Going to the source

For a number of years, my professional life has revolved around the Australian financial services laws. This body of law is constantly changing. 

There is constant commentary about these changes and the regulatory guidance that surrounds these laws. Whatever the change - whether this commentary relates to the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) (do the recent changes constitute a "gutting" or the reforms or mere tweaking?), enhanced due diligence requirements relating to Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (what are "beneficial owners" or "politically exposed persons"?; what is the status of the no-action position that applies to persons to whom these changes apply?), or even ASIC's new report reviewing retail life insurance advice - I've come to appreciate one thing. 

Instead of focusing on the commentary surrounding the regulations or guidance, the best way to get a grasp of the situation is to go directly to the source. Read the legislative instruments introducing the changes in law. Read the ASIC report directly. Come to your own opinions. Consider the commentary to see whether it enhances or gives a different perspective to your views, or even gives breadcrumbs for other sources to consider. But ultimately, go to source.

In the context of this blog, I'll freely admit that at times I'll refer to, or base my opinions, on other material. For example, I might write a post on my thoughts about ASIC's Report 413 Review of retail life insurance advice (which, based on a skim, I already have strong opinions about). Whether I make the point explicitly or not, a guiding principle that I take, and that I recommend for anyone wanting to think deeply about something, is to go directly to the source. 

Even if the point of my blog is to capture some of the more interesting or useful points set out in another document, the subtext should always be: go to the source. 


Sonnie Bailey

Sonnie is the founder and principal of Fairhaven Wealth.

Before founding Fairhaven Wealth, Sonnie worked in the legal and financial services industries for over a decade.

Sonnie first became involved with financial advice as a specialist financial services lawyer. For many years, he was an “adviser of advisers”, reviewing thousands of advice files prepared by hundreds of financial advisers, and providing feedback in relation to the quality and appropriateness of advice; industry best practice; risk management; and regulatory compliance. He has published work in industry publications and spoken at various financial advice conferences.

Sonnie has also worked with banks, investment management firms, insurers, and derivatives providers.

Sonnie has worked as a private client lawyer, focusing on succession, estate planning and trusts. He ran his own legal firm in Australia before relocating to New Zealand. He has also acted in independent trustee and company director positions.

Sonnie is passionate about helping people achieve their goals and manage the risks to which they are exposed.

He has written extensively on his blog, New Zealand Wealth and Risk, which can be found at www.wealthandrisk.nz.

Sonnie is married to his wonderful wife Chrissy, and has two young children, Ben and Anna.