Publication Details

Murphy, B. & Watts, T. (2009). Financial planning in Australia: industry or profession?. 14th Finsia-MCFS Banking & Finance Conference (pp. 1-24). Melbourne, Australia: Melbourne Centre for Financial Studies.


Purpose - This paper tests whether financial planning in Australia remains an industry or can be considered a profession Design/Method/Approach - A set of attributes of professionalism were derived from the literature-public/societal responsibility, a systematic body of theory, professional authority and ethical responsibility - sample of 78 financial planners were asked to provide attitude statements relating to professionalism as well as demographic information of their business. Findings - Evidence from the attitude statements provide by the respondents to the attributes of professionalism failed to achieve a satisfactory level of professionalism for any attribute. Research limitations - The financial services operators surveyed represented a fraction of the sector. The geographical area surveyed is in the middle to upper socioeconomic strata and may not represent a fair cross-section of the financial planning sector. No attempt was made to weight the professional attributes tested. These factors could also influence the generalization of the research findings to other groups. Practical limitations - Public concern with recent collapses of financial planners has made the question of the professionalism of financial planning the subject of debate. Results of this study may assist with changing the practices of the financial planning sector.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Finsia-MCFS Banking & Finance Conference