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Australian investors missing advice opportunity

Fewer Australian investors use a financial adviser compared with their global counterparts, new research by Legg Mason has found.

In a global investment survey – which looked at the attitudes of 4,200 investors in 20 countries – Legg Mason found 27 per cent of Australian investors said they work with a financial adviser, in contrast with 36 per cent of global investors.

Commenting on the result, Legg Mason's global head of distribution marketing, Matt Schiffman, said this presented an opportunity for advisers to “add value to the Australian investor experience”.

“Globally we have seen a trend towards increased investor confidence in markets where large amounts of investors work with an adviser,” Mr Schiffman said.

“Given Australians’ relative pessimism compared to global investors – only half of Australians think they will be able to maintain their current lifestyle later in life compared to 75 per cent globally – advisers do have a key role to play in helping investors to feel more confident in achieving their financial goals."

The survey also found that 59 per cent of respondents said creating a formal plan to achieve their goals was the “best thing about working with an adviser”.

Australian investors listed having someone manage their portfolio and avoiding costly mistakes as other key benefits of working with an adviser.


This finding was in contrast with global investors, who nominated the opportunity for better investment performance as their top benefit, with 59 per cent saying this was the best thing about working with an adviser.

Mr Schiffman said the results demonstrated that Australians value a structured approach to advice, with clear goals that make it easy to measure their success.

“For Australian investors, the experience of using an adviser is more about developing a long-term plan for financial independence,” Mr Schiffman said.

“As more Australians reach retirement, they are thinking about planning for a comfortable lifestyle 20 or 30 years into the future and how an adviser can help them get there,” he said.