Trust in advisers lifts as pandemic fear ensues

Advisers are the most trusted source of information surrounding the impacts of COVID-19, above government sources and the media, according to research coming out of MLC Wealth.

It's a key finding of a survey of over 1600 MLC clients and members of the general public.

The survey found investors and clients of the wealth management business were most concerned about the economic impacts of the coronavirus (8.5/10 concern level), as well as market volatility and its ramifications on their investments and superannuation (8.2/10 concern level).

The health and wellbeing of the community (7.8/10 concern level) and family members (7.7/10 concern level) also rated highly as key areas of concern.

MLC Wealth chief executive Geoff Lloyd said the research highlighted the financial and emotional support that advice professionals bring to their clients.

"Advised Australians, including our clients and those with financial advisers in other groups, told us their adviser was their primary source of truth for information on the pandemic, suggesting many see their adviser as a 'life coach' in moments that matter, like now," he said.

"MLC's enduring belief is that good financial advice is worth it. This research shows that in moments like these, clients share this view."

Lloyd said the current period of uncertainty was an opportune time for advisers to step up and address their client's needs.

"These are very tough times for Australians, in particular - but not limited to - those who've never experienced a major market downturn, and those nearing or in retirement," he said.

"This leads to next-level responsibility for financial advisers in addressing client needs."

Advisers should continue to deliver timely and relevant communication, information and strategies to help their clients during this time of hardship, he said.

"Advisers are clearly well positioned to be their clients' supportive and trusted guide," Lloyd said.

For those without advisers, TV news, online, government information and radio were the main ways to access information on the impacts of COVID-19. Super funds made the top four of their most trusted sources.

To collate this information, MLC Wealth conducted two sentiment surveys, one of the general population with 1014 respondents, and one of its own clients and members with 642 respondents.

Respondents were aged between 35-80 years old, and completed the survey in the week beginning March 16.

Read our full COVID-19 news coverage and analysis here.

Read more: AdvisersTrustMLC WealthSuperGeoff Lloyd
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