Advice benefits extend to mental health, relationships: IOOF

Financial advice has provided clients with improved mental health, less stress and better relationships, according to new IOOF research.

The True Value of Advice report, with research conducted by IOOF and CoreData, has found the majority (90 per cent) of advised clients said that accessing financial advice has left them in a better position financially.

The survey included responses from around 11,615 advised clients and 1,000 unadvised individuals.

Advice had helped 91 per cent of clients to identify, prioritise and achieve financial goals, as well as personal goals for 86 per cent.

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But the benefits extended beyond their financial position, with 50 per cent saying it had boosted their mental health, 88 per cent citing less worry and stress and 41 per cent saying it had improved their relationships with family and friends.

For the majority of clients (84 per cent), the value of the advice they received outweighed its costs.

Almost all clients (95 per cent) said the advisers had always met or exceeded their expectations. More than nine in 10 (93 per cent) rated their adviser as very good or good with respect to their services.

CoreData principal and founder Andrew Inwood commented the scale of the research showed that advice has value to Australians, “regardless of their wealth, age or gender”.

“Many more people could benefit from advice,” Mr Inwood said.

“The challenge for the industry now is to address the perceived barriers stopping people from doing that, and to find ways to support advisers to deliver more advice to more people.”

Looking at non-advised clients, around half (46 per cent) reported they were open to the idea of seeking advice in the future, although 80 per cent were more likely to consider it if they had a specific need.

Barriers to seeking advice included respondents not believing they have enough assets or wealth to need it (61 per cent), believing it was not the right time to seek advice (55 per cent) or not believing they could afford it (54 per cent).

Trust was found to be paramount, contributing to support for respondents’ mental wellbeing. Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of unadvised consumers said they would be more likely to seek advice in the future if they found an adviser they felt they could trust.

IOOF chief advice officer Darren Whereat said the top factors ranked by clients in assessing the quality of their adviser relationship were trust, understanding of their circumstances and needs; demonstratable skills, expertise and knowledge; and effective communication.

The advised respondents were asked on how they found their advisers, with 71 per cent citing word of mouth. On that note, the majority (93 per cent) said they would likely recommend their adviser to family, friends or colleagues.

Advised clients also agreed that technology had a role to play in advice, through processes such as data collection. But it would not replace the benefits of face-to-face interactions including comfort and reassurance.

“This research supports what we have long suspected – that relationships will always be number one, but there are many ways to introduce better technology behind the scenes so that advisers can spend more time in face-to-face interactions and building trusted relationships with their clients,” Mr Whereat said.

He added that advice licensees should be committing to supporting advice delivery that “helps to remove perceived barriers to seeking advice and makes advice more affordable, more accessible, and more engaging”. 

Advice benefits extend to mental health, relationships: IOOF
Advice benefits extend to mental health
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