Financial advisers and planners will soon have a new directory to add into their marketing strategy.
AdviserBook is the creation of Ray Adams and is brought to you by the same team which developed the very successful CashCalc cashflow planning software.
The new directory will be available to financial advisers over the next few weeks.
We are keen to understand more about anything which promotes the value of advice, while helping financial advisers and planners build their business. We therefore sat down with Ray and started by asking…
What is AdviserBook?
“AdviserBook is an online directory and the first definitive directory of all regulated financial advice
firms in the UK.”
What problems will AdviserBook solve for advisers and consumers?
“Firstly, it wants to help stop scams. Too many unsuspecting clients are utilising the services of non-regulated financial advisers in the UK. Our directory will be the first public facing directory to list every single regulated financial advice firm in the UK; which means if an advice firm is not on our list, they are not regulated by the FCA.
Secondly, it wants to help the public find the most appropriate adviser. We want to put the power of finding the most appropriate financial adviser back in the hands of the public.
Thirdly, it wants to help advisers grow their business. By providing another channel for them to gain further exposure, we hope advice firms all over the UK will receive plenty of enquiries without the need to pay hefty enquiry fees.”
We understand AdviserBook will be a directory of advice firms; how will the consumer be able to narrow / filter their search to find the right advice firm for them?
“Finding the most appropriate advice firm will be a very simple process.
Firstly, they will need to enter their postcode or a place name. This will then narrow the search result to only advice firms within 10 miles of the postcode entered; however the distance can subsequently be altered from 1 mile to 50 miles.
Then the results can be refined by simply selecting certain credentials. For example, confirmed independent firms, pension transfer specialists, Chartered Financial Planners.
After this, the most appropriate adviser can be selected. Advisers will have the opportunity to personalise their firm profile whilst also uploading important documents such as their Terms of
Business to verify their independence. This will allow the public to make an informed decision regarding which advice firm to contact, and can trust that adviser profiles are accurate.”
Will you match consumers to advice firms?
“No. We want to put the power of finding the most appropriate financial adviser back in the hands of the public.”
Will you be including any rating system such as those employed by VouchedFor or Unbiased?
“We want to facilitate the process of finding the most appropriate regulated financial adviser, not manipulate it. For example, at the moment AdviserBook does not show firm testimonials because it instead provides a link to the company’s website which already houses them. But, we will listen to feedback.”
How many advice firms will be on AdviserBook at launch?
“Every single regulated financial advice firm registered on the FCA, including appointed representatives, who hold the relevant permissions and who deal with retail clients will have a profile on AdviserBook at launch. This is a definitive directory and is likely to contain around 12,000 searchable firms and with the potential for over 28,000 advisers at launch.”
How can firms improve their profile?
“We have created a profile for every advice firm, but it only shows a limited amount of information. So, if an advice firm wishes to personalise their account, they can. All they have to do is create an account and they will be able to confirm their independent/restricted status, select their specialities, add their company logo and add the financial advisers with the firm, amongst other things.”
How much will it cost for advice firms to be listed on AdviserBook?
“It will cost the advice firm nothing to be listed on AdviserBook. Provided they are regulated by the FCA and their firm holds the relevant permissions, they will be on AdviserBook free of charge.
However, if they wish to personalise their profile they will need to create an account and pay a monthly cost of £10 + VAT per month. Additional office locations, for the same firm, will also be charged at £10 + VAT per month and extra advisers profiles will cost £5 + VAT per month.
Charges won’t kick-in until January 2018, that gives all advisers and planners the rest of 2017 to try us out for free.
It’s also important to make it clear that we do not charge enquiry fees.”
Who owns Adviser Book?
“Although AdviserBook is developed by the same team who develops CashCalc, it is a separate entity and owned by myself.”
Directories live and die by the number of consumers using their site. What marketing activities will you undertake to ensure as many consumers as possible know about AdviserBook and use it?
“Ensuring traffic on AdviserBook remains constantly heavy is of paramount importance to us, and we have an array of strategies in place to ensure this is the case. We are not averse to the challenge ahead, but channels such as social media present us with an unprecedented opportunity to not only make the masses aware of our directory, but to highlight the value of advice to specific audiences.
However, we urge advisers to have patience and work with us whilst our strategies gain traction. Creating a directory that is fit for purpose is one thing; getting people to use it is another and will take time.
What future plans do you have for AdviserBook?
“At CashCalc, feedback is king. So as a result, development is centred on the suggestions of our account holders. We will therefore employ the same strategy with AdviserBook and value feedback just as much. So, who knows what the future holds?”
It’s great to see more competition in the market and it’ll be interesting to see how a ‘stripped down’ directory fairs against the incumbents.
CashCalc has been hugely successful and with the resources that Ray and his team are throwing at AdviserBook are impressive. The concept is delightfully simple and the price point easy to swallow. Finally, they clearly have immense passion and energy for the project which will take them a long way.
Therefore, in the short-term I suspect it’ll get a great reception from financial advisers. AdviserBook’s success over the medium to long-term, though lies in their team’s ability to drive consumer traffic to it and ultimately create new enquiries for advisers.