10 Jul Easily track your portfolio daily – David Hows
Keep all your investment information and track its performance in the one place and choose who you will share it with and what you need to share. All secure and easy to use. We address the security concerns you might have as we talk to David Hows from Monefly.com
Kevin: I want to talk in this interview about building your team. There’s now a great way for you to be able to do that, to track what your portfolio is doing, and doing it online. We’re seeing more and more of this happen, but I want to find out in particular about this product which is called Monefly. Now, we’ve spoken to you about it before. The website is monefly.com and it’s a great portal. The man behind this is David Hows. He joins me.
David, thanks again for joining us.
David: Good morning, Kevin. How are you doing?
Kevin: Good, mate. Fine, thank you. Tell me about Monefly. How does it work?
David: Monefly is a website and app that both consumers and their advisors can use to make it easy to put all the financial information around a person or around a household or around their portfolio into one location and then make it easier for the consumer to then pick and choose who they want to share what with, to make it faster to manage their information online, and then there are finance applications, as well.
Kevin: One of the things I do want to talk to you about is security, because I think that’s something that most people nowadays are concerned about. We’ve seen a few security scares. We’ll come to that in just a minute.
Can I just ask you though, from what you’ve told me, does this actually replace the need for an accountant?
David: No, it doesn’t replace the need for an accountant at all, but what we’re seeing is a big trend towards putting data online. So whether it’s an accountant or a mortgage broker or a financial planner or even your property manager, they can work with you in real time, already having the data instead of having to spend the time collecting the data to be able to get to a starting point.
Kevin: is this just for property?
David: No, it’s for wealth across the board. So property shares, superfunds, any other assets you want to track, businesses, artwork if you want to, anything you’d call an asset, a liability, income, or expenses.
Kevin: I mentioned security. We’ve seen in recent times a lot of breaches of security with what we thought were secure platforms, like PEXA. Tell me about the security here. How is it built in, how secure is it? Because we’re putting a lot of stuff online.
David: Yes, it’s really critical for us, particularly given some of our partnerships. We’ve partnered with Envestnet and Yodlee, which provides access to financial data globally through 15,000 different financial institutions, and then we’ve also partnered here in Australia on credit score and credit data information.
Both of those partners require us to have bank-level security to ensure the highest security standards are applied. And we’ve had to go through some pretty rigorous testing over the last two and a half years as we were connecting consumers to banks, credit cards, loan accounts, and credit score information.
Kevin: Yes, there’s no doubt that this is the future. We need to probably get used to the fact that we need to put this stuff online. Well, I want to ask you, what is the future? Where do you see it going? Is this about adding power to the individual?
David: Yes, absolutely. Our focus is on empowering the consumer by putting their information into a digital place that they can control, and then they can see the whole picture without having to go to advisors to have them tell them what the picture is, and then they can choose how to use the information, who they share with and what they do with it.
But most importantly, it’s about empowering the user to be able to transact more easily, whether it’s investing or financing or real estate or whatever they do, because let’s face it, it’s a pretty archaic process where you have to fill in a 5- to 15-page mortgage application form and attach 30 or 40 or 50 attachments if you’re self-employed Our vision is just in real time, all of the time, and secure, so that it’s much easier to invest and to build a portfolio and to create and manage wealth.
Kevin: Monefly.com is the website that you have to go to. We’ll throw a few links into the commentary below this interview so that you can jump in and have a look at it for yourself.
Team: you talked there about team. I guess we have to also face the reality, David, that when we give information to our accountant, they then put that into their own system, and we need to make sure that they have security over our information as well.
David: Yes, absolutely. You have to pick and choose your partners or your advisors based on the quality and security of the systems they use and how they protect your data, because we’ve see recently some very large companies globally that have had data breaches. It’s definitely a risk that has to be managed.
Kevin: You mention on your website about building your team. I think I saw a video on the home page there. This would be a good way of building your team. Who do you think you would want on that team?
Let’s look at property for a moment. The obvious ones may be your accountant, a tax expert. Who else could you put on that you would share this information with?
David: In my experience, your quantity surveyor who does your depreciation reports, your conveyancer and/or your solicitor, your property manager, your mortgage broker, and your financial planner or advisor. We’re seeing a lot of people who are probably investment coaches who want to help their clients having that relationship set up through Monefly – anybody you consider somebody who helps advise you or connect with you.
And you can use the platform for just communicating and tracking your communication history, or you can start sharing some information, as well. It’s completely up to you on an advisor or team member by team member basis.
Kevin: One of the other big advantages of Monefly.com that I haven’t mentioned up to now is that you have a constant updating of the value of anyone’s portfolio. How does that work, David?
David: The focus with Monefly is to connect you in real time, so we’ve built a lot of connections and integrations and partnerships around data. It saves you having to go and capture information manually or pay for it somewhere else, and we make all that available in real time on Monefly.
So, that means credit card, bank account, mortgage account data, share market data daily, superfund data daily, real estate data monthly, all updated so that instead of your accountant having to plug these things in, automatically you have that information at your fingertips rather than having to run the numbers or calculations to work it all out.
Kevin: Yes. As I said earlier, it is all about empowering the individual. For investors, this is fabulous. You can bring it all together, you can see it on one dashboard. The other point I want to make too here is that this free.
How does that work? How do you monetize this, David? Because I have to say, we’ve heard the saying that the only free cheese is in the trap.
David: That’s a good analogy. In our case, our whole focus is on empowering consumers, and that can sound socially shallow, but it truly is. We see the value of providing to advisors to use Monefly to connect to their clients being huge in terms of the time it saves in gathering that information.
We have advisors – who are mortgage brokers, financial planners, accountants, what have you – paying anywhere between $99 and $349 a month to be able to use Monefly professionally and invite all their clients. So, it’s free to consumers on the basis of the advisors paying for it.
We see the value in the information for the advisor is great as well, and we truly want a platform that consumers have no resistance to using it that really does help and empower them financially.
Kevin: And the feedback you’re getting from the people you’re inviting to come on to use this service, what feedback have you had? Have you had any pushback? What’s acceptance like?
David: The [7:18 inaudible] has been fantastic. There are layers of people who come on. There are people who come on and they go “This is fantastic,” and connect everything. There are others who come on and say “Well, this looks interesting, but I don’t know if I trust you with my bank information.” So, you would start plugging properties in and shares, and all the things you’re comfortable plugging in, and then when they get to know us, maybe a month or two later, they start activating mortgage accounts and credit card accounts and bank accounts because they want to see the extra information when they start to feel comfortable with the platform. It’s all about horses for courses.
Kevin: Yes, a great point, I think, is that you can start and just progress as you become more comfortable with the site. The site once again is called Monefly.com. My guest has been David Hows from Monefly.
David, congratulations on the service. Thank you very much. I look forward to seeing how it progresses in the years ahead. Thank you.
David: Thanks, Kevin.