If you think I’m enthusiastic about the importance of investor education and the need for advisers to be produce and share content, Pete Matthew is on an entirely different level.
Pete’s website Meaningful Money and his podcast that shares the same name are hugely valuable resources for investors.
He’s also a Chartered Financial Planner and Managing Director of Jacksons wealth Management, based at Penzance in Cornwall, and many of his clients started working with him as a direct result of listening to his podcast or watching his videos.
Pete has now published the Meaningful Money Handbook, which he describes as “the book you need to secure your financial future”.
In this interview, Pete discusses the book and why he takes financial education so seriously. He also offers advice to fellow financial advisers who would like to enjoy at least a fraction of the success that he’s had with his content marketing.
What did you set out to achieve with the book?
The book is the distillation of the past eight years of MeaningfulMoney, with 350 videos and 285 podcast episodes, there’s a lot of content on the site, and the book was an opportunity to refine that down to the key messages that I’ve been spouting for so long.
As a financial adviser, you clearly take your role as an educator extremely seriously. Why is that?
I think we are educators by definition, it’s just that many of us are no good at it. The industry thrives on complexity and earns more money as a result of keeping people somewhat in the dark and at arms-length. I think that by teaching the people we serve, we can help them understand more and make better decisions, especially when we’re not sitting next to them. Knowledge is power, and by providing knowledge I am empowering my clients and more widely my listeners and viewers to take hold of a better financial future.
As you know, there’s an-ongoing debate about how advisers add value. Presumably you would say that producing and sharing high-quality, educational content is an important value-add?
I guess so, in that it can help retain existing clients as well as attract new ones. I often get advisers asking why they should bother to create content if they already are attracting all the new enquiries they need, and I’m fine with them not doing so. But I think the client-retention benefits are underestimated.
One of your strengths as a financial educator is that you use plain English and avoid jargon. Is that one of the ways that other advisers, and the investing industry generally, goes wrong?
Using jargon is nothing short of arrogance. It’s like the idiot at a party using big words to sound smarter than they are. Or like Trump trying to convince the world he’s a very stable genius by using words like braggadocious.
Only an extremely short-sighted industry persists in using jargon, because it alienates potential clients and discourages them from engaging with us.
So yes, the industry is going wrong, and it would be far better served to stop it immediately.
You have a very successful podcast. As you know, many advisers start podcasting, but only a tiny proportion of them stick with it. Perseverance really is the key with content, isn’t it?
100%. And it’s a real challenge. I have no time for people who say they don’t have time. No-one has time for creating content like I do. I make time because I want to. If you’d rather play golf or watch Game of Thrones, fill your boots. But don’t complain that you don’t have time.
I have missed a handful of weeks in the six years of podcasting and have built an incredible platform in the process. Persistency and consistency are essentials for success. Along with natural charm and good looks.
Are you surprised that so few advisers are actively content marketing? And why do you think that is?
I think that they think they don’t need to, which is a little short-sighted. I think the world is changing, more clients are questioning adviser fees and value and those that have already cemented their place in prospects’ minds and hearts will win.
As mentioned earlier, client retention is also a key benefit.
Your content is clearly aimed at helping people to with investing and personal finance. But presumably it also generates business for your advice firm?
New client enquiries to our practice are split about one-third referrals from existing clients, one third from MeaningfulMoney, and one third walk-ins and referrals from professionals. So yes, we get a lot of business form it. Also, we have the highest conversion rate from online enquiries compared to the other sources, because my content seems to drive the right people to me.
What advice would you give to other advisers who are looking to produce and share more content?
Plan out your schedule and commit. I started out by writing down the subjects for my first 100 videos. I still plan 10-20 podcast episodes ahead. Sitting down and writing on a Monday night, to record on Tuesday and release on Wednesday is a lot easier because I know ahead of time what I am going to write about.
That said, better to start and get better than to agonise over every detail and never get started. Leave in your mistakes and get better. I still don’t edit podcasts. If I fluff it up, I leave it in and laugh at myself. People love it because it’s real.
Adviser 2.0 is produced by Regis Media, a boutique provider of content and social media management to financial advice firms around the world. For more information, visit our website and YouTube channel, or email Sam Willet or Christina Waider.