Big Splash Media has been creating content to help Australian families manage their money for four years, first with The Really Simple Guide to Super and then with The Really Simple Guide to Money.
Now, we’ve taken a major step in building out our business online.
We’ve joined forced with MoneyTalk, a site run by a seasoned professional in finance. Lisa Weaver has worked for major banks in private wealth management, been a financial adviser and created an online site with similar values to those of our own publications.
Together, we plan to give Australia a financial supermarket – a one-stop-shop for help and good, independent information where they can also find products they need to make their lives more financially secure.
We are all aware of the problems the financial industry faces. Financial advisers, the banks, insurance companies and even those producing financial products have lost the trust of large numbers of Australians.
To be frank, despite the bluster of those caught in the spotlight – think the appearance of the banks before the parliamentary committee recently – it’s clear that many senior managers simply couldn’t tell the difference between right and wrong.
In our view, to blame a system that rewarded conning clients into products they didn’t need or weren’t right for their circumstances is just obfuscation. These well educated professionals knew exactly what they were at. And when they were found out, they lied and refused to help the customers they cheated.
At the heart of this problem is an enormous lack of knowledge. Our Really Simple Guide to Money magazine carried an interview with the excellent Greg Medcraft, chair of ASIC, the corporate regulator.
We well remember he said his biggest concern was that more than half of the Australians interviewed for a survey conducted by his organisation couldn’t tell when something was simply too good to be true.
MoneyTalk and The Really Simple Guide to Money are designed to redress the balance. To provide a resource that is independent of those trying to peddle a particular product or work on behalf of a sector of finance.
There are plenty of sites out there. Not many are independent. And in this industry, good unbiased information is what it’s all about.
There are moves by Governments in Europe plagued by similar dilemmas to create better information and advice at reasonable prices for their citizens. In the UK, there is even a debate about providing vouchers for free fist-stage financial advice.
We applaud such moves, and are urging our own government could put more resources behind ensuring Australians understand their money. In an era of ageing populations, it’s one of the best investments any government can make.
Feel free to contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ like to discuss how you can help.
And sign up for our twice-weekly newsletters at www.moneytalk.com.au.
We won’t turn you into Warren Buffet. But we hope you will learn how to plan for life’s financial milestones and avoid some of the pitfalls along the way.