Research conducted by the University of Adelaide and Australian Unity has revealed that investors who pay for financial advice reported a greater level of calm about their financial situation, compared to those who no longer receive financial advice.
Investors with a financial adviser, on average, reported feeling 15 per cent more financially secure than those surveyed who no longer have an adviser, and were also better able to deal with uncertainty.
The study, which was in field between December 2018 and January 2019, picked up on negative sentiment caused by the downturn of the housing market, heightened global market volatility and findings following the hearings from the Banking Royal Commission.
The University of Adelaide’s Dr. Akbar Zamin Ali said the study asked Australian investors who currently pay for financial advice, or had paid for financial advice in the past, what they valued most about their relationship with an adviser.
“Our research found that investors who pay for financial advice valued the financial plan and the trusted relationship they built with their adviser, which made them feel more secure, compared to the respondents that no longer paid for advice,” he said.
Mr Matt Brown, Executive General Manager – Advice, at Australian Unity said despite the negativity surrounding the findings from the Banking Royal Commission, the research highlights the difference good advice makes to the quality of people’s lives.
“Australian Unity’s Wellbeing Index has measured wellbeing for close to two decades and the survey continually shows that people who feel in control of their financial situation have a higher level of personal wellbeing.
“The real value add of a financial adviser comes from their ability to listen, consider, and translate a client’s concern, drawing on their expertise to help the client gain meaningful insight and an understanding into the situation.
“Importantly, the adviser is not only making a difference to that person’s feeling of being in financial control but is working with them to ensure a considered course of action ultimately results in a better financial position.”
Mr Brown also said that Australians are facing an increasingly complex financial landscape and need trustworthy financial advice to help navigate these complexities and what they mean for their families.
“For example, advisers help people plan their retirement so they can achieve and fund the life they want to live. This could be through managing cash flow and sensible budgeting, making sure they’re obtaining relevant government support and how they can optimise funding aged care arrangements in advance.”
“At Australian Unity we see an enormous opportunity to help more people get access to quality advice and we look forward to continuing to support advisers to help make a tangible difference to people’s financial and overall levels of wellbeing.”
About the survey
The LifePlan Financial Advice Satisfaction Index was established in 2007 and is based on an academic model that explains a client’s willingness to recommend their financial adviser to a friend or acquaintance. The bi-annual survey has recently been broadened to include investors who have stopped paying for financial advice, and to measure and compare the financial literacy of all survey respondents. The most recent survey of 600 investors was undertaken in December 2018 and January 2019.
The research is sponsored by Australian Unity and conducted every six months by Dr. Akbar Zamin Ali from the University of Adelaide.