SOAs: Have your say

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Last week’s story radical changes proposed for SOAs stirred some debate on how long an effective statement of advice should be. Hillary Ray from The Fold has said that they would like to see around 5 pages, depending on the nature of the advice, but at the moment they are seeing 20-30 pages. They are currently reviewing SOAs.

How long do you think a statement of advice needs to be?

  1. 1-10 pages
  2. 11-20 pages
  3. 21-30 pages
  4. 31+ pages

Share your thoughts in the comment box below and take our poll here.

We’ll announce the results later in the week along with more information about the review being undertaken by lawyers.

  • Martin Best on 18/04/2013 10:34:19 AM

    Most of my limited advice SOA's usually top out at 25 pages. I usually start apologising to the new client just before prsentation that about half of the SOA will probably be of little interest or benefit to them from a simple strategy perspective. The legal disclaimers and usuall dealer padding do little other than cloud the real advice being provided. Even Accountants and Lawyers dont have to provide their advice in this way. What profession does. How does this makes us more professional?. I feel 11-20 pages maximum should be adequate for the average SOA. Some exceptions of course. Ideally no more than 10 but then ASIC has little understanding of what is best for the client. Less is sometimes best. Most of the SOA's I have read that were given to Storm clients I struggled to even understand yet ASIC felt they were fine. They were the ones who compliance tested Storm after all.

  • Susie Munro on 16/04/2013 11:55:21 AM

    The actual length (remember white space is good for readability) is not as important as whether it serves its purpose.

    - Is it clear? (simple language; well-organised and formatted)
    - Is it concise? (less waffle)
    - Is it compliant? (regulators' requirements rather than compliance manager wish-list)
    - Does it result in greater clarity? (something the client can refer back to)
    - Is it client-focused?

  • mushroom on 16/04/2013 10:31:48 AM

    Our SoA's are usually 10-15 pages. I am not sure 5 pages is possible unless the scope is severly limited

  • David M on 16/04/2013 10:17:37 AM

    I think it depends on what you are discussing. I like to explain not just what I am recommending but why..i can do this all in 25 pages on average. Clear concise and informative. 3 pages sounds great. Hmm.. does that mean product replacement tables, remuneration, explaining risk profile and risks, actual advice, perhaps providing the client and idea of their income in retirement, a projection of their capital to be conifdent they wont run out of money...oh i get it now..Let's make an SOA like a PDS. 12 pages with an appendix document of 80 pages..now i get it

  • Matthew Farley on 16/04/2013 10:01:06 AM

    As a compliance manager, I would love SoAs that were less than 10 pages. What I have found, in my experience, is that SoAs have become larger because of legal advice to licensees. The advice documents are so full of legal disclaimers that what essentially could be a maximum of 15 pages blows out. I would be happy to be proved wrong, but I have yet to see a 3-8 page SoA that has been compliant. As I said, happy to be proved wrong on that

  • Dino D'Aloia on 16/04/2013 10:00:57 AM

    I think SOA's need to be no more than 11-20 Pages

  • Tony Bates on 16/04/2013 9:49:25 AM

    Dr Hillary Ray is ex ASIC. She knows. As commented on forum last week, most of my SOA's are in the range of 3-8 pages and have been for 15 years and have been reviewed as compliant by several of the independent compliance companies. It helps that we have our own licence and do not have to justify inherently conflicted products suchs as wrap accounts.

WP forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

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