Exploring the genre of telephone-based financial planning consultations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Until relatively recently, financial planning typically involved investment advisers advising relatively wealthy and financially literate individuals about where to place their abundant disposable incomes. Today, many financial planners are focused on advising individuals with modest incomes and little understanding of finance how best to manage their financial affairs in anticipation of retirements that could last for decades. The domain of financial planning discourse, despite the profession’s remarkable growth, is virtually unexplored territory in terms of studies conducted using applied linguistic analytic tools. This paper sheds light on the social purpose of financial planning consultations and their realization through their generic structure. A dataset of 10 authentic recorded telephone-based financial planning consultations was established and analysed for generic moves using Halliday and Hasan’s (1985) generic structure potential. Using the generic structure potential (GSP) as a basis for evaluating the achievement of intended social purpose, and identifying a problem in the move sequencing and the common omission of a key component, we suggest strategic discursive modifications that would improve outcomes for all stakeholders. Implications for professional and academic training are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-229
Number of pages25
JournalAustralian Review of Applied Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • financial planning discourse
  • financial advising
  • telephone consultations
  • generic structure potential

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