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Episode details

Peita Diamantidis
Hello, and welcome to the ensemble advice tech Podcast. I’m Peita Diamantidis. And the guest joining me here today to deep dive into aged care steps and all the wonderful tools they have at our disposal. Well, she’s worked as the head of technical services for an insurer. So she knows her stuff folks was appointed to the Aged Care Financing Authority committee to provide advice to government on funding and finance issues around sort of aged care. And he’s also co author of the book don’t panic, the aged care Survival Guide, so a massive underachiever folks, thank you so much for joining me on the show. Louise Biti. Welcome.

Louise Biti
Hey, thanks, Peita. I’m not so much sure if it’s that or just a super nerd. But either way, here we are.

Peita Diamantidis
Exactly and clearly focused on a particular area, you know, of what the community and our families will go through. It’s something that you’re clearly passionate about,

Louise Biti
which anybody actually I’ve ever met that’s deeply passionate about a topic ends up writing a book on it, it’s just one of those things that they can’t help themselves, right, they end up leaving. I never intended to write a book, but then I got tired of explaining it to all my friends and to all my families and everyone who turn up at my house. So in the end, I just thought I’ll write the book and I’m gonna have a parliament the front door, and as they come in, it’s like to talk to me or aged care, you know.

Peita Diamantidis
Read this.

Louise Biti
Come back, once you read it, I love it. Look, we’ll dive into all things aged care and in just a little moment, but let’s start with you as a user of technology and get to know you a bit better. What is your most used emoji? Do you even use emojis? You know, I have to admit, I’m really not an emoji fan. I just, I like words and grammar for stops, capital letters, things like that. But if I have to use one, probably it’s the birthday cake one.

You’ve always got a wish everyone a happy birthday. And it always sort of feels like it needs a little bit more effort than just happy birthday. So I love I get an A cake emoji. I love it. Well, that’s not come up on the podcast before. So well done. You that’s a break.

Peita Diamantidis
And I am guessing but I’m wondering whether you’re the type of person like myself when I’m writing an SMS. I’ve got to correct to their to their other their you know the correct spelling of? Yeah, yeah. That’s commas, capital, that hot living up correcting it.

Oh, I love it. All right. Our second one is if you I mean, we all live with our smartphones all the time. If you had to wipe everything off your smartphone and just keep three apps, which ones would you keep?

Louise Biti
Yeah, that was a really scary thought. But I gave it some thought. And they’ll definitely a need to keep my camera and the photo apps. Yeah. And it because it’s probably my memory as well. Yeah. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing aged care, because I feel like I’m getting Alzheimer’s myself. But you know, I can I don’t have to remember anything. I take a photo and it’s there for me. And I can go back and do that. So yeah, super important for everything. Yeah. The next one probably shows me as being a little bit of a nerd was spent a few years living on the harbor. And my most used app was one called boat watch. Because what I could do is I could track where the chips were when they were coming in how long before they came past our window.

But it’s a really fantastic fun app that I used to like and yeah, we could check out and see if you saw a really luxury one go past you think Wonder what that one is and how much that would cost. And you could do a bit of a search around and find out about it. Absolutely. super nerdy. But when you’re living on the harbour, that’s what you do. Correct. And the third one’s probably more of a work one. It’s the very boring the authenticator app. Yes, because everything now has the two steps to get access to it. And I can’t get into anything without that authenticator. So it has to stay. Unfortunately, all the cybersecurity people out there just breathe a sigh of relief.

Peita Diamantidis
That’s the case. At least somebody’s doing it on the same. It’s like a phone. There’s nothing worse than when you log into something on a machine and then realize you’re going to need the authenticator and the phones all the way in the other room or? That’s right. And I will say though, these days is not just one authenticator app I think now I’ve got three of them in itself just because that anyway, takes me half and half the time just to work out which one I’m supposed to be using. It’ll which website I agree we get there. Look and it’s funny you say about the harbor one with the ships because I’m like so I’m a city girl and always have been. But love we go for big drives and holidays. My husband I love just hitting off and one of the things that drives me nuts is I wish there was an app that would tell me as we go through a lovely country area, what the crops are, like, what is that thing growing over there? There’s clearly something growing there.

Louise Biti
It looks very exciting. What is that? I just want more information about what’s going on. I am laughing because I don’t need an app to do that I have my husband, he will go pass and he knows somewhat because he’s worked on he grew up in a farm worked in agricultural chemicals. So he’ll go bass now barley, you know, lupins, legumes, whatever and I go, how can you tell the difference? So, you know, barley wheat rye looks the same to me. Yeah. He assures me they’re completely different. But anyway, so I’ve got a built in APA down

a lending to you exactly. Victor will, you’re in trouble. Now we’re going to need to have him with us when we do all of our trips out, saluted. Alright, let’s dive into aged care steps. So let’s, if we take a sort of high level initially, and just talk through where you guys, not just the tech, but the services you provide to advisors, but where that sort of sits in a category, you know, what category do you sit under? You know, is there any other tools that you get compared against, or really the only ones doing what you guys do? Yeah, I think we’re pretty much the only ones doing what we actually do in that it is, we have bits of technology that are planning writing software technology, yep. But we also have other tools that are resources and online resources and training. And basically, it fits in that whole end to end business suite of tools for somebody who wants to help clients deal with an edge case scenario. Okay. And so when I say n to n, you know, we have the design to mix and match, you know, what is it that you specifically want to achieve your business? Where are you in this space? how passionate Are you? How interested? Are you in aged care? How common is it amongst your client base, and let me tell you, it’s becoming very common for everyone.

But when we’re looking at this end to end business process, we have technology and tools that will help an advisor upskill themselves. So training programs upskill, the business ready, yeah, how to also make their business business ready as well, you know, make aged care visible to clients coming in and accessing their business, make sure their pricing and their value proposition and their service offering, and all those other things that need to be done just to be ready. Yeah, we have resources and tools and technology to help with that, then we have, the next step is how you go about communicating to clients and creating that awareness. Yep. So again, part of our technology and tools is about the resources that make that super simple, don’t even have to think just do X. And you know, here’s the outcomes of that, yeah, then we have the clients rushing into your office to get help. So we’ve got a really ingenious piece of software that will produce the advice for you very easily, very quickly. Or we have alternatives to that for those people who aren’t tech savvy or don’t want to use a software, we have other ways that we can help. You can outsource the paraplanning to us, you could outsource the whole advice to us. There are different tools around how you you do that. And then also just materials and tools that you can use on an ongoing basis, you know, how do you continue to educate and clients inform them? What else you need to do? What are the strategies you implement. So it really is a range of tools that advisors can mix and match and put together to suit their business to be business ready for business, for aged care advice, to be able to communicate, educate and create awareness, and then to actually produce the advice. Yeah, and deliver it to clients. And, you know, it’s because there’s no, you’re right, there’s a little lies there isn’t there. I mean, there’s knowing enough to be able to hold conversation, like not even providing advice, just being able to talk about it. And there’s you know, or as a husband says, you know, knowing enough to be dangerous sort of thing like that initial level, versus, like you say, knowing enough, and either both being trained well enough, but also have the tools to actually provide the advice, you know, there’s a spectrum there. And all of us will sit in a different spot on that spectrum will make decisions for our practice, depending on types of clients, we have our own preferences and that sort of thing. What I did want to touch on quickly because I realized this at a session I went to the other day is the term aged care. If you haven’t had much to do with it some people he Are you mean everybody in from retirement on they’re talking about retirement villages are talking about all sorts of things, whereas aged care actually has a particular meaning. Do you just want to clarify that for what it means to you guys in the services you’re providing versus what it might mean to say the general public? Yeah, brilliant question. I love it because it’s one of the things that I always start off all my trainings as well. It’s really saying

You need to define what you’re talking about as aged care, because free dominantly when advisors and sometimes with our software and our materials as well, we’re focusing on that stage where a person’s not able to live in their home anymore. They need really specialized care and support, they need 27 24/7 supervision, and they’re making the move into a residential aged care environment for their full time comprehensive support. So often we’re talking about aged care with thinking that but your clients aren’t when they’re talking about aged care.

There are these layers that come before that as well that you might still be able to stay in the home. But you need to bring more and more help into you to support the people you live with in sport yourself. So homecare becomes part of that conversation. Yeah, and also the whole community living with retirement villages, land lease communities, rent homes, which is a really big emerging area. Okay. So all those three areas, whether it’s just where you live a new home within the community that gives you that greater support, whether it’s in home services, whether it’s residential care, I think they all actually get captured under the banner of aged care. And with our tools and resources, software deals with all three of those different levels and areas as well. So interestingly, out of the expression, where I think most people focus is on the aged, as opposed to which really it is, it’s about the care, it’s the fact that they need care. They they’re not self sufficient, you know, so this is at the point where the individual needs assistance. Yeah, you know, at a decent level, but even starting that conversation sooner, I think, you know, a lot of advisors can start that. What would happen if, what would be your greatest worry for the future? What would you really be concerned about having to give up, that’s about getting down to understanding your clients, who they are as people, you know, what their values are, and what they consider most important for quality of life, because with aged care, it is absolutely about how you are looked after. Yeah, that’s combination of where you live, and the support while you’re living there. But it’s also got to be about that quality of life as well. Just how do we make life interesting, valued, and, you know, and we still have access to the things that make us who we are, you know, my boat, watch app and all that.

I probably get rid of the authenticator by the time I get to a scare, but maybe not ever. No, no, no. You know, all of those things. So what is it that people aren’t willing to give up? Yeah, that’s what we’ve always got to bring into those conversations around aged care to. And certainly, even in the conversations I’ve had with say, either my parents or my in law, my mother in law is, there is so much baggage, we all bring to these conversations based on our experience of say their parents, like, like they’ve got a historical memory of what’s gone down with them that potentially in no way relates to how it works now, but in their head, that’s, that’s what’s going to occur. And so that’s, you know, that’s the lens. And so it’s, this is not a a blank piece of paper conversation, there is already assumptions already things that he’s just going to be brought to it that you’ve got to sort of wade through to get to the real, you know, the real way you can solve and actually provide solutions, like you say, that are about quality of life. There’s a lot to dig through to get there. There isn’t I think also it’s it’s absolutely true, but also to people don’t realize how intricate the financial planning considerations are and how complex they are. So many people think, Okay, we’ve made the decision about the where we’ve just got to figure out which assets will sell to make the payments, right? And it’s not that simple. You know, people come in and thinking I’m going to sell the house, I just need to understand how these numbers work. And, you know, we need to step back and say actually is is it just that is there more to it.

And it then starts to unravel this very complicated web that people with they just come in and ask a few questions and get some answers go away thinking they’ve got what they need. But they’re missing large bits and I often equate it to doing a jigsaw puzzle. It’s like, families often come in with just a plastic bag, ask a whole lot of questions. Advisor throw a piece of a jigsaw puzzle and every time they answer a question, yeah, clients look at it when the bag looks full. They go great. I can go away and build this now no problems. Yeah, but they leave without

The lid of the box. Yep. And they leave without knowing if they’ve got every single piece that they need. Yeah. And so that’s going to cause them problems, frustration, family fights, extra time, extra stress. So this is where building it into the advice, business is really important to try to get clients to see, you can help them with all of that, because you’ve got the little of the jigsaw puzzle. And that will make sure they can proceed with what they’re doing with confidence. And interestingly, we find risk advisors and insurance advisors much better at this because it’s about tapping into that emotional side of what’s happening for clients, more than the financial strategies and the the clever product things. It’s not really about that, yeah, it’s that emotion or prepare for the future, avoid the problems, put in place mitigation plans, and advises to that well, and I’m betting, and I’ll probably put myself in this category in the future, who knows. But I’d imagine, you know, facing age denial, or denying actually where they’re at or where they might be in the future, and how close that is those sort of things. It these are very difficult conversations. You know, nobody really wants to be acknowledging that these things, they may not be quite at home or, and they don’t want to have those conversations with their kids.

This is the problem I have, you know, my parents said, Absolutely. No advice from me at all. And they do not want to have this conversation with me because they think as soon as they start to admit, they’re not coping that I as a bossy child or learners swooping, start to take over, tell them what to do. Push them around. And before they know it, they’ll be sitting in their rocking chairs, in an era in a aged care facility somewhere going, how did that happen? Yeah. So they don’t want to raise it with their families first, which is where again, advisors who are trusted confidence that they talk about all sorts of things and test ideas out on, right, it’s a much safer environment to start to verbalize and to run through the possibilities, and then introduce the families into those conversations as well. So and manage that objective safe space is important. Yeah. Okay. That’s interesting. And so how did this sort of evolve? I’m curious about how, you know, the solution that you’ve and the the combination of the technology and then the services you’ve put together? Or how did that evolve? Was it merely that advisors just really struggled to develop this expertise? Because they couldn’t piece all the bits together? Like they all just have to start from scratch? How did it come about? Yeah, I think so. So I’ve always I mean, I’ve been doing aged care advice since 1997. And that’s because I started off with more of a consumer background working closely with what was the Department of Social Security way back then. Then work in financial planning businesses. And where I started off with financial planning was a really good learning ground, we realized that wasn’t good enough just to give advisors a technical strategy, because that’s great. But then they go, What do I do with this? So we had to build that complete picture for them, we had to go, Okay, this technical strategy, we’d have to go the research team and say, which products does this work with? Then we’d have to go to the marketing team and say, how are they going to communicate this to the clients? What’s the information, the brochures or flyers that the webinars all of those, then we’d have to go the sales team and say, now we want to train the advisors and get this into their workflows. So we had to do all of that before we could go to the advisors and say, Here’s your complete picture. Yep. So SAP is my business partner and I, we worked together back then we realized that anything we’re doing particularly something like aged care, which is quite complex. It is a new set of knowledge and a different skill set in some way. It is still just financial planning. But there is a different approach and overlay. And just from working with advisors and talking to them in that experience, we realize there was no point in just giving them training or rules. We had to help them put everything together. Yeah, but noting too, that some advisors have already got bits and pieces of it worked out. They don’t need all of our services. So we went okay, here’s, here’s your advice process. Now. Where are you struggling? Where have you got inefficiencies? What don’t you have? Let’s package it together for you. Yeah. So we do have never shipped packages that we realized there are certain things that fit together and it makes it easier to make to give them too many choices. We’ll all stagnate, never decide. So we do package up for services, but the way we use them, and the way advisors can integrate them into their business does have the ability for them to pick and choose and to change over time. Yes, well, they might start

Golf with a lot more support from us, and then become more independent as well. Yeah, and I guess that was going to be part of part of what I wanted to ask if if there’s somebody out there that’s maybe not had to handle many of these types of queries, but they can see, like many of us, that there’s, there’s going to be more and more of this. And even if it’s not for your clients, it’s for your clients, parents say, and you want to be ready for that, then what is that journey? Like, you know, what’s the best pasta possible advisor or practice behavior, that means they can go on this journey? And, and really, you know, sort of enhance the outcome? In the end? Is it do you recommend starting just with the accreditation, or some, you know, some some technical knowledge is that where you generally would suggest people start? It is for I think, the accreditation course, or just, you know, some knowledge and training around if you don’t want to go through the whole course as well is really important, just so that you’ve got the confidence to understand the big picture, what’s important and why your clients need help. And also to understand what value that advice process is going to add to the clients. Yeah, I think that’s something which is seems strange, but advisors have really struggled with that part in knowing how they’re going to add value. So training in that and being aware, is your starting point. But then it’s about for those advisors say, Look, I’m still just, I’m not really that passionate, or I don’t have time, or I still not confident in my skills, then there’s one of two pathways they could take, they could do we have a personal advice license. And the reason why we have that was so we could mentor advisors as well, right? That we could actually say, Well, you get your client into an office, preferably with yourself, we can zoom in, we could be the advisor. Yep. So we can actually be the adviser to the client, with the other advisor there or not as they choose. And that way you can help them to see how to go about what they do, and work out what they do have the skills where they want to upskill or where they just go, you guys always don’t, we’ll always outsource to you, right. But we could also we could be the adviser, we could connect them into somebody else in their local area. So we’ve got the ability to go be aware, but bring somebody else into your business to give that advice. Yeah, then once you start to get more comfortable with seeing how that advice process works, you might choose to say, I’m really comfortable managing my client discussions, but I just need to outsource the advice, preparation. So there are financial, there are paraplanning businesses that will do that. But we do nothing but aged care. So we have our planning support, which we can get the plans back within, from when we’ve got all the information, it takes us a day or two, to get the advice document back because you need to be quick, with aged care, but it really in delivering to clients. And then for those advisors who say, well, actually very comfortable having a conversation. So clients, very comfortable with developing the advice document myself, we can then license you to use our advice generator, okay, which is super smart, really purpose built, just to give aged care advice. But across all those areas, you can do retirement villages, it can do home care, it can do selling a house and buying a smaller apartment to start downgrading it can do the residential care, singles couples, it pretty much does all the scenarios. Okay. It’s pretty quick and easy. Nice. And I think it’s an interesting. I mean, it makes a lot of sense, because this is such a specialization and that’s got like, like you say layers complexity, something that it’s not like, you can just look up one of those, you know, the the superannuation or advice manuals that sometimes the providers put out, you know, in look, I’ll just, you know, I’ll just search that and see what the appropriate strategy is. It’s, there’s just so many lines here. But what’s interesting about it is as an example of partnering with expertise is I think there’s going to be a lot more of that going forward, I think a lot more of us, as advisors are going to end up going a bit deeper into a niche. And therefore, when something comes up, we either retain the client, but partner, or we even refer the client on you know, I think there’s going to be more of that, because there’s just not going to be we just can’t be across everything.

And, and there’s so many clients and opportunities. So why would we try and be everything to everybody when we can actually, you know, go deeply into one area? Yeah, absolutely. You know, for all the obvious reasons about efficiency, quality, compliance, risk minimization, client satisfaction, all those reasons. It makes sense, and that’s why we built it up so that we can say, well, you could partner with us as the absolute experts to give the advice. Yep. We could connect you with other advisors that we know experts here. If you want somebody in your

local region that you’re going to get on the ground and be able to do face to face because our advice is delivered via zoom. Yep. Or the paraplanning, or the software itself to an advisors might also decide maybe there’s within a practice, it might be one person who’s going to become the specialist as well. So again, it’s let’s work with that person, build them up to understand how to work with the other advisors, and they become your specialist. So do you want to outsource that specialization? Or do you want to build up capacity in house? Yeah. And again, that’s a function of a whole range of things, you know, cost is one, expertise, passion, all of those sorts of areas. And I think, deeply understanding who your ideal client is, I mean, that’s something that we were discussing off here before we record and, you know, we’ve been developing a deeper offer for Generation X. And if you were to go to a conference in advice and talk about what you know, that generation might need people will be talking about, you know, reducing dead and, like, it’s all these sort of things, but actually, in the market research we’ve been doing the single biggest concern they have is aging parents. Yeah, absolutely. I would never have, I honestly would never have, even though, that’s what I’m going through too. And I’m firmly in that category. From an advice perspective, I just hadn’t put it in. Whereas it’s clear, we won’t be able to avoid it. If we want to serve this, this part of the community, we’re going to have to have something that they can at least get information, at the very least, but also potentially provide services to their parents, if we really want to serve them. Well. Yeah, it is. It’s an absolute big men, I am Generation X, and I can tell you is one of the major concerns I have. And from a whole range of reasons to because we see the cost of aged care increasing, and it is only going to get more expensive. Next year, what’s that budget space, it has to be a lot more of the cost shifted back to the people who are accessing care. So we are worried about how our parents are going to be able to afford that because a lot of them don’t have assets other than the house. And so that’s, that’s complicated. It also can affect the whole estate planning, because that’s going to be in a parent’s, even though they do have assets, it’s going to have an estate planning outcome, the decisions you make around aged care will certainly impact how you and your siblings are going to fight over that inheritance as well. But also to even just from the Generation X own retirement plan, yes, if I think about my retirement, and I go this great, I can travel, I could live overseas for periods of time, except not if my parents are needing me to be here to help look after them, because they aren’t going to make a move to anywhere else that will support them. Or, you know, or I might just want to do that. So yeah, that’s a very big personal lifestyle, financial impact yet it’s gonna have on all that generation at ETS, and and potentially, you know, younger generations, depending on the dynamic depending on what resources their parents have versus their grandparents. Like, it’s, there’s, there’s more, I think there’s more people than we think that

as they go through those stages, post retirement, just aren’t financially as as well off as maybe their kids or grandkids thought. And they’re going to have to contribute, whether it’s contributing time or place in the home. Like there’s, there’s just all these, like you say, these realities that we’ve just not really considered, you know, it just it’s not that way. We don’t want to it’s just we hadn’t affected it in you know, so short, retirement might be one issue, but it’s like, well hold on all these other layers, we’re going to have to factor into that. Because it’s not a, you know, me and the partner, we’ve got to consider there’s all sorts of other bodies, we’re going to have to factor into it. And the other thing that’s very interesting about the current generation as well, is that it’s very much second marriages, too, right, both for generation X and for our parents. But there’s a lot of second marriages, blended families, inequity of assets. And let me tell you, that’s where all the complexity and fights really start in that area as well. And I’m also seeing a shift even in that older generation, they are wanting to know about this, as well. If you are sorry, your older retiree clients, what’s their number one fears, aged care and not understanding it and worried about how that’s going to work as well up there as well? Yeah. Which I think is a big change from where it used to be. Yeah, I think you’re right. And you know, the there’s no surprise we sent the Royal Commission stuff always brings out fears hoovered and the horror stories that came out of that bring out fears as well so it’s it’s so much more awareness of it and it’s still a great amount of fear. And I think though you’re right, Peter that a lot of that back in historical

views about a scare and

and how they work. Some of them are amazing luxury resorts if they’d let me in now I’d go.

Peita Diamantidis
I mean,

Louise Biti
exactly right. Now in terms of in terms of the tools that are the, you know, the different layers of services and tools that advisors can get access to, I’m assuming that what what your services aren’t doing is actually sorry, aside from providing some advice, should that be what the advisor decides you can do? So you’re providing that level? It’s, it’s not actually interfacing with the client, aside from that. So this is more about giving the advisor in the practice what they need to be able to go forward unless they then decide to use your services from a providing advice perspective, is that correct? Yeah, absolutely. Our whole business purpose was to make the advisors look good, we wanted to stand back behind the scenes, we want to support the advisors to make them look the expert and then look good. We’ve added on only fairly recently, the personal advice side, just because we realized it was actually a big gap in helping advisors build that first confidence that can get started and fill the gap. So that’s, that’s the latest part of our service offering, but everything else is about making them look good. How to, you know, tools that they brand and deliver to the clients, you know, put their own Download Client articles and put them on their own website or in their newsletters,

brochures that they can put their logos on, so that they they look like the one with all the knowledge and expertise, you know, and knowing that they’re supported by experts when they need the help to to fill in the gaps, their knowledge as well. And so then if you’ve got so somebody’s listening in, they’ve got to practice maybe they’re using one of the document generation tools out the the usual suspects that could be exploited could be any of the ones that are out there, then how do you find,

you know, advisors that then work with you guys, how do you find they then sort of either integrate, or how do they handle the fact that you’ve got the advice generated tool that’s doing this for one portion of advice, but then they’ve got the rest of the practice doing other? How do they manage that? Yeah, they usually is a bit of Accommodator too. So ours, our advice generator is very purpose built for aged care. Yep. So that enables it to be simplistic in women, there’s a lot of complexity behind it. So I don’t even understand the spreadsheet and the main machinations behind it. But it allows the use of it from the user interface. It is pretty self explanatory. Easy. And quick, I say, we’ve got advisors that say it takes them generally from complete start to finish an hour, maybe two hours with a bit of editing. Yep. The best story we ever had was an advisor who did start to finish printed document in 15 minutes. Wow. Yeah, that’s pretty good. So we have got, you know, the software is designed to be very quick. It’s sometimes though the advisors if they’ve got another software that they’re using, because ours is completely standalone. At this point, if they’ve got another software they’re using for their standard plan, often they will put the client into that software just to get their standard cover letter. Their CRM records done. Yeah. And then you use ours as a complete separate process for an appendix to this their compliance portion of an advice document. Okay, because as you might go, Well, that sounds really tedious. And then I’ve got to do everything twice. Because our system is designed just for what you need for aged care, it actually doesn’t take that long. The data entry once you’ve got it is pretty quick, because we’re not asking if you’ve got a client with a share portfolio with 20 Different shares. You don’t need to put 20 Different shares in you just put a total Yeah, yeah. And so therefore, the fact that you’ve got to do it, again, is not a lot of repetition, or too difficult to do. Yeah. Okay. So like you say, this is, this isn’t a niche in so much as a niche topic. It is a niche client need. So when they get to that point, this is the thing that you’ll be using this as their for the generator and like you say, Should you need to top and tail it or, or, you know, put the other construct that you might have? And maybe even from a deal group who knows that you might need to push it through to get your cover page or your other things from from the generator they can, but really, for the situations where this is what’s coming up, then you’d use that tool that makes sense. And we work with the compliance teams have a lot of the AFS cells and it’s approved for use right across the board and even from some of the very large AFSL to the smaller ones as well. So, you know, there’s a reasonable level of comfort around it. Yes, one. I mean,

Peita Diamantidis
makes sense, too, because from their perspective, it’s reducing a risk. You know, this is one of those topics like many, but when it’s got layers and complexity, then licensees, that’s when they all get a bit twitchy, you know, like,

going out there willy nilly into a topic that’s far more complicated than maybe the adviser initially realizes that you know, so to have something that’s going to, you know, sort of bounce the ball on through that process,

Louise Biti
rigor, so we’re always very conscious about that risk part of it as well and minimizing mistakes. And so, you know, because we’re working with it, we’re talking to the advisors who are using it, where we see things, it’s got an awful lot of help function throughout it, right. It’s also got a lot of checks and balances to that it’s certain things if it’s not adding up, it won’t let you go any further.

So it will do a lot of those things where we see advisors are constantly if we see a trend that they’re getting confused or making mistakes, then we go in and we change the software to go, how do we stop that? How do we automate that process? Or give more warnings or, or pop ups or something? So we’re always looking at that? How do we make this foolproof? Yeah, that’s not completely possible. But we’re pretty comfortable. We’ve done an awful lot of that in there. Yeah. Which makes sense. Is there any part of the sort of breadth of services you’ve got there that that get underutilized, that you’re sort of a bit surprised that more people aren’t taking advantage of? Yeah, I think our business toolkit, we have a lot of advisors who subscribe to it. So the business toolkit is an online resource of everything you need apart from the software. But it’s got quick calculators and articles that are already done brochures, a whole range of things, a tech library. And so it’s either the materials, you need to understand the strategies to communicate to clients to educate clients to do quick calculations. It’s good hate, we find that even though advisors love it, it’s well under utilized. And I think sometimes it’s just a little bit overwhelming for them in trying to work out, got all these things, what do I do with them? How do I use it? So some of the development we’re doing this year is putting in place more better advice tracks to say, right, if you want to start educate your clients more this month? Take this article, do this. Yeah. So we’re starting to help advisors, because, again, we look at it and think it’s great stuff. And everyone says, yes, it’s fantastic, but takes time, energy and thought to pull it all together. So again, we say, well, let’s, let’s help advisors to be able to do that as well. But it surprises me how many of them don’t use the social media posts we’ve put together for them, or the articles where they just download and distribute to clients. And it’s done. Yeah, or the brochures, and, you know, they can upload their, into the, into our toolkit system, they can upload their logos, and their contact details. And then every time they print off the brochures that will print off with their logo and the contact details in it as well. Yeah. So yeah, there’s some of those things very, very underutilized. And that’s, um, that’s often a project management issue, you know, like, we don’t treat these things as a implementation project, you know, like really thinking about rollout, what’s going to happen when, and even what team member I mean, I know I’m very guilty of this, where I’m the bandwidth problem, because I’m letting myself be the bottleneck, instead of assigning different Menza members of the team to different elements, so that the advisor doesn’t have to do a hold of those things you do, described, you know, another member of their team could be doing that.

I was gonna say, that’s exactly the reason why sometimes around the utilize that the advisors got the access to the toolkit, but they forget that it is going to be most useful to their marketing support person. Yeah, when they’re doing their newsletters or putting things onto their website that they should have access into it. But also to, you know, down to the front office, person who’s taking advisor phone calls, and confirming appointments. We’ve got templates in there for terms of engagement, or the conversation that the receptionist has with the client, when they’re booking in the meeting, and then the email to confirm the meeting, right need to bring back in. So it has got every single resource in there that you need from start to finish. And you’re absolutely right, it needs to be integrated as a business practice. Yeah. And make sure everyone’s aware of it and have that workflow integrated. So we’re trying to build a lot more of those workflows to make that more obvious in the way we deliver it to advisors. And I mean, you you will be seeing, you know, the practices that are doing this well, I guess, I am curious if what you’re seeing, ultimately working becomes and it may not be quite yet

But over time becomes as much coaching as it is advice because I can see, I mean, I could see the opportunity for a lot like facilitating discussions, you know, and, and, and actually a bit of project management a bit of, alright, what’s next? What’s what’s, you know, daughter number one gonna go off and do and what’s the you know, sort of some of this isn’t just going to be the the technical advice, you know, some of this is helping them move forward as a family making progress on something really difficult. Are you seeing that at all out there? Absolutely. I think that is, that is probably the most important part of it. The financial planning part and the advice document is it’s sort of a hygiene part of it as well, you know, the families just a really floundering, bewildered about how to approach it, what to do, who does what, how it all fits together, how whatever it was, the person at the aged care facility, told them matches in what Centrelink told them. Usually they don’t, because they’ve all got it wrong. So I think you’re absolutely right, that it is about that coaching discussion to say, here are the things that you need to worry about. Sorry about the finances, give that to me, I’ll deal with that. But then these are the bits you need to do. Here’s how it fits together. And as we said, for advice, and this what I love about aged care advice is that I think it’s true financial planning at its essence, it isn’t about product, there are some you might find we’ve got money, we need to invest, but it’s not about product. It’s about the whole strategy of what do we need to achieve? How do we best achieve that? For a family scenario? Not just the individual, but being very mindful about who is our client is, is that older person accessing the care? And so it is, it is about guiding them. And we always say it’s about helping the families to make a fully informed decision. Yeah. So it’s not necessarily telling them, this is the best pathway, or this is the thing you should do. It’s about understanding what’s important to them, what are they need to achieve? Here are the various options, and then be able to guide and coach them through the decision making, and what are the ramifications of each choice they make? Yeah, that’s absolutely the power of the financial planning process. And in doing that, you create really good relationships with those other generations and the other members of the family, who might not already be your clients as well. Yes. So the advisors who do this, well pick up extra clients from the family that they’re giving advice to,

Peita Diamantidis
as well as the support to that client. And it’s, I think it’s true of any professional you deal with people always rave about the person that wasn’t just good at the thing, you know, like good at whatever the technical thing is, but also made you feel like you were learning and evolving as you went and felt like they were a partner in that process and coached you through didn’t mean like, they understood, you didn’t know as much, they didn’t take advantage of that, in fact, they helped you learn more, and walk you through that, you know, brought some clarity, you know, got rid of the chaos and the noise, and got some clarity about what you needed to focus on. Like that can be all sorts of different professionals that applies to and so I think it’s going to be an interesting shift for advisors to to sort of develop more of those skills, you know, more of those coaching and facilitation skills, we often love in our team as well, that we see sometimes with advisors trying to put together strategies, we think it’s a little too clever, you know, it’s a bit complex, it’s a bit too clever, not really adding any extra value to the clients. And one of the other women who works in our team. She says when she was an advisor, she said, You know what, no client ever came in and asked me to make it complicated.

Louise Biti
She said, so the simplicity and making it look like it was so easy that they can’t believe they didn’t know it themselves. Yeah, is such a skill, no matter whether it’s aged care, or super, or insurance or what it is. It’s absolutely the skill, breaking it down into a very simple, easy to understand complex concepts. And that’s a lot of what we do with our, with our training and with our resources as well is trying to get rid of that technical jargon and the complexity, right, you know, break it down to things clients get and understand without having to memorize new terminology or new concepts as well. So we do a lot of that shifting conversations, setting expectations, and focusing very much on the value that advisors are adding perfect. And so in charge for it. Yes, correct. And not second guessing that and I think I mean, for me having done in a past life also, you know, consulting and all sorts of things then to me actually, it’s natural to charge for those things like I think, you know, I could almost argue that some of those coaching and facilitation things but

People might may even pay more for because they’re just so desperate for somebody to break through and make things clearer. But you’re right, there’s having the confidence to know that’s okay. You know, having the confidence to feel like that price feels like other people are charging that, you know, and they people see value and you know, so there is a, there’s a natural evolution we’ve all got to go through. Yeah, for sure. What about what’s coming up? Is there any new things coming up that you guys are building or developing or going to be releasing soon? Well, there will be when we see what the government does or the rules next year? Yeah. But for now, yes, there is. So a couple of things that we’re looking at doing is we got three really big projects, one of them is last year, our generator software, we totally pulled it apart and built the spreadsheets underneath it from scratch, because we wanted to ignite, we want to get rid of a lot of historical way we’ve done it and to have it ready for much more flexibility in the future about different ways of different ways around where we live, and not just that focus on the residential care. So we’ve got a brand new it does, we kept it looking much the same. So because we know we all hate change. So it looks fairly similar, but some really nifty new things and new functionality in there. So the next step on that, though, is we are rewriting all of the template text because it has all the templates there to make it far more a simpler client journey for them to see the process that they go through rather than lots of numbers and explaining how the numbers come about. So yeah, we are looking this year at brand new templates. As I mentioned earlier, in our online resource, our business toolkit, it’s about putting the business process tracks in so helping them understand that the workflow processes and how to use things far more effectively. But the other big project we’ve got happening is to bring back the conversation to help advisors have better effective conversations at review meetings for clients who are pre retirees, early retirees, maybe progressing through retirement, to get them ready for that later life planning. So we’re looking at some very interesting tools and the way to have conversations, because we’ve got to be showing that better discussion, the better value in review meetings. Yep. So that’s, that’s something we’re really excited about. We’ve got a new team member in to run and drive that project for us. So that is exciting. It is. Now is there any other elements of of the service we’ve missed? When we were sort of touched on the highlight? I think we did. I think we’ve covered it all. But you know, it’s really just, there’s not just one part to it. And instead it is working through what’s in your business, what’s missing, what could be done more effectively. And then getting in touch with us to be able to think about the different ways we can build the tools and guide you mentor you help you grow, help your team grow,

Peita Diamantidis
or better effective advice. I love it. All right, advice. Explorers. If you’d like to find out more about aged care steps, then the website link is in the show notes, along with Louise’s LinkedIn details, I’m sure she’d be super happy for you to reach out, and then she can point you in the right direction. For whatever the next step might be for your particular situation. Thank you so much for joining us here today. Louise, it’s, I love hearing about services that can just immediately help whatever our clients might be dealing with. And like we’ve both been saying there’s going to be a lot more of this. And so it’s something we’re all going to need to take some position on, whether it’s in or out or, or, you know, outsourced whatever it is for our practice, I think we’re going to have to consider it going forward. Great. Thanks, Peter. It’s been a lot of fun. Not at all. We’re welcome. So

are you a current user or member of aged care steps, you know, what’s been your experience? How have you found it, you know, particularly if you’ve gone from an advisor who’s not really touched on this as a topic through to becoming, you know, maybe having the accreditation or starting to refer clients to somebody, please share insights on the ensemble community platform, I’m particularly curious, we’re going down this journey ourselves. And, you know, I think any any experience we can give to, you know, the pitfalls, the wins, what worked, what didn’t, I think we’d all appreciate. So please, I would encourage you to head over to the platform and share that with the rest of us. And as for my thoughts, like a couple of things. One is I’m loving the number of services we’ve started to have on the show who give you bandwidth options. And what I mean by that is, you may decide that you’re going to get accredited. You’re going to do this all in the practice. It’s all like we’re on you know on like Donkey Kong.

But by providing the opportunity that that, say aged care steps will do some power planning or even do some advice. What that means is if the best happens and you’re inundated with, you know, 4000 inquiries about this particular topic, then you’re going to be able to use them to partner and give you more bandwidth of what you can cope with in the practice. So you can start from perhaps he’s doing it yourself, but you can also utilize them in terms of capacity, and increasing their capacity as necessary. And I think, you know, the more we can find those sorts of partnerships, where, you know, they really can help us handle the ebb and flow, I think it’s just going to be so powerful going forward, you know, and so I know for for our practice, that’s what I’m looking for going forward is people that really want to sort of help us with the end, don’t view us as a competitor, you know, this is just another part of the service they can provide. The other thing that I guess I did want to share is, is, you know, we’ve been focusing refocusing on our niche, where do we want to take the practice and the type of clients we have, and, and I have sort of latched on to Gen X as as a demographic narrowed down, of course, but I, you know, being the analyst, and, you know, act early change, like I am, then it’s all about the research. So I’ve been doing market research, and as part of the conversations we had with people that fall into the category, and I’ve spoken to lots of people now,

one of the the biggest concern they had in their lives, and we’re not talking monetary, just what’s the thing that’s keeping you up at night, what is just causing you high levels of stress, and it was their aging parents. And so I’ve got to say that that has by having those conversations, and then by listening very carefully, instead of just telling them what their concerns are, or telling them what services we were going to provide, it became clear to me that there was both a level of accreditation or understanding or strategy, we needed to be able to cover in the practice being the type of things that always was talking about. And also that, you know, there’s a coaching and facilitation need, that will then need to build out for our clients. So I guess my point for you there is, is make sure you talk to your target or your current clients and find out without leading them what their needs are, you know, and what is worrying them. Because you may find, this is the sort of thing you ended up needing to provide. Or certainly, if you do provide, they’ll be incredibly grateful if you can be part of a solution for this thing that is really concerning them, you know, they’ll be so so grateful for your efforts, and you’ll be party to that sort of release of stress and feeling like they can move forward, focusing on things for themselves to. And it’s meant that, therefore, for things like content, and Louise mentioned, the tools they provide is we’ve become actually inspired by a previous episode for which was with financial writers, Australia, I did an interview with them, and they are a content provider, then, you know, when somebody provides you with content, maybe it’s an article then to just have a systematic way to make videos of that content going forward. And that’s the way we personalize it, then that’s the sort of thing that we’ve started doing, you know, as part of our operation and the way we’re going to go forward and add value to our clients. So look, it’s really something that’s going to be interesting. And even if it’s not, the the thing for your clients, it’s a great example of a specialty that you may need to start to, you know, getting a kickback as you go forward. Now, the regular listeners of the podcast will know that, you know, bionic advisors, those wonderful human advisors powered by fantastic technology, there’s really only one skill they need. And that’s avid curiosity. So to help you build that habit, today’s curiosity corner app that I wanted you to take a look at is Rose R ow s. And it’s fair to say I got a little overexcited when I discovered this app. So please excuse me for my dorkiness but you can find it at Rose arrow forward slash AI. And they describe themselves as your personal data analyst by accessing the power of AI to analyze, summarize and transform data, basically, it’s an upgrade on spreadsheets, you know, it’s sort of building better scripts, spreadsheets even faster. So if you can imagine having a data set, whatever that might be, it could be, you know, market returns across asset classes over the last 20 years. You know, that might be the table of data you have, then what the tool can do is summarize the key takeaways from that data set. Just at a glance, right. You can ask questions as in literally ask it typing questions about trends, and it adds in a new table or it’ll add in a graph for you. So it rather than you have

into do that analysis yourself, you ask it what you want to know. And it comes up with the new table summary table or summary graph. And so that’s sort of the first layer of it, then it also can bring clarity to really unstructured data. So unstructured data is the sort of thing like answers to feedback surveys, that might be like a paragraph, you know, somebody’s answered a question. And there’s a whole description that they’ve put in there. It might be comments from a social post, or even comments from a webinar or, you know, something like that, that you’ve, you’ve got that CSV, you’ve extracted it, and the tool can then tag and classify any of that, that text for you. So it’ll just go through it and sort of pick up themes or sentiment positive, negative neutral, that sort of thing. It even Could you Could they have formulas, where it will summarize that particular paragraph, maybe that was the answer to a survey, summarize and transform that text into say, just two, two key bullet points for each answer. So I mean, it my mind was just a little blown as somebody who started life as a financial analyst, you know, there’s a whole lot of this where it’s sort of going past the crazy number cruncher of crunching formula stuff and diving straight into the insights, you know, what is the thing we can learn from this? For example, it could be, you know, plugging in the podcast data, right for your own podcast and looking at trends, or what episodes are more popular, or all this sort of stuff that we’d have to dig through ourselves. Now, a heads up, it’s a combination of AI being smart within the spreadsheet, but also, it does have ways that you can connect it to via open API through to things like chat GPT. So it’s sort of getting the smarts of both. And so therefore, really be really consider what data you’re using, and the private or confidential nature of it. So to me perfect for analyzing market data, or geopolitical info, all these sort of things that aren’t our personal clients personal info, right. So I absolutely would not start using it for something like a client factfinder, because there’ll be all sorts of personal information on that. And we simply don’t have the confidence of how the tool is working and how it’s working externally. But for data that that is, you know, hasn’t been annotated to somebody or is like, you know, market returns or asset classes, or any of those sort of things that’s generally available anyway, that I think this is a perfect tool to get some quick and powerful analysis done. And develop some tools that actually you can even embed in a spreadsheet or sorry, a website or other things. It’s really clever, go and have a play. I’d love to hear if you do have a go and you’d find it valuable.

But aside from that, that’s all we’ve got this week, folks, be sure to subscribe to the podcast. So you’ll get your advice, tech fix automatically sent to you each Friday. And look, if the practice is stuck in a rut on process and tech projects going forward, maybe you need to feel a need to sort of step back and do some planning for the next 12 to 18 months, then I would love to come and facilitate a brainstorming session for your team, drawing out the next next best projects for the business maybe doing a bit of a declutter of you tech. And you know, and really work on how you can innovate as a practice going forward. So if that sounds interesting, then please reach out to me on LinkedIn, forward slash Peita M D PEITA M D. Otherwise, I’ll look forward to turning up in your earbuds next week. And remember, advice explores: Stay curious.

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