Almost half of advisers are viewing the economic chaos created by the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity for new business, according to new research.
A national survey of 520 self-employed and salaried advisers by MLC Wealth found that 45 per cent considered the environment created by coronavirus as an opportunity to serve more people while also attending to their current client base.
A further 42 per cent said they were able to focus only on existing clients at this time, indicating a fairly even divide between advisers who were struggling or thriving in the current environment.
However, the research indicated most advisers were staying positive about the current crisis, with 86 per cent saying they were able to put the pandemic in perspective, and 39 per cent saying they had great momentum in their business and felt on top of things.
A further 88 per cent of advisers surveyed said they were trying to stay positive, active and planning for the months ahead.
MLC Wealth chief executive Geoff LLoyd said the results were reflective of the resilience and professional attitudes of advisers as they encountered regulatory change on top of the challenges presented by coronavirus.
“It was fantastic to see that in this environment characterised by worry and anxiety, most advisers are saying they have this pandemic in perspective, are active and planning for the months ahead,” Mr Lloyd said.
“The path to professionalism for advice has been gaining momentum and these survey findings highlight good progress. These are the responses our communities would want from a reliable, productive professional sector at a critical time for our whole community.”
The research also revealed that investment and market performance was the most important topic of conversation between advisers and clients, with 69 per cent of respondents saying this was their top conversation topic.
A further 61 per cent said the importance of staying the course was the key piece they were talking to clients about, while 57 per cent flagged the government’s stimulus measures as another important conversation topic.
While many advisers were staying positive, 49 per cent also said they were worried about the current crisis. Mr Lloyd said it was critical that the advice community felt supported in their work given their important role in looking after consumers in financial distress.
“All Australians are feeling the effects of the coronavirus, and financial advisers are no different. One in three say it’s having an impact on their health and wellbeing, despite the fact they remain positive and focused on clients,” he said.
“Many are small business owners and have families or loved ones they are concerned about, so it is vital they look after themselves and their colleagues now.”
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