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Why most Aussies don’t know what financial advice is

If Australians are to prosper and avoid the often-brutal consequences that come with financial disarray, then we really need to be educated about the value of advice.

Ask five everyday Aussies what a financial adviser does and you’re likely to get five very different answers. Unless they all agree that they have no idea what a financial adviser does – which, unfortunately, is quite possible.

The financial advice industry has been unable to tell a cohesive, simple story to everyday Australians and the results aren’t pretty. According to Roy Morgan, only 9.7 per cent of Australians use a financial adviser.

Earlier this year, Mortgage Choice commissioned CoreData to explore how Australians feel about their finances and found that half the nation is stressed about money and nearly 85 per cent said it impacts their wellbeing.

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The key word here is ‘wellbeing’; something that is yet to become synonymous with ‘financial advice’ among the general population. But I’d argue that our wellbeing should be at the very centre of our affairs, including our finances.

There is a huge gap in the market for advice practices to educate not only their clients but their wider community about the role a financial adviser can play in eliminating stress and helping Aussies live healthier, happier lives.

Some advisers may be doing this effectively already. For others, it will be an innovative approach and could shake-up the way you run your business.

Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways of communication. Ask any journalist or PR guru and they’ll tell you the same. Your ability to tell the story of your business, yourself and your offering is ultimately what builds trust with a human being and helps educate them. That story is then passed among that person’s friends, family and colleagues. This is how we operate as social beings in a community. Always have and I dare say we always will.

Thankfully, we live in an age where technology is allowing us to share our stories with greater ease and convenience. Podcasts and videos have become the preferred channel for storytelling and information sharing in the era of smartphones and increasing digital connectivity.

This week the Adviser Innovation Summit kicks off in Melbourne (Tuesday, 4 June), followed by Sydney (6 June) and Brisbane (12 June). As the editor of Adviser Innovation and ifa, I’ve personally been involved in crafting this year’s agenda, which includes sessions about how advisers can share their stories and connect with a broad audience through podcasts and videos.

The reason I decided to include these sessions, which will show you exactly what you need to tell an engaging story about your business, is because I’ve seen first-hand how effective they are as a media professional.

Storytelling is my business. It’s what I do. Finding the most effective ways of communicating with the greatest reach and impact is what I do on a daily basis. I want to share those skills with the financial advice community, because every advice practice has a unique story to tell.

It’s time the industry sharpens its storytelling skills to effectively communicate its true value to communities across the country. A well-informed nation stands a far better chance of understanding and accepting advice and ultimately building a better future for everyone.

Limited tickets remaining for the Adviser Innovation Summit.

For more information about the Adviser Innovation Summit, click here.

To book a ticket to the Adviser Innovation Summit, click here.

Why most Aussies don’t know what financial advice is
James Mitchell
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