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‘We do need to be really careful’: Tech company director issues warning on finfluencers

The advice industry must be “really careful” when dealing with financial influencers, according to a local tech company’s managing director.

Following news earlier this month that ASIC will undertake a review of some finfluencers to better understand how the financial services law applies to their activity, financial services minister Jane Hume slammed the move this week, saying it would be equivalent to creating a nanny state.

However, while appearing on a new episode of the ifa Show this week, Matt Heine of Netwealth — who just released its fifth annual AdviceTech report — said the industry must be cautious as, while credible advisers are using social media in a productive manner, others can be taking advantage of it and “putting out the wrong information”.

“If we look at our own business, we’ve got a team of legal and compliance people that review every disclaimer and every article, and basically every statement that comes out of the business is reviewed,” Mr Heine said.

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“And I think because these influencers can build such big audiences so quickly, we do need to be really careful that the information that’s being distributed is, in fact, correct and responsible.

“So, I think, absolutely, it makes sense to review and make sure that people are getting the right information and they’re not making investment decisions for the wrong reasons.

“But equally there’s some fantastic examples of licensed financial planners that are using those mediums, such as video and short-form content or podcasts, to create really good content that is educating.”

One example Mr Heine noted is financial media platform SugarMamma, founded by SASS Financial Services’ director, Canna Campbell, which currently boasts over 120,000 followers on YouTube alone.

“So, that is good-quality content that is made in this particular case, that’s very niche, it’s for females, but it’s helping people become better savers and investors, and I think from that perspective, that can only be a positive,” he said.

Listen to the full podcast with Mr Heine here.

‘We do need to be really careful’: Tech company director issues warning on finfluencers
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