong preference for undergraduate or postgraduate degree level education were advisers with 11-15 years’ experience with 22% indicating they were planning on some education at this level during 2016.

At the same time more women were committed to any form of education than men – 63% for women compared with 42.2% for men – while advisers aged under 45 years were almost evenly split with similar percentages agreeing and disagreeing with the statement as were advisers aged over 45 years.

In other Zurich related news, the Macquarie Group has entered into an arrangement to sell its’ life business -Macquarie Life – to Zurich for an undisclosed amount, with the deal to be concluded in the second half of 2016.


  1. It seems that many see educational standards as delivering better advice. Sometimes it does, but not always.

    The perception also is that it will deliver better ethics. This is surely a fallacy. Most fraudulent practices are wrought by those with higher educational standards. These simply have more polish at underhandedness than those with lesser educational qualifications.

    University qualifications aren’t needed to be effective at life-risk. Ben Feldman didn’t need them and no one wrote more business than he did. Ben is the benchmark for all life-risk advisers. All aspiring high rollers still have to look up and just wonder at his achievements. Frank Bettger is another. Oh dear, when will the regulators ever learn?

  2. A non-financial degree such as a Bachelor of science or engineering with majors in mathematics and/or psychology is not an acceptable qualification but I would argue that being able to solve complex maths problems and be able to deal with clients attitudes and behaviours is a relevant qualification coupled with experience and continuing education.

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