Institution size a consideration

Financial advisers looking to move to a smaller licensee should pause for thought, wealthdigital believes.

Pointing to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) latest research on planning perceptions, wealthdigital said respondents identified a firm’s reputation, size, and focus on advice as key characteristics.

Wealthdigital’s manager of policy and technical services, Rob Lavery said: “While not keen on firms that have a main focus somewhere other than financial planning, consumers do seek size as an assurance of security”.

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Advisers looking to move away from large institutions should consider this, Lavery added.

He noted that knowledge and expertise were core reasons why consumers sought advice.

The research said the top issues that Australians wanted financial advice on was investments, retirement income planning, growing their superannuation, budgeting or cashflow management, and aged care planning.

“Aged care planning also ranked higher than some of the traditional financial planning services, such as life insurance, switching super and estate planning, on respondents’ hierarchy of advice needs,” Lavery said.

“There are a lot of advice specialities being promoted currently, and the need for good aged care advice isn’t just one for the future, ASIC’s research highlights that it is need now. The same is true of cashflow advice.”

However, Lavery pointed to the lack of trust and confidence in advice which he said was “particularly concerning”.

“The opportunity for advisers to broaden their services to fulfil the needs consumers identified through the research is significant,” he said.

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