The Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals (AIOFP) has said it will participate in the piloting of an online tool that connects advisers with consumers.
The platform, known as Financial Forum, allows consumers to post general financial questions and receive answers from a range of advisers. The consumer is then encouraged to engage further with one of those advisers.
“The focus of Financial Forum is on enabling new clients to build confidence in the planners they select to work with and then making it easy to engage with those planners,” said Financial Forum principal Peter Johnson.
AIOFP Certified Financial Strategist (CFS) members will be the first advisers to use the tool as part of the pilot program.
Mr Johnson said he chose the AIOFP because its CFS members have a “mix of qualifications”.
“Financial Forum will do best when visitors to the site find accurate factual information and good general advice from knowledgeable and experienced planners and advisers,” he said.
“The AIOFP's Certified Financial Strategists have that mix of formal qualifications, ongoing education, access to independent research and experience that makes them ideal participants on Financial Forum.”
AIOFP manager of member services Ray Bailey added that Mr Johnson "has recognised that the mitigation of risk, professionalism and elimination of conflicts that characterises the CFS adviser puts them at the very pinnacle of consumer advice”.
Mr Johnson, who has a background in technology, said he developed Financial Forum from a consumer's point of view.
"I approached Financial Forum from the perspective of a member of the public who is seeking financial planning information and services and doesn't have a planner already," he said.
"How do you find one you are confident in and who you feel comfortable working with? It's a common problem and questions."
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