Spike in advice during free week

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More Australians have discovered the value of advice after a successful run of the Financial Planning Association’s Ask an Expert Week.

For the second year running, the initiative connected qualified financial planners to Australian consumers seeking financial guidance. The free service was available through Twitter and the FPA website.

The figures show a strong demand for professional advice. Since the Ask an Expert web page opened on 28 January this year, there have been 8,704 page views and 1,662 unique visitors.

During Ask an Expert Week alone – 3 to 9 February – there were 7,038 page views, seven times the number of views the week before the event.

The FPA’s regular Find a Planner page – which allows consumers to locate a planner in their area – also saw a huge surge in visits as a result of Ask an Expert Week, with views tripling from 2,275 the week before the event to 6,711 views during the event week.

The public had a high level of engagement with the page and its content, with the average time spent on the Ask an Expert page just under six

Over 150 questions were posted by consumers since the page was reopened this year, with a variety of topics and questions covered.

Social media helped drive consumers to the Ask an Expert page, with the FPA Twitter page and event handle delivering 54 page clicks to the page.

The FPA were pleased with the week’s success and hope the event will prompt more people to seek financial advice throughout the year. 

“Our mission to elevate the profession of financial planning and help make an enduring difference in the lives of Australians helped secure record engagement levels during our most recent Ask an Expert campaign,” CEO Mark Rantall said.

“We are proud of the difference we continue to make, and we view these strong engagement results as everyday support for the FPA’s continued lobbying for sensible reforms that are in the best interests of all consumers.”

During the week the FPA also launched a new blog, with financial tips and advice provided by qualified financial planners who are FPA members.
  • Innocent Observer on 19/02/2014 12:41:33 PM

    Any initiative that demystifies financial advice to the general public is a great thing! Good financial advice can seriously change peoples lives. Anything that helps articulate this to people is a good thing.

    @Anon is right so far as the "advice" wouldn't be what we advisers would generally consider "advice". It would be general information. But for many people on the street the two are inextricably intertwined.

  • Marshall Brentnall on 17/02/2014 9:23:45 AM

    That's a great way of looking at it Patrick, and it's a shame that Anon felt they couldn't engage us a little more fully with their real name and a glass half full attitude - although based on the tone, structure and desire to put something in writing I have a pretty good idea it's a fellow member from WA.

    Good initiative FPA!

  • Anon on 14/02/2014 12:00:46 PM

    Let's be clear here Patrick.

    It is guidance at best. It isn't advice and it seems irresponsible to represent it as anything but guidance or "general advice".

    Expert advice is delivered using the six step process, you know the one don't you?

    This exercise is based on very limited information and it would be foolish for anyone to act upon it without the adviser knowing far more information about the person's full circumstances.

    I'm not wanting to appear to be throwing rocks at the FPA - it's great that we're getting out in the community with an initiative but I personally don't think that this is the right one...

    I will put this in writing to the FPA when I can come up with a better solution (as I hate it when people criticise something without coming up with an alternative solution).

    In the meantime, I'm keen to hear if anyone else agrees that this just doesn't feel right....(giving it away for free, representing it is something of value when it really shouldn't be relied upon...etc).

  • Patrick Canion on 14/02/2014 11:22:38 AM

    Anon: let's swap 'financial advice' for medical advice' in your statement:

    "Where is the value in medical advice when you give it away for free?
    I really feel that this "initiative" is not sending out the right message to Australia.
    If you want valuable medical advice - you have to pay for it.
    Something that is given away for free has no value..."

    The knockers will keep on knocking, in the meantime the FPA has run another worthwhile exercise to help out consumers in getting access to expert advice.

  • Anon on 13/02/2014 8:41:32 PM

    Where is the value in financial advice when you give it away for free?

    I really feel that this "initiative" is not sending out the right message to Australia.

    If you want valuable financial advice - you have to pay for it.

    Something that is given away for free has no value...

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