How Multimedia Can Help Financial Planners

Financial planner and founder of Pete Matthew discusses how video and podcasts can help financial planners educate investors 

Jon Standring 10 October, 2013 | 3:00PM
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Jon Standring: Today I'm going to be talking to Pete Matthew from Meaningful Money about the videos he produces to educate investors.

Welcome, Pete.

Pete Matthew: Great. Good to be here, Jon. 

Standring: So, first of all, this is my first interview outside. Why am I here?

Matthew: Decent light and attractive backdrop and makes a bit more interesting than  just sit behind a desk, isn’t it?

Standring: So to start off with, can you describe Meaningful Money? What’s its purpose?

Matthew: Meaningful Money is a financial education site. I, basically, just wanted to set out to get decent information out there. There is so much jargon, difficult to understand language on the Internet. There is tons of information, of course, but much of it isn’t very accessible. So, there is something about video, where you can really engage with the person that’s speaking to you, you can put across physical exertions and you can gesticulate and things like that and get your point across quite powerfully. So, it's primarily about video; I’ve expanded a little  bit since then into other media like podcasting. But it's all about educations, decent information.

Standring: Okay. So, if I'm an investor and I can only watch one of your videos, which is the video will I get most benefit from?

Matthew: Good question. Aside from the one where I’m in hot pants – I’ll leave that to your imagination – probably the best one, if I may, is two, because it's a two part and it’s what is financial planning. Investing is there to support your life goals, in my opinion. So, get financial planning right, the investment comes along afterwards, and that's where the rubber really hits the road.

Standring: So, this is to educate investors, but say you’re a financial planner, so how does this site helps your advisory business?

Matthew: First I should say that that many financial planners watch the videos actually as well. But I didn’t say out with the intent of it supporting my business; it was a hobby, something I just wanted to do, but as it happens it’s now the second biggest source of new business to my financial advice practice. So, it’s working. I am not sure I can tell you why, but it is working.

Standring: So, what advice do you have for financial planners that may be thinking of getting video for their websites? Should they do the same thing as you or just one video give them bit of a flavor?

Matthew: Anything is better than nothing. The key is not so much what medium you choose, be it video, written blog, or audio podcast. I would choose whichever one you are best suited to try them and see which is best, but anything is better than nothing. It’s about content really; putting decent content out there people can engage with and learn from. That's where they begin to trust you, to like you, to follow you, and before you know it, they are on the phone asking you if you’ll work with them.

Standring: Okay. So the content, what’s your process? Everyone has got a different way. Do you have it all written and memorized or is it…

Matthew: No, I have crib notes, I have my iPad and my camera, so with just sort of bullet points just to prompt me. It’s one subject per episode. You’ve got basically four or five minutes to capture somebody’s attention at most. So, it's got to be pretty rapid fire, by nature of the medium really. Podcasting really is a lot longer. I write those out, but those are 3,000 or 4,000 words, 35-minute, 40-minute sessions. So, each medium is different; even written blogs you can go on for 5,000 words, but the best ones are succinct and concentrated quality. So, depending on which medium you choose, just be the best you can at it and it will work and it will bring business in for you.

Standring: Some interested that you're going from video and now you're going to podcast. I almost think it would be the other way around, because video seems richer experience; you get to see the person. What’s the benefit of podcasting?

Matthew: Well, I'm still doing both, but I’m definitely doing fewer videos than I used to. For me, the key difference is in the time that you get to engage with the listener or viewer. With videos really you've got four minutes to hold their attention; with a podcast, though, people will voluntarily listen to you for half an hour or an hour at a time every single week. Well, if I’ve got 1,500 people downloading me every week, as I do at the moment, that's like me speaking to a capacity crowd regional theater every single week on my topical expertise. I don't know of any other medium with that amount of power. So, that's why I'm very excited about podcasting.

Standring: Finally, we're here at the IFP conference and you’ve just spoken. What were you talking about and what was your advice to other financial advisors?

Matthew: I spoke specifically on podcasting, which is the medium I'm most excited right now. It's kind of online weekly radio show, which is working incredible well for me. I’ve only been taking it seriously for four months, but the return has already been superb. So, that's what I was speaking about. It went very well so I can enjoy the rest of the conference. I can relax now, I’ve done my bit.

Standring: Thanks very much, Pete.

Matthew: Great. Good to speak to you, Jon.

Standring: For Morningstar, I'm Jon Standring. Thanks for watching.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Jon Standring

Jon Standring  is Adviser Liaison with Morningstar UK.