In this recent piece on goodreturns we were told that Newpark and Share both support AFA status for their advisers. In the comments Ron Flood wrote about how it was essentially vital for risk advisers to be authorised because they will do a full fact find and needs analysis - anything less was to be a mere salesperson or 'bank teller'.
Although the definition of financial planning is not yet clear, I agree with Ron's comment that this has been the direction of recent comments. I do not think this is wise on the part of regulators and hope that they will revisit it because of the economic efficiency issues. But this is not because I think most risk advisers would be right to opt only for registered status. I think it's great that they should aim for the highest standards. I also think that unless category 2 / registered advisers do exist then there will be no room for differentiation for such a move - which would be a shame. Having said that - it might be wise to get all the proposed rules for AFAs on the table, plus the definition of financial planning before making a final choice. Meanwhile, hit the books, it won't be wasted!