In Australia, a company providing financial services must obtain a licence from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). However, there are no requirements for the individuals providing the financial advice, and the ASIC website states that "Holding an AFS licence does not provide a guarantee of the probity or quality of the licensee's services."[4][5]
Financial planners explicitly providing financial advice and managing money for clients are considered fiduciaries. This means they are legally obligated to act in the client’s best interests and they can’t personally benefit from the management of client assets. They are expected to manage these assets for the client’s benefit rather than their own. Fiduciary specifics can vary. For example, registered investment advisers (RIA) are fiduciaries under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. They are regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) or state securities regulators.
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