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Goals Based Advice Podcast

Jan 20, 2020

The Statement of Advice or SOA is a document that outlines recommendations of a financial planner or adviser to a client. Consumers need to understand the processes involved in their finances to make informed decisions. Thus, financial service providers should aim to make this part of the advice process more efficient.

In today's episode, we talk about the future of SOA’s with CoreData Group's CEO Jason Andriessen and Financial Planning Association of Australia's Head of Policy and Standards Ben Marshan. 

Together we discuss the digitalisation of the Statement of Advice (SOA) and the mindset shifts needed to understand the concept. We cover all aspects of this process and how it will evolve in 2020 and beyond.

If you want to keep up with all these changes coming, then this episode is definitely for you. Tune in to this episode now!

About Our Guests:

Jason Andriessen is the Managing Director of CoreData Group. His experience in the finance industry spans over 20 years, including advising, marketing, and product management. Through CoreData, a market research and data analytics consulting company, he helps clients turn evidence-based insights into strategies for business growth.

Ben Marshan is the Head of Policy and Standards of the Financial Planning Association of Australia. The association, in collaboration with all key stakeholders, strives to advance the financial planning industry to the benefit of Australians. Ben is passionate about turning the complex into something simple and efficient.

What is the Future of the Statement of Advice?

The Interactive Future of the SOA

  • It focuses on how to help members create advice processes that are more efficient, more engaging, and cheaper.
  • For FPA’s report last year, Ben wanted a solution for his frustration regarding the dated practice of using hundreds of pages of SOA to give to clients.
  • Ben's challenge is to deliver advice better and engage consumers through technology without using paper.

Putting It Together

  • The pushback they've been receiving from members is concerned with licensing around producing advice digitally.
  • The regulator says it's alright to use pictures, audio, video, and infographics to produce advice digitally.
  • They gathered lawyers, compliance experts, members, fin-tech experts, representatives of consumers, and researchers that concluded nothing is stopping the digital production of advice.

The Purpose of the SOA

  • The purpose of the SOA is for financial service providers to communicate important information so that consumers or clients can make informed decisions.
  • It should be focused on the problem the client is seeking to solve.

Mindset Shifts

  • There are two camps in the focus group: Some who read the SOA and some who wouldn't read it.
  • The information asymmetry when it comes to advice has never been felt more acutely than it is right now.
  • Through the SOA, financial advisors should be able to empower clients. However, can you do that if your clients are not involved in the advice process?
  • The value a client sees is in conversations with their planner, the relationship, and the outcome—not in the SOA document.
  • Financial planners taught consumers to expect the advice to be a document.

Going Digital

  • We're not respecting the clients when we assume they don't want digital.
  • You can get feedback loops and see all the proof points of understanding in the digital world.

Industry Standard Practice Compliance

  • The status quo bias: where I am right now is safer than where I'm going to be.
  • It requires a full organisational decision to innovate and do things differently.
  • The code of ethics allows us to challenge assumptions from the compliance team.

Different Communication Ways

  • A small percentage of the population enjoys engaging with paper-based documents.
  • Visual cues (images, infographics, videos) tend to be the number one learning predicate.
  • It becomes a barrier to implementation and the right access if your clients don't understand the information.

Consumer Testing

  • They tested it with eight typical Australians who had advice in the past, and they loved the digital SOA because it was less daunting and less overwhelming.
  • What the consumers loved the most about it is the ability to comment and highlight particular sentences.

Check out the Interactive Guide to the Future of the SOA on the FPA of Australia's website.

Listen to more conversations with pioneers of the new world of financial advice on the Goals Based Advice Podcast. You can also listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Follow our Facebook page for updates. 

If you have more questions, don't forget to reach out to me on LinkedIn and to send an email at

Thanks for tuning in!