Demand for financial advice is expected to surge, with 2.6 million non-advised Australians intending to seek help from a financial planner in the next two years, according to a report.
The annual Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) ‘Money & Life Tracker’ report, which surveyed over 2,000 Australians, found this figure was up significantly from 2.1 million in 2019 and double the level it was in 2015.
A majority of Australians maintained a DIY approach to their financial health during the COVID-19 pandemic with 88% feeling they can only trust themselves or their spouse/partner with their financial accountability.
Nearly 12% of Australians were holding back from engaging a financial planner because they thought that they don’t have enough assets or investments to engage one.
Further, 6.5% of Australians had embraced digital platforms to receive advice.
Dante De Gori, FPA chief executive, said the report which was released in conjunction with Financial Planning Week highlighted the value of having a financial plan.
“This year’s edition of ‘Money & Life Tracker’ has shown us almost a quarter of Australians did not have enough in savings to support themselves through the lockdown period,” Dante De Gori said.
“However, the value of financial advice has clearly risen in the eyes of those facing significant challenges and uncertainty.
“Our research findings from 2020 showed those who had a financial planner by their side were able to cope more confidently than those who didn’t.
“In light of this, we encourage as many Australians as possible to take stock of their circumstances and explore how a qualified financial planner could help them.”
Of those Australians with a financial planner, the majority were 45 to 54 years old, the phase of life where they people actively looked towards their retirement goals.
The majority of this group (9.8% of the total survey) sought financial advice for between one and three years and were skewed towards males.
More men indicated they would have had a financial plan in place (11% men versus 9% for women) whereas more women indicated not splashing as much money on takeaways and non-essential items (16% men versus 21% women).
Women prioritised making a budget (43% women versus 34% men) and being more frugal (50% women versus 40% men).
Men were also more likely to prioritise increased savings (47% men vs 41% women), salary sacrifice into superannuation (15% men vs 11% women) and invest more outside of super (25% men and 12% women).
The ‘Money & Life Tracker’ research was undertaken online in September 2021 by Pureprofile, with over 2,000 Australian respondents aged over 30 years old.