Superannuation fund members need a greater understanding of their basic finances in order to be lead more successful lives, according to Matt Linnert, co-founder of specialist financial education company Innergi. Linnert, who will be speaking this month at the FEAL Fund Executive Forum, believed the more engaged individuals became with their finances the less demand they placed upon governments for financial help – especially when it came to retirement. “One of the cornerstones for a person to be financially successful, at least in the Australian marketplace, is for them to make the most of the superannuation that they hold,” he said.

As part of the private consulting business’ vision – to reduce individual, family and organisational stress by growing individuals’ financial confidence and competence – Innergi provides financial education and engagement solutions to professional advisers, superannuation funds, employers and individuals. Linnert has helped financial professionals better understand the behaviour of their clients or members by categorising them among four individual inner ‘money personalities’ – owl, dolphin, monkey and Labrador. The animals do not bear any significant relevance to peoples’ financial habits – they simply provide a fun means of categorising members by identifying general behavioural traits. Innergi has developed a questionnaire of 41 questions to determine traits that relate to each type of ‘inner animal’.

The questions are based on a theoretical framework that identifies six different core behavioural preferences. According to Linnert, once these traits are combined it was possible to start deducing predictable personality traits, allowing professionals to better understand their members and clients. “If a super fund can be assisted to engage their members, I think it’s good for the super funds – it’s good for the member and, through that, it’s good for the whole Australian community,” said Linnert. There are a few super funds already using this model to understand their clients, Linnert said, however it was too early to tell if the model substantially increased member engagement. The FEAL Fund Executive Forum will be held on Thursday February 10 at Sebel Pier One in Sydney.

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