As our Channel 9 TV show is rolled out to the public, I have been fascinated by people’s reaction to the advice component. Of course the celebrities have been well received - we picked them for a reason. But the public reaction to the advisers has been of particular interest to me.
I have had emails, social media and direct enquiry from people asking me how to pick a good financial adviser. The re-occurring words I have kept hearing in one form or another basically amounts to this - how do I know who to trust?
We all know trust is no new issue for advisers - it’s something much better brains than mine have been grappling with for some time now. But it’s really starting to hit home to me in a new way, because this show is quite different than anything we have done before.
I might quote that saying, “There is no stopping an idea whose time has come”. It’s bigger - with a one-hour format and new expert panels complement the “reality” component, which means we are using industry leaders to explain what’s happening and how the viewer can apply it to their own lives.
And it’s working.
We’ve been blown away by the viewership numbers for the first two episodes on the network. And the digital numbers are proving much larger than we expected, too. We’ve got partners like real estate giant Domain on board, and we were the lead story on news.com.au money section on July 8.
This education initiative is literally getting to millions of Australians. I am under no illusion about what we have created. It’s branded content, but it’s also education, with entertainment, and thats why it’s unique.
We have only been able to create something of this scale with the financial assistance and human talent of our partners - the fund managers, superannuation funds and other organisations who believe that doing good is good for business.
I have found these to be ethical organisations and leaders who are willing to put funding and resources into creating high quality education alongside their competitors to reach the public with an important message of financial capability.
Of course, OneVue, the owners of NMP Education, have believed in this enough to make it part of their core offering to market - technology and education as its promise.
Yes, we stand to benefit. That’s important. This is business. But from a broader perspective, I have begun to wonder - what is the cost of us not doing this? The cost to the people of Australia who are facing extremely tough times ahead financially. And we all know that financial pressure leads to serious issues within families units - including domestic violence and mental health consequences. Not to mention our overall happiness as a society.
The financial white-paper by Mortgage Choice and Core Data says that 42% of Australians feel embarrassed about the level of personal debt they are in. So how do they seek help and advice? Who do they trust?
I believe our model of collaboration both creatively and financially is the only way this message can really be carried to the broader population - which is fragmented and getting harder and harder to reach.
Because we all know a storm is coming for the Australian economy. And people know now more than ever that they need help.
If we don’t continue to explain what advice can do for all Australians, and how to identify an adviser who is right for you, we can’t be the solution to one of the biggest problems Australians will face in the next decade.
Without trust, advisers will lose. They will not grow profitable practices and they will not be valued as a highly skilled and educated professionals - and paid accordingly.
But the bigger ripple effect is that Australians won’t have quality advice to navigate major financial decisions. Which can lead to disastrous and life altering consequences.
I will continue to keep you updated on the progress of our campaign. Its early days but the signs are very promising.
Until next time,
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