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Bouris talks up financial advice benefits

Yellow Brick Road executive chairman Mark Bouris has made a passionate plea to the Australian public to take up financial advice services and avoid uninformed decision making.

Writing in The Sydney Morning Herald, the prominent businessman pointed to research conducted by KPMG Econtech that suggested Australians with financial advisers are “better off” and “would save more than $1,500 a year more than those without advisers”.

“I worry about uninformed Australians who lack the confidence to make decisions about investments, mortgages, insurance, superannuation and tax issues without expert advice,” Mr Bouris wrote.

“Most working-age Australians do not use financial advisers, even though people are contributing to a mandatory superannuation system that puts a percentage of their earnings into a range of investments.”

Mr Bouris listed concerns around “cost, scale, mistrust and access” as some of the key reasons why some Australians are hesitant to take up financial advice, adding that the issue of financial literacy hangs over the entire discussion.

The YBR and former Wizard Home Loans boss suggested a number of initiatives that may increase the number of Australians seeking professional financial advice, including allowing advisers to “give low-cost, basic advice”.

In addition, he floated the idea of making financial adviser fees tax-deductible, following YBR’s submission to the FSI in which the wealth management firm argued that reform is required to destroy the perception that financial advice is a “luxury service for the wealthy”.

“The Australian Government should amend taxation laws to allow financial advice from a registered financial adviser to be tax-deductible for people earning up to $75,000 up to a value of $1,500 per annum,” YBR said in its submission.

“This will empower all Australians to be able to manage their finances and protect them and the government from negative consequences of financial decisions.”