People who care, working with people who care.

Mike Donohue

My name is Mike Donohue and I am the Development Manager for the Australian Financial Advisory Network (AFAN), based in Toowong, Brisbane. With 2020 almost behind us (thank heavens!) we can all take a short break over the Xmas period to recharge our batteries for 2021. I know too well that it has been extremely challenging for advisers – the increased compliance demands, reduced commissions, increasing administration costs, increasing licensee fees, the fallout from the Royal Commission, FASEA, the new education requirements…..the list goes on. And then we were all affected by Covid-19!

If you got through all of that with your sanity still intact then congratulations! I think we all deserve a beer & a bit of a breather.


We can’t ignore the ‘elephant in the room’ however: FASEA & the Graduate Diploma. The Christmas period is the perfect time to clear your mind & ask the following:-

  • Do I even attempt the FASEA exam next year?
  • What do I do if I am unsuccessful in each of my attempts?
  • If I pass the FASEA exam, do I go commit to another 4 years of study to obtain the Graduate Diploma?
  • The market will be saturated with advisers trying to sell their businesses so what can I do to maximise my sale price next year or over the coming years?
  • If I pass FASEA, can I still afford to operate my business in its current form?
  • What are my licensee’s new fees, terms & conditions going to be in 2021? Will they still suit my circumstances?
  • What can I do if I don’t want to do the FASEA exam and/or the Graduate Diploma, but still want to remain in the industry?



This is such an important time in all of our lives, & in fact I do not believe that we have ever witnessed such upheaval within our industry. I am certainly not aware of any previous industry changes causing so much distress or anxiety in the past. The big question however is ‘if we don’t pass FASEA, or undertake the Graduate Diploma, what are our options?’


This is what we are hearing:-

  • Some are considering joining groups that only offer general advice  – obviously an option but, in our opinion, not one that is in the best interests of the client;
  • Some are considering putting on a younger adviser – another option but one that carries a great deal of inherent risk particularly if the younger adviser leaves, get sick, goes on leave or decides to ‘renegotiate the terms of your contract;
  • Do nothing until the end of 2021 and walk away – which we can understand given the amount of stress this has created for us all, but given the amount of blood, sweat & tears that we all put into our businesses, not really a viable consideration.


The other option is our solution, the AFAN solution, which will allow you to:-

  • stay in the industry doing almost everything that you are currently doing;
  • maintain the relationship you have with your clients;
  • continue to earn income. In fact, you could earn more than you’re currently earning;
  • maintain purpose in your life;
  • regain & retain control;
  • exit the industry on your terms alone, not on the terms of others;
  • continue to make a contribution by passing on your knowledge to younger advisers;
  • enjoy the excitement that comes with building something new & working with like-minded, positive-thinking professionals;
  • have some fun for a change. The fun has been lost from our industry & it’s time to bring some of it back.

In a nutshell, AFAN is a very viable option for financial advice & risk professionals who wish yo remain in the industry, whether they are undertaking the new education requirements or not. We are not saying that we are necessarily going to be right for you – in fact, other options may be far more suitable – but we are an option that we would simply like to bring to your attention.


A few unscrupulous advisers, licensees & institutional heads have brought about a world of pain for our entire industry, & the consequences of their actions are what you & I are currently witnessing.  We cannot do anything about the past; we cannot do anything about the new legislative requirements; and even though it is extremely difficult, it is pointless getting angry about situations that we cannot control.

We can, however, take control over our future and this means stepping away from the ‘angry mob’, refusing to listen to their toxic diatribe & looking for the opportunities that have now been presented to us.

Please take a few minutes to look around this website – to discover the opportunities that are staring us all in the face. In fact, we are so excited about the opportunities that we can barely contain ourselves. If you have been an adviser of good character & always strived to do what is in your client’s best interest then the team at AFAN would like to speak with you.

We wish you & your loved ones a very Merry Christmas & a safe & prosperous 2021. I will be in touch in the coming weeks, but in the meantime please feel free to contact me on 0419 255 965 or by email at any time over the break. I will be around if you want to have a chat.

Talk soon

Development Manager
P 07 3726 0091          M 0419 255 965
E  W


Want to find out more?

Contact Mike today for a chat.