Bounce Financial’s Cara Brett reveals how she’s repackaging financial advice to serve an eager and energetic young market
AFTER BEGINNING her career as a financial adviser working with an older demographic of clients, Bounce Financial’s Cara Brett decided to break away from the corporate sector and explore ways of connecting with Gen Y.
Today, Bounce Financial has doubled its revenue each year offering financial advice repackaged and delivered specifically to engage a younger demographic - a business model, Ms Brett says, that is hard to come by these days.
“There are some, but not many firms, that actually focus on Gen Y and Gen X. At the time I was starting Bounce you could see that financial planning was so inaccessible for people of my age category,” Ms Brett says.
“The reason we had to start our own business was because it’s hard to offer the services we wanted to offer, to the people we wanted to work with, in the way we wanted to work, under a traditional business model.
“We also needed to be able to price our services in a way that was affordable to the demographic we wanted to target – it was a no-brainer that I had to start my own business.”
The struggle for Gen Y
The tendency for Gen Y-ers to get their information from the internet means a lot of young people are falling into traps and making mistakes, Ms Brett says. There is also a significant demand for basic money management skills.
“One thing I’ve found since I started is that I spend a lot of time at the outset talking with and coaching clients through basic money management - budgeting, how to automate finances, etc,” she says.
“Those things are not really discussed by financial planners because their clients are typically at a higher end. “The thing I hear the most is: ‘I earn good money, I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing with it’.”
“There is so much information out there, particularly on social media, and a lot of people get caught in potential traps. If you look on Facebook, there’s a lot of advertising around day trading or stock market tricks etc. I find that without good information and without people who are approachable in our industry to turn to - Gen Y are particularly prone to making mistakes,” Ms Brett says.
A combination of social media, events, content creation and friendly, open and enthusiastic client communication, all make for a powerful means of opening up financial advice to a Gen Y market, Ms Brett says.
“I use social media, predominantly Facebook. I write articles and blogs and I post everyday. Building up a social media community has meant that I actually get business via Facebook, so anybody who thinks that it doesn’t work - I don’t believe that - it’s just about targeting the right audiences and providing the types of content that really engages them and provides value,” Ms Brett says.
“I’m also open about how I do things and, because I did a lot of networking initially, I’ve been able to really get myself out there and now have an organic client base that provides me constant referrals.”
Ms Brett says she also conducts regular ‘budget nights’ where people are invited to pay $20 to attend a budget-planning session and, laptop, wine and snacks in-hand, the group will collectively work through a budget for each individual member.
“Obviously the services we’re offering are things that people want, all I’ve done is package it in a way that appeals to Gen Y,” she says.
Rules, rules, rules
Ms Brett says that while she lives and breathes financial advice for Gen Y, a constant challenge is the ever-changing rules in the advice sector.
“From the perspective of the industry itself, it is tough when rules change all the time. Especially because my clients are younger - it’s challenging when superannuation rules change all the time and I’m trying to think about their plans for the long-term without tying up too much of their money in the short-term as well,” she says.
“The constant changes we deal with can be a challenge at times, but obviously you just have to deal with that as it comes.”
2017 - the year for financial literacy
March 2017 will see the launch of Ms Brett’s financial literacy initiative for underprivileged young women, in partnership with the Brisbane Women’s Club.
“We’re rolling out a Brisbane-wide financial literacy program that different corporates and not-for-profits can get involved in, and I’m providing all the content for that,” Ms Brett says.
“It will be specifically for underprivileged women more than anything, but anyone can benefit from it.”
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