Aussies seek to become ‘empowered’ through advice

7 February 2024
| By Jasmine Siljic |
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While fewer than one in five Australians consult financial advisers, the vast majority wish they could do more to feel in control of their personal finances.

Two reports released by life insurance providers TAL and NobleOak have provided insights on Australians’ financial stress and which avenues they look to for support on their finances.

TAL’s survey, which canvassed 1,000 participants, classified 20 per cent of Australians as having poor financial health based on their survey response, with 90 per cent of respondents in this category reporting that their mental wellbeing is negatively affected by financial stress.

Meanwhile, NobleOak’s report, which surveyed over 1,000 respondents, found 41 per cent are concerned about their current financial situation.

TAL also examined which sources of information respondents rely on for financial help.

Nearly 40 per cent of Australians view family and friends as a key source of financial information, followed by banks at 37 per cent and online tools at 37 per cent.

Just 16 per cent of participants consult a financial adviser, and 21 per cent don’t have any source of financial support at all.

Cara Williams, senior financial adviser at Sufficient Funds, said: “It is so common that clients initially reach out feeling overwhelmed when making decisions, with competing priorities and too many options available to them.

“Seeking out professional advice can help them clarify their goals and priorities, and then assess the options and strategies appropriate for their personal situation.”

While more than a third of NobleOak’s respondents don’t feel in full control of their finances, some 70 per cent of those individuals wish to do more to become financially empowered.

As a result, the report noted a slight decrease in the number of consumers who don’t seek out financial advice.

In 2023, 73 per cent of participants said they don’t use a financial adviser. This was compared to 80 per cent in 2022 and 78 per cent in 2021, demonstrating a gradual improvement.

“Use of an expert such as an adviser or broker for financial advice has increased, compared to previous years, but demand has not returned to pre-pandemic levels,” the report stated.

Anthony Brown, NobleOak director and chief executive, commented: “The research underpinning the report shows us that Australians have a proactive mindset when it comes to their financial situation, but there is still a pressing need for improved financial literacy.”

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