Financial markets will always be volatile, education remains a stalwart

Whilst pandemics are not new phenomena in human history, the consensus reactions of closing borders, curtailing freedoms and outlawing swathes of industrial output are unprecedented in their scale and effect. The true cost to society, financially, psychologically and spiritually is too soon to tell.

In an adaptive and fluid financial system, we find that much of orthodox economic theory is being put to the test. And the contributions of visionaries such as Smith, Ricardo and Sharpe, while fundamentally valid, are no longer considered hegemonic principles that underpin finance.

This year has seen a significant change as nations wrestle with an experiment in prohibiting normal activity to promote efficiencies in public health systems, bringing with it unemployment, solvency concerns and seemingly endless ‘emergency’ central bank liquidity measures.

This new environment has led to participants asking if public markets offer price discovery and efficient allocation of resources, or if they’re inherently volatile and noisy. And whether governments need to reconcile spending with receipts or should be allowed run up deficits that can never be repaid.

In a world of existential and intellectual re-evaluation, there is value in expanding your world. Systems evolve based on an endogenous appraisal of their assumptions, modelling and efficacy but also as exogenous trends such as automation and artificial intelligence alter the patterns established in the capacities of physical and human capital. Perhaps the best way of embracing and adapting in a changing world is to appreciate that all skills can be acquired, further knowledge can be sourced and that nothing is fixed.

We must be humble with ourselves and others and acknowledge that we need to be always learning and developing.

This humility and willingness to acquire new skills is both a philosophical framework but can also be rooted in simple actions today. The NAB recently announced a new $50m investment in the ongoing professional development of all 34,000 staff in Australia that embodies an awareness that education is no longer linear and discreet from careers. The decision surely stems from the increased need for us all to learn and relearn continuously as new ideas and technologies replace our timeworn competencies.

Facilitating this dynamic model of interrelated learning and professional experience is the growth of digital delivery. In years gone by further qualifications involved attending night school and replacing dinner amongst the family with evening lectures. These are now superseded by webinars and on-demand portals such that we can all learn remotely and collaboratively with our existing time commitments.

An example of this ease and enhanced accessibility can be seen with qualifications such as the Investment Management Analyst Certificate (IMAC), delivered by Macquarie University Business School and Portfolio Construction Forum. In the past, this involved the inconvenience of physical classes in Sydney which necessitated interstate travel and accommodation.

“IMAC is now 100 per cent online,” said Graham Rich, managing partner and Dean of Portfolio Construction Forum. “No matter where candidates are in Australia or New Zealand, whether they’re in Perth or Albury Wodonga or Cairns, Auckland or Dunedin, they can complete the prerequisite IMAC program online.” With technological enablement, professional imperative and personal fulfilment at stake, there has never been an easier nor essential age to assimilate new ideas.

An introductory webinar that draws on the themes of industry disruption, lifelong learning and accrediting this exercise through the IMAC is available to Professional Planner and Investment Magazine readers for free with our partner organisation, CIMA Society.

There are webinars on Friday 19th June, 9:00 am till 9:45 am and then on Friday 26 June, 9:00 am till 9:45 am.

To register for your complimentary place visit

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