The recently released ASIC report, Financial Advice: ‘What consumers really think’ has shown that 41% of Australians intend to get personal financial advice in the near future. One of the highest survey numbers on intent we have seen of recent times. The survey of 2500 Australians revealed both people’s attitudes to, and experiences with, financial advice.
The report also said that in addition to the 41% of Australians seeking financial advice, 27% have received financial advice in the past, while 12% of them have received advice in the past year.
This seems like good news for advisers. A signal of good intent for demand to come - 41% is a significant number.
It also lists the things financial advisers are valued for - having expertise in financial matters that clients do not; recommending products that consumers don’t know about; and reading the fine print. Seems pretty fair.
The bad news however, comes from the one in five people surveyed (19%) who hadn’t received advice recently whom said they did not trust financial advisers. And 35% of those thought advice was too expensive.
The added overlay to all this was that 49% of all survey participants said they didn't feel financial advisers acted in their clients’ best interests - and instead are interested in making themselves rich.
This fact, and this number (close to half) is the biggest challenge the advice community faces. There is definitely the demand there - which will only increase over time as the baby boomers face inter-generational wealth transfer. But the fact that almost half of people think that advisers will look after themselves first, is the real slap in the face that has to be addressed.
So how do you prove that you do have clients’ best interests at heart? The best way to spread the good work fast is via having your clients tell your story. Yes, good old fashioned testimonials are a great way to demonstrate the clients have had great outcomes working with you. I know I write about communicating and testimonials a lot. But I am convinced that great communication is the fastest and most effective way to repair reputation damage done to quality advisers.
Social media can be a real friend in this regard. Short quotes from clients that are even designed for Instagram (20 words or less) can be a cost effective and far reaching way to prove advocacy and best interest. For example: “working with (Adviser A) changed our financial future for the better. We can’t thank you enough” is a great, short and sweet endorsement.
Take a look at the ASIC report here if you want to understand the attitudes and behaviour better. The numbers show demand - so let’s go about changing the negative and move forward.
Until next time,
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