Direct share trading

Published in Money Management, July 2008

A direct share trading course has been accredited by the Financial Planning Association (FPA) as part of its continuing professional development (CPD) program.

Melbourne-based Wealth Within Institute has run a number of share trading courses in the past five years, but this is the first time one has been recognised by the FPA.

The institute’s Diploma of Share Trading and Investments course has been awarded 75 credit points overall and 15 CPD points for each module.

The course has five modules that introduce the student to market, chart, trend, price and pattern analysis.

Wealth Within chief analyst Dale Gillham said the modules are completed in sequence to enable students to acquire the necessary knowledge in share trading accumulatively.

“We are offering advisers the chance to acquire the knowledge needed to run a direct share portfolio on behalf of their clients,” he said.

“More people want to invest in direct shares, but advisers often have to use a model portfolio in a platform which may not be suitable for every client.”

Gillham said the growth of self-managed superannuation funds also meant advisers were being asked more about direct share investing.

“Dealer groups won’t let advisers handle direct shares unless they are qualified, so we are now offering the opportunity for this to happen,” he said.

While some dealer groups offer self-managed accounts with a model portfolio, Gillham said the problem with this type of investment is the difficulty of switching to cash in falling markets.

“We now have our clients 90 per cent in cash so that they can move in and out of the market,” he said.

“The SMA just rebalances the portfolio depending on whether the market is going up or down.”

Wealth Within is planning to launch an individually managed account later this year that will enable clients to pick their own stocks and switch to cash when the market is unfavourable for investing.

Gillham said education about share trading had been very amateurish in the past.

“There tended to be the ‘sure-fire’ trading courses promoted by various spruikers and we have been lumped in with them,” he said.

“But we are a registered training organisation and have been trying to change share trading education, which now has been recognised by the FPA.”

The institute will now start actively marketing its diploma course to advisers and dealer groups.

“We are approaching dealer groups to either subscribe to the course for their advisers or subsidise the cost,” he said.

“Some advisers have already completed the course and we have attracted interest from accountants and students looking to enter into the financial services industry as well.”

Wealth Within has appointed long-term industry distribution player Colin Owens to market the courses to the financial services industry.

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