Preparing for opportunities ahead

25 October 2021

Money & Life team

Money & Life contributors draw on their diverse range of experience to present you with insights and guidance that will help you manage your financial wellbeing, achieve your lifestyle goals and plan for your financial future.

Phillip Turvey CFP®: Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award Winner, Semester 2, 2021

Educational Qualifications: BBus (Banking and Finance), Dip Financial Planning, MBus (Applied Finance) coursework, MBus research

Position: Paraplanner

Practice: MLC Australia

CFP® designation: June 2021

When it comes to high levels of accomplishment in tertiary education, Phillip Turvey CFP® has shown many times what he is capable of. With two Masters degrees in Business, one for which he received a Deans Award for Excellence, he’s a student who is used to applying himself with energy and determination to achieve outstanding results. In his latest course of study towards his Certified Financial Planner® professional qualification, he has once again distinguished himself by winning the Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award for semester 2, 2021

With such a high level of attainment under his belt already, choosing to study to become a CFP® may have seemed unnecessary for him to keep advancing in his chosen career. But Phillip has welcomed this chance to delve deeper into the technical detail that is critical in his current role as a paraplanner.

“I had done a lot of study before, so doing exams is pretty much second nature to me,” he says. “Compared with my Diploma in Financial Planning which I completed over a decade ago, the CFP® studies felt more rigorous, challenging me to develop skills and explore some of the technical aspects I don’t get the chance to deal with in my day-to-day job. While these may not be areas of financial advice I’m dealing with frequently, I’ll now have a starting point when they come up down the track. The course has allowed me to pull things apart in these very detailed scenarios and put them back together in a way that gives me a new depth of understanding.”

A long-term commitment to learning and professionalism

Having started in the profession in 2004 after completing a Bachelor Degree in Business and a Diploma in Financial Planning, Phillip worked in a number of support roles before starting his Masters in Applied Finance in 2007. When the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2008, he hit pause on his career and went back to studying full time to complete his first Masters before going on to do his Master in Business by research. It wasn’t until 2013 that he returned to financial planning full-time.

“I came back to paraplanning before moving into an associate planning role,” says Phillip. “I was on track to step into an advice role, but was also looking to move interstate and didn’t want to start developing client relationships and leave them in the lurch. On returning to Brisbane, I picked up paraplanning once more. When COVID hit in 2020 and I started working from home, it seemed like the ideal time to return to education and complete my CFP® studies which took about 12 months. Although I’ve spent many years studying finance, it’s a course that’s definitely given me a different perspective on both the theory and practice of financial planning.”

A turning point for challenges and opportunities

Having added another distinguished qualification to his education achievements, Phillip is excited about the opportunities ahead, but is hesitant about making any major changes to his career in the short term. In his 15+ years in financial planning he has seen significant changes and is expecting more to come for the profession to achieve the universally high standards that clients expect and deserve.

“As onerous as a lot of changes in compliance and standards are, they are pushing our profession in the right direction,” he says. “New standards are there to ensure people do the right thing. At times this can make it challenging to implement a client’s instructions in the simplest and most effective way. But it’s necessary for these standards to exist and be adhered to if our profession is to be universally trusted.

“With the significant compliance requirements we now have for delivering advice, plus the other changes in the market, with many of the larger players exiting the industry, I am still hesitant about jumping into a full advice role. However, there are gaps created by these changes and these present strong opportunities in the advice landscape. And things will keep evolving so you can’t get too comfortable and wait for things to settle. Winning the award gives me another dimension to consider as I’m working through my career goals and options for the future and I’m very grateful for that.”

The Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award

The Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award was established in 2014 in memory of Gwen Fletcher AM, who is considered by many to be the ‘first lady’ of financial planning.

The award honours in perpetuity the memory of Gwen Fletcher, and supports one of her key legacies in her lifelong endeavours to champion the vital role of education and its central importance in nurturing the financial planning profession.

Gwen Fletcher was not only a respected financial planner but also an educator and mentor, and helped shape the industry into an emerging profession. She was also responsible for bringing the CFP® Mark to Australia in 1990.

The Gwen Fletcher Memorial Award is presented each semester to the highest achieving student in the CFP® Certification Unit, which covers all three required assessments in the CFP® Certification Program.

As part of the award, recipients receive a certificate of recognition, a complimentary ticket for the FPA Professionals Congress and $1,000, which is funded by the FPA.

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