Brits seek reassurance from advisers over returns
The research has found that while most UK adults seek out professional financial advice for a practical reason, such as a specific financial need or life event, what is most valued is the emotional reassurance the advice process can give them.
The survey of 1,600 people who had used a professional financial adviser found that almost 60% of UK adults who have ever used a professional financial adviser said that a specific financial need (34%) or life event (25%) – like a divorce, redundancy or moving home – were two of the top reasons why they sought professional financial advice.
But it is financial confidence and security that is given as the most desired outcome from seeking professional financial advice (36%), significantly outweighing more obviously material concerns such as more wealth (7%), greater income (9%) or a bigger pension (11%).
Almost half said they felt more confident that they were in control of their finances after taking professional financial advice.
Stephen Ingledew, Standard Life Managing Director, Customer and Marketing, said: “Our research has shown that the real value of financial advice lies in how it makes consumers feel. It’s clear for many people that reassurance and confidence are more important than more material considerations such as being demonstrably better off. In other words ‘peace of mind’ can be priceless.
The research comes as the financial advisory industry faces an overhaul in its structure. The implementation of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) at the start of 2013 will enhance the way many advisers do business.
Ingledew continued: “In the run up to the introduction of the RDR regime there has been a lot of focus on the cost of financial advice.
But we believe the more fundamental impact will be that more and more people recognise the value of the professional services that financial advisers can provide in delivering this peace of mind”.
“While many advisers have been moving away from product-based sales for some time to provide a holistic, long-term financial planning service, RDR will make this the industry standard as advisers will be required to clearly articulate their on-going services and client engagement.
“This can only be good news for the industry and the customer and we believe there will be a thriving advice profession in the post-RDR market for many years to come.”