The Bottom Line: Why Shrewd Customers Use An Adviser
Let's face it - Financial Advisers have a bit of an image problem. In the public's mind they probably rank alongside bankers, second-hand car dealers and estate agents in the trustworthiness stakes, and every investment fraud and mis-selling scandal that's gleefully reported by the press does nothing to improve this. Then there's the thorny issue of fees, and the anecdotal view that Adviser fees are unjustifiably high, and that they're all simply out to line their own pockets at the customer's expense.
So, is this image and reputation deserved? Should Financial Advisers be viewed with suspicion or is this all a myth? Let's take a look at a few facts.
In 2017 the ILC-UK published its report The Value of Financial Advice, which quantified, for the first time, the real value of taking financial advice. The results strongly demonstrate the positive value of financial advice for consumers - both amongst those who are wealthy and those less well-off too.
The report concluded that those who were wealthy and took financial advice accumulated 17% more in liquid financial assets and 16% more in pension wealth than those who hadn't consulted an Adviser. For those 'just getting by' the figures were even more dramatic - 39% more liquid assets and 21% more pension wealth for those who took advice; all more than enough to justify the fees charged by the Adviser.
Alongside demonstrating real value for their customers, evidence from this report also reveals that the experience of taking advice is highly satisfactory - 9 in 10 people were satisfied with the advice received with the vast majority deciding to go with their Adviser's recommendation.
In December last year ILC-UK issued an updated analysis which not only reinforced their 2017 findings but in addition demonstrated that fostering an ongoing relationship with a Financial Adviser leads to even better financial outcomes. For example, those who reported receiving advice at both time points in ILC's analysis had nearly 50% higher average pension wealth than those only advised at the start.
So, given this independent assessment, it begs the question why Advisers have such a poor image, and since advice has clear benefits for customers, why more people don't seek it? The ILC-UK report sheds some light on this too.
The two most powerful driving forces of whether people sought advice were whether the individual trusts the Adviser providing the advice and that individual's level of financial capability. Clearly therefore the more Advisers can demonstrate trustworthiness, the more likely they are to attract customers.
There are a number of ways you can assess an Adviser's credentials - checking they are actually on the FCA register and how long they have been in business is a good starting point. The most effective check however is to ask their customers. Get the prospective Adviser to give you testimonials from satisfied customers along with the number and scoring of verified reviews they've had from clients. At Ellis Bates Financial Advisers we encourage all our customers to leave a review of the service they have received with an independent review company.
The International Longevity Centre UK (ILC) is the UK's specialist think tank on the impact of longevity on society. The ILC was established in 1997, as one of the founder members of the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance, an international network on longevity.
Ellis Bates Financial Advisers are independent financial advisers with offices across the United Kingdom. They specialise in active investment management of over £1 billion of assets on behalf of clients, who have given them a 4.9/5.00 score with Trustist.