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Goldman Sachs finds 'alarming' adviser stats

The number of retail investors relying on "independent financial advice" has fallen to "alarmingly low" levels, according to Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

According to the Goldman Sachs Asset Management 2013 Australian Retail Investor Survey - which surveyed more than 600 investors in October 2013 released today - the number of investors "relying" on the recommendation of an external financial adviser or broker has dropped since 2012.

While 41 per cent of investors indicated they do have a financial adviser, only 10 per cent indicated they are reliant on the advice provided by that individual when making investment decisions - a statistic described by GSAM as "alarmingly low".

The number is down from 17 per cent in 2012, which GSAM managing director and head of third party distribution Asia-Pacific Jessica Jones said was already alarming. 

However, Ms Jones also said that while the results are "concerning" that the end is not nigh for financial advice.

"There is a real need and opportunity for advisers to engage with retail investors to help them better understand risk and diversification," she said. 

Ms Jones said GSAM still sees significant opportunity for advisers to provide an educative role on asset allocation and portfolio construction, and is investing in adviser education through its Wealth Management Institute.


Factors including increasing government regulation - which has "forced advisers to consolidate and potentially lose clients" - as well as post-GFC negative sentiment towards finance professionals may have contributed to the drop in reliance levels.