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GFC causes uptick in professional advice business

A study conducted by Fidelity Investments in the United States has found a greater number of retail investors now rely on professional advice since the global financial crisis.

The research, which saw more than 1,000 investors surveyed, indicated that nearly one quarter of respondents (23 per cent) now “rely more on a financial professional” than they did prior to the crisis.

As well as the increasing reliance on professional services, advisers were also ranked highly for “helpfulness” in the wake of the crisis, with 90 per cent of respondents indicating this assessment.

Financial professionals were found to be the “leading source for guidance”, with 30 per cent of investors surveyed saying they sought help from an adviser as the financial crisis started to unfold, while 26 per cent sought guidance from a spouse or family member.

“The financial crisis created an opportunity for financial professionals to provide much-needed context and clarity to investors,” said Scott E Couto, president of Fidelity Financial Advisor Solutions.

“While investors are feeling more engaged and accountable for their finances, many are still too conservatively allocated.

“Financial professionals have an opportunity to help investors regain confidence with taking on an appropriate amount of risk to meet their financial goals.”