Financial adviser demand has increased for access to SMSF content to share with their clients, including information about deciding whether an SMSF is appropriate, what is involved with setting one up, investment management and trustee obligations, according to IRESS.
“There’s a lot of information online for consumers, both good and bad, and advisers want to be able to provide their clients with information that’s simple, objective and meets regulatory and compliance obligations,” IRESS Knowledge Centre product manager Robert Skinner told selfmanagedsuper. “Advisers are often too busy with running their business, seeing new clients and managing existing ones to have the necessary time required to write and distribute high-quality content. “Additionally, the opportunity cost to a practice to build its own content platform is significant, and once they build it they need to maintain it.”
In 2016, IRESS rolled out an optional SMSF module in its Financial Knowledge Centre to meet this demand.
The Financial Knowledge Centre offers a catalogue of over 350 articles and videos, life-event content and 12 learning modules signed off by Deakin University as a third party. It has no attachment to products. Robert Skinner revealed IRESS had over 200 financial planning practices leveraging the Financial Knowledge Centre and around 70 per cent of them had the SMSF module switched on. He said advisers could have their own fully hosted and practice-branded knowledge website.
“This is a great value add for clients as it supports their service proposition, as well as assists with their client retention and acquisition,” he said. “The SMSF content provides a sound understanding of what an SMSF is and what a client needs to consider". “The information goes far enough that a client can learn something about SMSFs, but they will still need to seek the expertise of a professional adviser to decide whether an SMSF is suitable for them or not". “As the SMSF module is part of a larger financial literacy resource, an adviser’s client can explore it at their own leisure, which also results in the practice’s brand being top of mind throughout their online experience.” He underlined it was important the content was part of a wider resource as more people wanted to learn about SMSFs and investments, tax, estate planning and insurance within the structure.
Modules remained relevant through rigorous updates and an annual compliance sign-off process, he added. In addition, it covered any changes in legislation. In January, Verante Financial Planning boosted its education efforts with a white label of the Financial Knowledge Centre for its clients.
IRESS acquired financial content provider Innergi, the creator of the Financial Knowledge Centre, in 2015.
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