One swallow doesn’t make a summer, but there are some interesting and slightly disturbing figures emerging from a CoreData analysis of the ASIC financial adviser register.

Looking back over the June quarter of this year we’ve found that the financial planning industry is attracting about one new entrant for every two advisers who leave it.

Let’s be clear that there are two lenses we should apply to this finding: one, we don’t know why the people are leaving or if they will be back; and two, this is only three months’ data, so it’s hard to get too excited. But it’s worth paying attention to because, over time, we will get better data and a better understanding of what is going on.

So three months is a short timeframe, but if the figures hold up, they raise some big questions about how the growth plans of financial planning licensees can actually be achieved, and just how the industry will address its dwindling numbers as barriers to new entrants rise.

The ASIC data shows that between April 1 and July 1 this year, a total of 957 advisers’ names were removed from the ASIC register, and only 463 new names were added to it, for a net loss of 494. The register contained 24,799 names as at July 1.