SYDNEY: 11th SEPTEMBER 2017 – Former Federal member for Oxley, the Hon Bernie Ripoll and author of the Ripoll Report, that led to the Future of Financial Advice reforms, wants to take financial advice to all Australians and believes digital solutions are the only way to achieve that goal.

A long-time advocate for consumer protections, getting a fair go and making sure people have choices, Ripoll has set his sights on taking financial advice to all Australians.

“It might be a lofty goal, but we need to set our sights on making advice affordable and accessible. Why shouldn’t every Australian get quality financial advice when needed?”

He said that without technology, it will be impossible to grow the number of Australians, currently only one in five, who get financial advice.

According to research commissioned by Map My Plan in 2016 titled “The financial fitness of working Australians”, Australians are almost four times more likely to be financially fit or super fit if they have a plan.

“People do better if they have a plan,” said Ripoll.

Ripoll will facilitate a session at this year’s Association of Financial Advisers conference on the Gold Coast in October titled, “Digital solutions: Breathing life into Financial advice”. He considers the true power of digital solutions being in the ability to democratize services through making them available to everyone.

“I have always been a big believer in technology as a solution,” he said. “Providing one-on-one advice is great but costs are often prohibitive and so technology has to be the answer.”

He added: “I can’t see any other way to reach the 80% of Australians who don’t currently get financial advice.”

In this regard, Ripoll said that he considers digital financial mapping and coaching business, Map My Plan, an obvious solution because it is easily accessible and affordable to everyone.

Map My Plan improves the financial fitness of Australians by mapping their financial future and coaching them to help achieve their goals.

Map My Plan does not recommend financial products, instead building a financial map through a process of self-discovery and simplifying a plan into 3 distinct parts – foundation goals, home and lifestyle goals, and retirement and investments. The map then adjusts as new information is added and goals are achieved.

Ripoll joined Map My Plan last year as a Director and is both a user and advocate.

“I have encouraged my kids and friends to use Map My Plan because it’s a great start on the road to financial fitness. I say to them, ‘Map My Plan is a really easy way to get your financial future on the right track, and It’s never too early to start a financial plan”, Mr Ripoll said.

Map My Plan is also resonating with employers who are keen to offer their staff a financial fitness solution and with financial service providers wanting an advice engagement tool for their members and clients.

A great solution for more than 5,500 employees of Ernst and Young in Australia and New Zealand, has been Map My Plan as part of a broader wellbeing program recognising the impact poor financial fitness can have on their staff and families.

Map My Plan is also being trialled by three other mid-tier advice practices as well as an industry association. Last week, Map My Plan was awarded the Innovator of the Year Company Award, an IFA Excellence Award which recognises progressive businesses with new thinking in the advice industry.

“Map My Plan is an obvious step forward, automating the advice process and reducing costs, without pushing product sales,” he said. “It’s a breakthrough for consumers looking for control of their finances and feeling better about their financial future.”

About Map My Plan
Map My Plan is an online tool that maps and coaches Australians to improve their financial fitness and help them reach their financial goals. Launched in 2015 following the release of an Australian-first study it commissioned titled “The financial fitness of working Australians”, Map My Plan has attracted the attention of employers, superannuation funds and financial service providers, as they all navigate the challenge of providing their employees, members and customers with cost-effective and accessible advice. Map My Plan is an educator, an online tool and a benefit for all Australians looking to feel better about their finances and to have a plan.