A number of clients who have successfully acted on their financial advice’s goals as well as a role of a human factor in helping with the goals setting, can be the most important criteria to measure the success of the advice.
According to Industry Fund Services (IFS) executive manager, Adrian Gervasoni, technology could largely solve for the strategy development, but the role of the human factor in the advice process going forward should be on the goals articulation.
“Our view on what the role the humans place is in the advice process going forward is the goals articulation and I think it’s been very difficult for digital advice tools to effectively engage with how you will help someone to set a goal,” he said.
“If you look at the superannuation funds, almost every super fund has a retirement calculator, and a factsheet, and an interactive learning module which is all great but serious decisions that [the clients] make are often based on the emotions.
“At the moment, I think we have got humans responsible for things the technology could probably solve for and not enough focus is being put on the decision support as all this effort goes into trying to put forward an advice client the perfect strategy.
“You can measure success by the numbers of statements of advice reduced or, what we would believe is more important, is by a number of members [clients] who have actually taken action.
Gervasoni stressed that the clients’ decision to act on the advice they had received, whether it was paying down more of their home loan or contributing more to super or taking up an insurance, was the key factor in putting themselves in a better position.
“The advice itself is not a measure of success,” he added.
In its analysis on ‘Consumer-Centred, reimagining how Australian access help and advice’, IFS identified the key consumer preferences for accessing advice which included:
- Online (self) discovery, which assumed having access to relevant and reliable information that was targeted to them, based on their personal situation and life stage;
- Learning with peers which included the understanding of what similar people in their positions have done or are doing, and being able to share their personal experiences and learnings with peers; and
- Easiness to engage experts.