Digital Financial Advice Tools and eLearning Accommodate Multiple Learning Styles

Online instruction, also called EdTech or eLearning, is the order of the day for many institutes of higher learning as they work to bring educational opportunity into the digital age. And according to the financial professionals we interviewed, eLearning has great potential for delivering financial advice and personal finance education as well. Harrine Freeman of H.E. Freeman Enterprises says online tools are so useful because they can accommodate the various ways in which people learn: “They provide a different option since people learn via different methods – visual, auditory, kinesthestic, etc.,” Freeman explains.

Email outreach has been particularly useful for Troy Chatterton, RICP® of Chatterton Financial: “I have the clients segmented by asset level, interests, and lifestyle,” says Chatterton. “This helps me send them relevant and timely email updates that they feel are specifically designed for them…their response has been fantastic!” And to Joe Parsons, Senior Loan Officer with PFS Funding, a mortgage banker based in Dublin, California, video has been the most effective medium by far. “About four years ago I produced a video series, Homebuying 101, to teach consumers important concepts of mortgage finance. It was very well received,” mentions Parsons, who writes The Mortgage Insider.

Multimedia is key to reaching clients, according to Christopher Kimball, CFP®, President of CK Financial Services: “I use a number of methods to educate my clients, from seminars to detailed newsletters to informational pieces I get from product manufacturers to my radio show to short YouTube videos to interviews with media outlets to group meetings using a whiteboard to one-on-one client meetings,” Kimball comments.

Donald Reichert, MSFS, AEP®, with Capital Design Associates advocates for using specific digital platforms to enhance client education. “One platform in particular, eMoney, provides a variety of effective ways of creating a detailed inventory of an estate, a signature-ready financial statement, the ability to do a hypothetical probate and project retirement cash flows,” says Reichert. “Another useful program we routinely use for modeling retirement cash flows…is the Wealthy and Wise® system associated with the InsMark technology platform,” he adds.“The Wealthy and Wise® system is extremely interactive and allows for the change of variables on demand.”

Web meetings are quickly becoming the preferred medium for receiving information, says Timothy Baker, CFP®, founder and CEO of Wealthshape LLC. “They allow me to meet with clients on their time most often during regular working hours. At this point electronic communication in the form of phone, email and web meetings makes up about 60-70% of client interactions from initial consultation and throughout the relationship,” Baker comments.

Clearly EdTech and eLearning offer a myriad of options and platforms for online financial literacy course delivery, and these technological advances are putting a new face on financial advice.


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