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D2C service to offer online advice for £60 an hour

A direct-to-consumer website offering risk profiling and cash flow modelling for free is developing a model for a web-based advice service which charges clients £60 an hour.

Money Guidance first launched in July 2012, offering FinaMetrica risk profiling and Voyant’s financial planning for free. The company was forced to remove the tools a month later after FinaMetrica said it was unaware of the launch plans.

Money Guidance has now been set up under a new Community Interest Company structure, and says FinaMetrica has agreed to participate.

Its CIC status means it is under an ‘asset lock’ where the majority of profits must be reinvested in the company. Voyant has declined to be part of the service.

Money Guidance now offers FinaMetrica and cash flow modelling from Royal London’s MoneyVista for free.

An additional £50 a year ‘premium’ service includes access to research and a D2C platform powered by Investment Funds Direct Limited, also owned by Royal London and which powers the Ascentric platform.

There is also an IFDL platform charge tiered from 30 basis points to 10bps.

The third service, currently under development, is an online advice model with an approximate fee of £60 an hour. Money Guidance managing director Philip Dodd says it will offer fully regulated advice.

Consumers will complete a questionnaire before receiving remote advice from a chartered financial planner via a facility such as Skype.  

Dodd says: “Traditional investment initiatives have come to be regarded with suspicion, and so a financial services business involving publicly-earmarked profits and assets should go a long way towards restoring trust.”

Aurora Financial Planning chartered financial planner Aj Somal says: “The crucial part for the web-advice service will be keeping costs under control. This kind of innovation is interesting and others could follow if it is successful.”

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