In Focus: Profitable advice business  

'We have a moral duty to educate the public'

'We have a moral duty to educate the public'

Many financial advisers see it as their duty to "give back" to society and help educate the general public on financial matters, but the space is far from saturated, according to the guests on the FTAdviser podcast, who have urged more advisers to reach out and take part.

Warren Shute said he felt it was his duty to "give back" when he wrote a book called The Money Plan, which generated a considerable amount of interest, and led to him launching a podcast series on the back of it. 

"It's not really like a marketing angle, it came from a position of wanting to give more back," he said. "We are in a profession here, it's about raising the standards and giving people the information and appearance of what they expect of us as a professional financial planner."

Craig Palfrey also ran a podcast until recently, which he is planning to bring back. He said he was inspired by the work done by the first business he joined years back, which had a regular question and answer column in a newspaper and also ran public education seminars. 

"Presenting the seminars and enjoying them as I did back then, I think that was what awoke the beast in me to try and give more back from day one and I just thought if we could just educate, educate, educate we can have more people make smarter financial decisions."

However, despite many advisers already offering additional outreach services, Shute believes the practice is still in its infancy.

"There are more people offering financial podcasts who are not qualified and regulated than there probably are," he said. "This is a great space for people listening and thinking 'there's an opportunity for me to give my voice'."

Chris Morris, deputy head of financial planning at the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, also believes there is a "moral duty and obligation to give back" but he added outreach work doesn't have to be time-consuming or expensive.

"Videos don't have to be flash and expensive," he said, "it could be a case of three, four, five minutes in front of your iPhone on a particularly topical issue [which] would be incredibly valuable and powerful. 

"So we'd fully endorse the likes of what Warren and Craig's firms are doing and many of our firms do do."

To learn more about the outreach work advisers are doing, and how you can launch your own initiative, plus what role modern technology might play in the future, click on the link above.

carmen.reichman@ft.com