Notwithstanding concerted efforts by various stakeholders over recent years, the use of financial advisers by Australians remains stubbornly low. This despite multiple surveys finding high customer satisfaction levels experienced by advised clients and despite the obvious appetite Australians have for information about how to manage their money (most recently evidenced by the popularity of finfluencers – licensed and unlicensed).
2020 research1 found that the demand for advice has doubled in the last five years, with 2.6 million surveyed non-advised Australians indicating an intention to seek help from a financial planner in the next two years, up from 1.3 million in 2015, and up from 2.1 million in 2019, demonstrating the extent to which Covid 19 has catalysed advice demand.
A longstanding and frequently quoted rule of thumb suggests 1 in 5 Australian adults use, or had used, the services of a financial adviser, and indeed this was borne out by FPA research from 2020. As expected, their research4 found the majority of those clients were in their wealth accumulation phase (35-55 y.o).
When it comes to seeking financial advice, the figures above show there is a clear gap between intent and action. This gap was reinforced by ASIC5 research which showed that the proportion of Australians intending to seek advice – 40% – was almost twice as high as those who actually did/do. (ASIC found this intention/action gap to be notably higher amongst younger age groups).
TABLE 1: BARRIERS TO SEEKING FINANCIAL ADVICE