Access at heart of fixing broken advice model

07-Sep-2017

By Daniel Paperny

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The contemporary model for advice accessibility was “broken”, meaning financial planners must look for new opportunities to reach the broader pool of unadvised Australians, according to fintech start-up Nod.

The group, which featured as one of seven emerging start-up businesses at the recent H2 Fintech Expo, acts as a conduit between retail investors and financial planners with the aim of allowing advice provisioning to occur in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Speaking to financialobserver, Nod co-founder and chief executive Joel Robbie said the platform was designed with the ambition of delivering advice to more Australians in a scalable way through digital means that could hold greater appeal to the next generation of advice clients.

“Our focus at Nod has been getting back to first principles around the person who’s asking for advice and how they want to receive it [as well as] the price they’re prepared to pay … our proposition has always been aimed at the unadvised,” Robbie said.

“Twenty per cent of Australians get financial advice today, 80 per cent of Australian adults don’t, and our proposition has been about changing that because people who do get advice generally get great outcomes, it’s a life-changing experience [because] they feel better and have a greater peace of mind.

“One of the exciting things about our business model and one of the things that H2 really like about it is that it’s really scalable – we don’t have to have a standing workforce of advisers, we scale as we need to and the same rules around licensing apply here to us as they do in the UK and the US, which means we can scale globally if we need to.”

He said around 100 advisers were currently on the platform from 30 different groups, including Hillross Financial Services and Treysta Wealth Management, as well as a number of mortgage broking companies.

“We’re really focused on taking out the time and the cost of engaging with these clients for a financial adviser, which we hope will enable them to get real value from the platform of Nod at scale and allow therefore a lot more people to access advice at a cheaper price point,” he said.

“For clients, if you want to see a financial adviser in the standard way, you have to book an appointment and it takes between four to six weeks to get that advice … because it takes so long and because the cost of customer acquisition in that model is so high, advisers have to charge around $4000 to $6000 and that’s why advice is out of reach for most Australians.”

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