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MoneySmart - Frequently asked questions

Attachment 1 to MR 11-49

View pdf version

What is MoneySmart?

MoneySmart (www.moneysmart.gov.au) is a website that provides information to help people make smart choices about their personal finances. It is created and run by ASIC (the financial services regulator, an independent agency of the Australian Government).

The MoneySmart team is passionate about helping all Australians improve their financial situation. We give you simple guidance you can trust.

Who is the website for?

MoneySmart is for all Australians – young or old, rich or poor, investing or paying off debt.

When life puts pressure on finances, MoneySmart is here to help Australians ride out the storm. It offers smart tips on dealing with the ups and downs of life: losing a job, having a baby, divorce or separation, buying a home, losing a partner and much more.

What does the website aim to do?

MoneySmart aims to help ordinary Australians take steps to improve their personal finances. It offers free, independent guidance so people can make the best choices about their money. It is not selling anything.

MoneySmart combines the best elements of ASIC's two previous consumer websites – FIDO and Understanding Money – in a more engaging, accessible format. Its design is based on behavioural research about what actually works for internet users, that is, what leads people to take constructive action to improve their financial position.

Why is this website needed?

Many Australians don't have the information and tools they need to make smart choices about their money, or the motivation to take steps to improve their financial position. Many Australians also don't seek professional financial advice.

MoneySmart gives them free, easy to use tools and tips and suggests practical steps they can take. It also recommends people get professional financial advice before making any major decisions, and shows them how to find and work with financial advisers.

What information can be found on the website?

Topics include:
As well as these general topics, there is tailored information for different groups including:

What tools can be found on the website?

MoneySmart has 26 calculators and tools to help people take control of their finances.

For example, they can use the budget planner to plan their spending and reduce debt, or find out how to get a healthier super payout using the retirement planner. The ‘super vs mortgage’ calculator allows people to work out if they will be better off putting spare money into their super or their mortgage.

Our mobile calculators help people work on their mortgage or super while they’re on the go.

Who created the website? What experience do they have?

The information and guidance on the website is put together by an experienced team, including financial planners, actuaries and consumer education specialists.

Some of our team members have been involved in financial services for over 20 years. We’ve seen where things go wrong, and we share our knowledge about what does and doesn’t work, to help people avoid problems.

We see things from different points of view. Our team includes young guns under 30 and old hands over 50. We have first home buyers, mums with young kids, experienced DIY investors, and people who are successfully planning their retirement.

We add to our knowledge by consulting a wide range of external experts in industry, government and community groups. We also use consumer research to guide our information.

What is ASIC's history in financial literacy?

ASIC has been active in financial literacy for many years. ASIC’s previous consumer websites were FIDO and Understanding Money.

FIDO and Understanding Money were each a great source of financial information for many years, with simple steps and basic calculators to help people sort out their money. MoneySmart replaced these two websites in 2011, combining the best features of both and adding much more.

ASIC has overall responsibility for financial literacy at the Commonwealth level and the MoneySmart website is one of the key financial literacy initiatives.

How does the website fit with ASIC’s other roles?

MoneySmart is quite separate from ASIC’s other roles. ASIC is also the corporate, markets and financial services, and consumer credit regulator. For more information about ASIC’s role as a regulator, go to the ASIC website.

ASIC’s regulatory role includes protecting consumers and investors from unfair or illegal conduct in financial services and consumer credit. Visit our how to complain webpage for information on banking, credit or investment complaints.

What's happened to FIDO and Understanding Money?

Both sites have been replaced by MoneySmart.

We've taken the best features and tools from the sites, added new features and combined the content into a new site structure that's user friendly and easy to navigate.

Is all previous FIDO and Understanding Money content still available?

No. We have carefully reviewed all previous content, streamlined it and eliminated duplication and overlap. We have reorganised the content under simple headings and topic categories and have dropped content that did not directly assist consumers or encourage them to take action.

In particular, information about ASIC's regulatory role and responsibilities remains available on the ASIC website and has not been duplicated on MoneySmart.

Is there anything on MoneySmart about insurance and floods?

Yes, there is information about floods on a number of pages in the 'insurance' section. There are also a number of pages particularly relevant to victims of recent floods and cyclones, namely 'Storms and fires', 'Estimating rebuilding costs' and 'How to complain'.

How can people stay in touch with MoneySmart?

People can bookmark MoneySmart as one of their favourite sites, subscribe to a monthly eNewsletter to keep up to date with the latest smart money tips, follow the website on Twitter and become a fan of MoneySmart on Facebook.

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