Cost is a prohibitive factor for many Australians in taking up comprehensive financial advice, but they are happy to transition from lower-priced discrete advice to a holistic service over time.
This is the key finding of Investment Trends' 2014 Advice & Limited Advice Report, which was based on a study of 6,256 Australians conducted at the end of 2014.
There was a significant gap between expected and actual costs of financial advice.
"When cost is taken into account as a factor, only a small proportion of Australians would prefer to receive the traditional model of comprehensive advice delivered face to face," said Investment Trends analyst King Loong Choi.
"Instead, there are five times as many Australians who prefer to receive limited advice if it's delivered at a lower cost."
At the same time, the industry is yet to fully adapt to providing discrete advice, and respondents typically rated satisfaction with limited advice providers 11% lower than their comprehensive counterparts.
Choi added, "The actual experiences of those who have received limited advice doesn't appear to be lining up to what they were expecting.
"If a person gets limited advice from their bank or super fund, then, given that they have an ongoing relationship with their bank/super fund, they expect the bank/super fund to follow them up on it occasionally - limited advice may not be as one-off as the industry expects."
Which is a good reason, Choi argued, for advisers to diversify their value proposition to allow clients to transition from limited to comprehensive advice over time.
"Financial planning businesses need to consider developing a multi-pronged advice delivery approach to both help attract and retain clients," he said.
"Planners have already started to recognise this opportunity, with half saying they intend to provide more limited advice in 2015."
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