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A step forward in offering financial advice to the masses

Map My Plan is the all-in-one ‘digital’ financial planner that does it all. Founded in 2014 by Paul Feeny, Map My Plan is a platform that doesn’t attempt to replace the skill and experience of a financial planner, but intends to service the “80 per cent of unadvised Australians” that don’t have a financial planner and need basic financial advice to get their finances in order. The app prides itself on not being a product linked to either a bank or insurance company, and states “we can provide financial product advice, but we only provide financial advice. No product recommendations or sales.”

How does it work?

According to Startup Daily, founder Paul Feeny spent decades as a financial planner working in an industry built around the adviser’s need to sell various products, rather than giving advice, educating, and coaching. He began to challenge the status quo “where written financial advice is used as a means to justify selling a product” and so went about building a service, centred around improving financial literacy and organising finances without selling products. Map My Plan is his unique platform solution. It’s a self-directed, fully automated financial planning platform that enables anyone to build a personalised financial plan without needing to engage a financial adviser.

  • The app doesn’t bill itself as a ‘robo adviser’ but rather a ‘digital adviser.’ The company holds its own AFSL and guarantees never to sell a financial product, with the focus being solely on providing great financial advice. Map My Plan’s aim is to ensure each and every one of its clients has their finances under control, up to a point where proper financial advice is required, above what can be provided through the platform; for example, advice such as product advice that incorporates risk tolerance. It’s at that point that Map My Plan considers its job complete.  

    How the app works is firstly by an investor completing an online quiz that assesses the client’s financial ‘fitness level.’ That is, things such debt management, what level of protection they might require, and what they are feeling about their future. The app then calculates a score which gives an overall financial fitness rating. Following this, the platform builds a plan using responses to help personalise and suit the investor. Once enough personal and financial data is provided, the client will receive a Statement of Advice (SoA), a goals summary, and Map My Plan’s recommendations. This is done every time there is a client update that affects advice.

    The platform gives advice on the following:

    • Personal and life insurance.
    • Investments (including managed investments and shares).
       
    • Superannuation and Retirement planning.

    How can this help a financial planner?

    Looking at the app on surface value, one would think this platform would be in direct competition with a financial planning firm. But going by Paul’s idea that a one-on-one relationship with a financial planner is limited to at most 10% of the Australian population – which leaves the remaining 80-90% unserviced – Paul says providing financial advice can be as simple as programming logic in code using a series of ‘if’ and ‘then’ statements. By answering a series of fitness questions, the platform is already able to gauge the type of journey the client is embarking and uses logic to provide the correct advice to improve their situation.

    More importantly, the app provides a white label version that can be tailored to represent a financial planning firm or mortgage broking firm that is offered as a value-add to its clients. And it also gives financial advisers a service that they can offer to the 80% of clients that perhaps don’t fit their target market, expanding the pool of people who can access that firm’s advice. Other features by signing up clients include client education, dashboard reporting and unlimited statements of advice.

    Map My Plan provides most of its services for free and has marked down its $20 a month charge. It does have annual/monthly charges for added services such as personalised advice. The platform can by accessed online or via its smartphone apps.

    Ishan Dan

    Ishan is an experienced journalist covering The Inside Investor and The Insider Adviser publications.




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