What do Australians want financial advice on?

Money Management -

Investments, retirement, superannuation and cash flow. These are the financial issues that keep Australians awake at night. Here we look at how a financial adviser can assist you in these areas.

According to the recent ASIC report, the topics Australians want financial advice on:

  • Investments (e.g. shares and managed funds) 45%
  • retirement income planning 37%
  • growing superannuation 31%
  • budgeting or cash flow management 22%
  • aged care planning 18%
Despite this, only 12% of Australian surveyed sought financial advice in the past 12 months.  
Like many Australians, you might have thought about helping secure your family's financial future by working with a financial adviser.
According to the recent Australian Securities & Investments Commission report, 'Financial advice: What consumers really think', 79% of Australians believe “financial advisers have expertise in financial matters that I do not have”.
Yet here's the kicker: only 12% have actually sought advice in the past 12 months.
The good news is 41% of Australians intend to get financial advice in the future, and 25% intend on doing so in the next 12 months.
Below we've covered the areas they are most interested in seeking advice on.

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1. Investment advice

According to the ASIC report, perhaps unsurprisingly, 45% of Australians want advice on investments (e.g. shares and managed funds)

But, a 2019 report by global investment solutions firm Russell Investments – ‘Why work with a financial adviser?’ states that researchers have discovered over 200 unconscious biases that influence our decisions, which could have a detrimental effect on our future wealth.

“People tend to let their emotions and other human tendencies influence their decision making. But when it comes to investing, acting like a human may actually cost you money,” the Russell Investments report states.

“To be a successful investor, it is important to be objective and disciplined when making investment decisions.

2. Retirement income planning

According to the ASIC report, 37% of survey participants wanted advice on retirement income planning.

Indeed, according to the 2017 ASX Australian Investor Study report, retirement and wealth accumulation are “front of mind for all age groups, and individuals are investing in products that reflect these goals”.

The ASX report states that a single person seeking a ‘modest’ lifestyle in retirement requires a lump sum of at least $370,000 (without the age pension) invested and returning 7% p.a.

For couples, this lump sum needs to be at least $400,000. 

In order to have a ‘comfortable’ retirement, households will require double these amounts.

One of the most important jobs a financial adviser has is helping you to determine the best investment strategy and risk profile to achieve your long-term retirement objectives.

“Investing early to accumulate wealth will make the difference between a modest and a comfortable retirement in the future – and whether or not individuals will need to rely on the age pension,” the ASX report states.

Financial advisers can help you craft a diversified portfolio that is intended to provide not just a comfortable living when you eventually retire, but also design a strategy that takes into account your age, circumstances and risk appetite.

3. Superannuation

The ASIC survey shows that 31% of Australians also want advice on growing their superannuation.

Now, superannuation seems to be another one of those financial topics that people know about, but don't truly understand, despite the major long-term benefits.

In fact, research by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), has found that Australians under 30 years of age tend to have higher balances in their superannuation accounts than their bank accounts.

And yet, 40% of young people have absolutely no idea what their superannuation balance is.

There are also several tax deduction benefits related to superannuation contributions, and this is the kind of information a financial adviser can provide while helping you get the most out of your superannuation plan.

4. Cash flow

It turns out that 22% of ASIC survey participants wanted advice on budgeting or cash flow management. 

And for good reason.

A study by UBank found that an alarming 86% of Australians can't tell you exactly what their monthly expenditures are. 

This is where a financial adviser can really make an impact in your current day-to-day life – not just decades down the track.

A financial adviser can help you manage your monthly budgets, reduce your debt and make sure you have enough cash flow to comfortably make it to the end of each month. 

What do you want advice on?

As you can see, a financial adviser can offer a wealth of beneficial advice that is not limited to investments alone. 

Better yet, in the long run, the value of good financial advice can far outweigh the upfront costs of seeking their advice. 


So if you would like to be put in touch with a professional financial adviser then please visit TAL's Find an Adviser page.

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© Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Reproduced with permission. Please see the website for further info.

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