Financial advice valued but rarely used

Only 15 per cent of Australians use a financial adviser despite financial advice being highly valued when it is used, a survey revealed.

Of those who seek financial advice, two thirds feel positive about their financial future, compared with half of Australians in general.

Investment manager BlackRock's inaugural Global Investor Pulse survey said income played a key role in Australians' decision to seek financial advice.

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It surveyed 17,600 respondents, including 1000 Australians, on consumer attitudes and opinions about savings, investments and superannuation.

Twenty-five per cent of those who earn more than $150,000 use a financial adviser, compared with only 10 per cent of those on lower incomes.

BlackRock managing director Mark Oliver said 89 per cent of advised investors found financial advice good value for money compared to 84 per cent globally, while 93 per cent said it helped them select the right investment products, compared with 87 per cent globally.

"However, the survey also highlighted that the use of financial advice was highest among the 55-64 age bracket, or those approaching retirement," he said.

Respondents ranked the state of the economy as their number one concern, followed by job security, healthcare costs and having to spend more than they earned.

Those on lower incomes were most concerned with changes to government pensions and social security, and housing costs.

The higher income earners were concerned about tax policies, changes to interest rates and stock market volatility.

The survey also found Australian respondents are keener about their need to plan for a comfortable retirement than those globally, with 76 per cent of those retired believing in saving for retirement as soon as possible.

Seventy-two per cent want a long-term approach to retirement saving, compared to only 55 per cent globally.

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