Connect, Cultivate, Communicate

07 September 2018

Michelle Tate-Lovery CFP® takes over the helm as FPA Professionals Congress chair. She talks to Money & Life about the Congress theming and the quality of content and speakers lined up for Congress 2018.

1. Why was the theme – Connect, Cultivate, Communicate – chosen for this year’s Congress?

The three Cs – Connect, Cultivate and Communicate – were chosen to reflect what is at the core of financial advice… people. The 2018 FPA Professionals Congress is about creating an energy, a special atmosphere and an experience for our financial planning community.

Connect with one another, your fellow delegates. Whether it be re-engaging with someone you haven’t seen in a while or being open to develop new friendships and meet new people, there is nothing like connecting with like-minded people when
it comes to sharing opinions and exchanging ideas. By doing so, it may cause a mind shift, which can empower you to make fundamental changes in your practice and your life.

Cultivate is to embrace best practice ideas, to become more informed and better equipped as we shift gear and grow through change. The pursuit of excellence is constant and hearing from thought leaders may introduce you to different perspectives.

Communicate. We can all express ourselves better and become more effective communicators. Ultimately, what we learn at Congress, we can take back and implement within our advice businesses, which also benefits our team and our clients.

2. In what ways do you believe this year’s theme will resonate with delegates?

At a time where there has been immense change and uncertainty, it’s important to know you are not alone. It’s essential, therefore, to foster camaraderie and bring our member community together; to support one another in the betterment of our profession.

No matter how experienced you are at your business, everyone can learn and cultivate their potential. Working in a business (especially a small business) can often be isolating and without exposure to a variety of points of view, we can miss new ideas and trends that can impact our future.

The educational aspect of the Congress will expose you to new ways of conducting your business and help you discover how to be more relevant, efficient and competitive in the ever-changing professional landscape.

3. What excites you about this year’s Congress program?

We have an exceptional line up of dynamic keynote and plenary speakers throughout the three days.

I am excited to meet one of my heroes in financial advice, Mitch Anthony. I read his book Your Clients for Life about 15 years ago, and the book gave me the impetus and confidence to change my business model to not only be about managing clients’ money, but focused on forming deeper connections with clients through ‘financial life planning’.

I’ve had the privilege of seeing Alex Sheen present and this unassuming guy will inspire you by sharing his personal story that has positively impacted millions of people around the world. His non-profit social movement is dedicated to bettering humanity through keeping your promise, which particularly resonates with the advice profession, where we are committed to helping our clients live their dreams.

There are so many quality speakers presenting across the four workshop streams, it is going to be hard to choose. I am particularly looking forward to hearing from other practitioners and what they are doing in their businesses that make them stand out.

And this year, we have revamped the FPA Awards program, with more time being spent on recognising those who richly deserve the accolade of being the best in the profession.

And, of course, there is the highly anticipated Future2 Celebration. This charity event is all about raising money for grants to help disadvantaged youth. It’s also a great way to acknowledge the positive life changing work we do as financial advisers, while having fun at an amazing venue whilst networking with your peers.

4. Why should FPA members attend this year’s Congress?

There is a mix of specialist speakers, inspirational speakers and practitioners presenting. We have listened to members’ feedback and have created two of your six chosen workshops to be 90 minutes, so the topic can be explored more deeply.

There will also be a strong emphasis on advice post Royal Commission, with delegates able to hear from the regulators, as well as the latest update on FASEA.

The Congress program is balancing compliance with client engagement and best practice, ensuring delegates are well equipped to manage all the change and transition happening within the profession.

There are also sessions on financial planning business models, technology and innovation, responsible manager obligations, and technical workshops on the latest non-superannuation strategies, aged care, estate planning and risk.

Day 1 – The Congress kicks off with your choice between two three-hour workshops on Wednesday 21 November. There is a Professional Practice workshop and a Paraplanning workshop.

The first plenary is not to be missed, with keynote presentations focusing on trust in yourself, the economy and the future. This plenary will be transformational.

Day 2 – The second plenary will feature an internationally acclaimed financial planning consultant/trainer, who will focus on developing deeper relationships with clients.

Day 3 – To close the Congress, the third plenary will feature inspirational stories and powerful messages delivered by two extraordinary keynote presenters.

Over the second and third day of Congress, there are 24 tailored workshops, with a line up of high calibre local and international speakers, who will inspire, engage and motivate you to implement change in yourself
and in your practice.

Delegates attending this year’s Congress can expect to receive up to 15 CPD hours, inclusive of three CPD hours for Ethics.

5. What will be the key takeaways from this year’s Congress?

Whether you are new to the profession, a budding financial adviser or a seasoned veteran, the FPA Professionals Congress program is designed to deliver something for everyone.

The three key outcomes you will take away from this year’s Congress are:

  • Professionalism: We are all part of a professional community that is building inspiration, optimism and enthusiasm. We stand together in facing regulatory change and the implementation of new FASEA standards.
  • Clarity and direction: Let’s focus on what is good – compliant and focused financial advice – to expand our knowledge, sharpen our skills, remain up-to-date and find solutions.
  • Motivation: You will be motivated to make decisions and changes in your practice, in order to have a sustainable future in advice.

On behalf of the Congress Organising Committee, we look forward to welcoming you to the 2018 FPA Professionals Congress in Sydney (21-23 November). For more information on Congress or to register your attendance, go to

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