Australians need to experience financial advice first-hand to truly understand its financial, emotional and behavioural benefits. However, there are many issues hindering take-up.
That is the underlying theme of the Association of Financial Advisers' latest white paper, Great Advice for More Australians, released yesterday at the AFA National Adviser Conference.
Produced by CoreData, the white paper demonstrates the positive differences financial advice makes in the lives of advised clients.
AFA chief executive Philip Kewin said a key finding of the paper was how advised clients feel about their financial situation as a result of receiving advice. In most cases, they feel better than those who don't receive advice.
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"Most people responding to the survey, 79.4%, either agree or strongly agree that they feel more peace of mind since receiving advice," Kewin said.
"One of the key findings from the white paper was that in general, people who receive financial advice pay less tax, have little to no bad debt and have their money working harder for them."
However, the white paper also highlighted the advocacy difficulties facing the advice industry, with Kewin pointing to costs and a lack of trust as barriers in the road of those who might wish to access advice.
"The cost of advice is a very real barrier for some people," he said.
"Another barrier is the erosion of trust in our industry. That said; it is encouraging that the white paper reveals 72% of people who have never received financial advice would consider it."
In presenting the white paper to conference delegates on Thursday, CoreData principal and founder Andrew Inwood said the research found the personal brands of advisers have remained intact, despite the industry's reputational problems at large.
"The industry has taken a beating. The big brands have taken a beating," Inwood said.
"But your personal brand hasn't taken a beating. People are conflating it (the Royal Commission) with the businesses, but not with you. Personally, there's been little impact."