Advisers gaining favour with HNWs

Financial advisers are gaining increasing favour with Australia’s high net worth (HNW) investors who may be prepared to back their own judgement but now appear more than willing to accept a second opinion provided by an adviser.

The latest Investment Trends High Net Worth Investor Report, released this week, reveals that in the past 12 months there has been a positive shift in perceptions of financial advisers.

“The last 12 months saw a large shift in the perceptions of advice among HNW investors, with a sharp increase in ‘validators’ who are open to receiving financial advice (56%, up from 40% in 2019) and a corresponding fall in ‘self-directed’ HNWs who prefer making decisions on their own (34%, down from 49%),” according to Investment Trends associate research director, King Loong Choi.

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The Investment Trends report, now in its thirteenth year, showed that there were 485,000 HNW investors as at September 2020 – a figure similar to 2019 (490,000) but still significantly larger than 2018 levels (460,000).

“The size of the Australian HNW population remains resilient despite tough market conditions at home and abroad. While the uncertain investing climate had minimal impact on market size, it has profoundly impacted the attitudes and preferences of HNW investors towards investing and advice,” Choi said.

“The last 12 months saw a large shift in the perceptions of advice among HNW investors, with a sharp increase in ‘validators’ who are open to receiving financial advice (56%, up from 40% in 2019) and a corresponding fall in ‘self-directed’ HNWs who prefer making decisions on their own (34%, down from 49%),” said Choi.

The positive shift in attitudes towards advice providers, however, has not led to greater uptake. Over the last 12 months, the use of financial planners (19%) full-service stockbrokers (15%), wealth managers (7%) and private banks (5%) has largely remained static.

“The disjoint between the positive views towards advice providers and the current muted uptake of advice highlights how advice providers need to rethink their value proposition and delivery model,” said Choi.




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“ The disjoint between the positive views towards advice providers and the current muted uptake of advice highlights how advice providers need to rethink their value proposition and delivery model”

I’d say it more reflects the finding that most HNW clients have portfolios stacked heavy with direct property and Australian shares - when the market crashed they’d be wanting a bit more than an email from The Motley Fool, now property prices are on the up and shares have recovered they are good to go. Never mind advice, it’s all product and return right?!

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