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We asked delegates from the recent PortfolioConstruction Forum Symposium 2013 in Auckland for their key takeouts from the jam-packed, two-day program.

The Institute of Financial Advisers presented its highest honour, the Outstanding Contribution to the Profession Award, at its annual conference last week.

Nearly six years after KiwiSaver launched, there are now more than 2.1 million people contributing with $14.5 billion in the scheme. But many advisers are shunning KiwiSaver-only clients as large institutional advisers reel them in.

Australia is looking at enshrining the term "financial planner/adviser" into law. New Zealand is already a step ahead. We look at the titles advisers are using, what the law allows, and what advisers may call themselves in the future.

Gold has traditionally been seen as a safe haven to provide insurance to portfolios - but on 11 April its price began to free fall. Why? And does gold have a place in portfolios?

With interest rates at historic lows, and likelyrate rises ahead, what are the implications for building the fixed income part of portfolios?

With 440,000 pre-registered to buy Mighty River Power, we asked some advisers about their view on the role of direct equities in investor's portfolios.

A few weeks ago, a small contingent of Kiwi advisers travelled to Sydney to join around 500 practitioners for the annual PortfolioConstruction Forum Markets Summit. We asked the Kiwi delegates how what they heard is shaping the way they construct portfolios.

In a first, an AFA has had his license cancelled by the FMA just weeks after it was granted, and while the FMA and the SFO are still only investigating a complaint against him. Not even David Ross has had his license completely revoked by the FMA. financialalert asked some industry insiders what the case means for other AFAs.

It's an regrettable reality that financial advice remains out of the reach of most people. financialalert looked at when it might be practical to advise someone without charging them a fee and the implications...

The financialalert Person of the Year 2012 has shown outstanding energy, commitment and professionalism as the first full year of the regulatory regime for the New Zealand financial advisory industry bedded in.

Demographics, workforce and trends are changing fast - and creating opportunities for financial advisers who move with the times.

Earlier this month, Tony Vidler called for SOAs to be no longer than four pages. But others see no problem with quite lengthy statements, as financialalert found out when it surveyed some advisers on how they interpret Code Standard 6's requirement to communicate "clearly, concisely, and effectively."

The FMA has indicated it could bring the first disciplinary proceedings against advisers before year's end, likely around Code Standard 8 regarding suitability of advice. financialalert asked some AFAs, a lawyer, a researcher and a Disciplinary Committee member what the test for suitability should be and whether it should be applied at a product or portfolio level.

Last month's Finology Conference introduced a new term for a subject financial advisers deal with every day. We spoke with delegates to get their key takeouts - for example, the importance of making financial planning fun.

We need to understand and assess four aspects of risk to truly understand a client's risk profile and create a portfolio that allows him/her to sleep well at night.

This month marks the end of the first year of the FMA's audits of advisers. Far from relaxing its vigilence, it plans to increase contact with advisers, increasing monitoring visits and introducing a new "verification visit" regime...

While consumers conduct more and more of their own research on their financial options, advisers are actually better placed to gain credibility and trust - largely through cloud computing - according to Brian Greer, national sales manager with Allied Kiwi, and a speaker at next week's Finology Conference in Auckland...

The low uptake of financial advice by consumers directly reflects the negative perceptions of the public towards the financial advisory industry, according to Brian Boggs, co-founder of online education provider, Leading Minds Academy. But advisers can better articulate their value and engage clients...

The financial advisory industry still has a long way to go before the public sees it as a well regulated profession that can be trusted, according to according to financial adviser, Martin Hawes, who will be presenting on the issues of building trust and working with retirees at next month's Finology Conference in Auckland...