Privately owned dealer group Lifespan Financial Planning has partnered with OpenInvest to launch a digital investing solution to service the wealth-building needs for individuals who cannot afford to seek and receive financial advice.
Lifespan Invest will provide individuals with a multidimensional facility that will allow them to have an investment portfolio professionally managed by the financial planning organisation and give them access to financial educational materials delivered via a variety of videos and articles.
According to Lifespan chief executive Eugene Ardino, the service provides consumers with professional investing assistance delivered online that is a level below personal advice.
“In an ideal world, every Australian would be able to afford a personal financial adviser, however, the reality is that delivering personal advice has become increasingly expensive over recent years, inevitably excluding more and more people,” Ardino said.
“Yes, the government can take steps to reduce much of this cost by streamlining regulatory requirements – and we are extremely supportive of the Quality of Advice Review currently underway – however, the industry needs to also use robust and compliant new technologies to help address the growing ‘advice gap’.
“Our advisers are now able to offer an alternative digital solution for those whose circumstances are such that they do not need to go through the more expensive personal advice process. When they do need that service, our advisers will be there for them.”
The withdrawal of the banks from providing financial advice has made navigating investing more difficult for consumers, he said.
“There’s sensible investing and there’s speculating, and we see it as our role to help Australians invest the right way via managed, multi-asset-class diversified portfolios. By doing so, they are more likely to reach their financial goals and also achieve a greater sense of financial self-confidence and well-being.”
OpenInvest chief executive Andrew Varlamos described the digital investing partnership with Lifespan as an exciting development.
“The team at Lifespan understands that everyone is better off when they can access expert and professional help and are now, via OpenInvest technology, able to reach a much larger audience with their expertise. The current advice gap will only be solved by a combination of scalable technology and progressive financial advice firms such as Lifespan working in partnership,” Varlamos said.