How many adviser suicides does it need for the Australian government is say “Enough!”.

According to AIOFP executive director, Peter Johnston, in a recent letter to Parliamentarians, 29 suicide deaths have occurred in our industry over the past five years. In the same letter, Peter also expressed concern that the 1st October 2022 exam deadline will cause further deaths. 

Well that time has come!  I received a call from this week from an adviser subscribed to my exam tutorial program, and she told me that one of her colleagues in the same licensee group, also off the adviser register and struggling to pass the exam, had taken his own life last weekend, leaving a young family behind.

This must stop!!

Although long periods of Covid lockdowns haven’t helped, the adviser exam has been a contributing factor.  I talk to affected advisers every day and I know the adverse mental struggles they face, especially when their efforts to pass the adviser exam drag on for months and in some cases for 1-2 years.

In theory, a competency exam is fine but in practice it has been an unmitigated disaster.  The quick-smart disappearance of FASEA attests to that; and nothing has changed under ASIC’s supervision.  It is still exhaustingly long, arbitrary, overly-academic and laced with a style of questioning that many find difficult to cope with.

However, the bigger issue is the taking away a person’s living as the penalty for failing when they haven’t put a foot wrong in their professional life.  That’s the last straw!

It is high time for the current government to take positive action.