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Value trumps all in client stakes: research

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One of the hardest things for some financial advisers to do, it seems, is to explain simply and clearly to a client, whether existing or prospective, exactly why financial advice is valuable, and what’s in it for the client.

In part, it’s because there are certain things advisers take for granted – like their advice is valuable. But it’s also partly an historical issue stemming from the fact that for many years, advisers didn’t have to articulate much of a value proposition at all, beyond being competent at picking investment products.

It was possible to run a (financially) successful advice business by attracting people with money to invest, selecting a few managed funds, and being paid a commission for the products sold. Life got a little tougher when commissions were banned, so the focus shifted to charging a “fee” based on assets under management (with, in some cases, an associated managed portfolio service), but the basic proposition remained the same.

And that’s in large part where a common perception came from that you have to have money to invest before it’s worth going to see a financial adviser.

CoreData’s latest trust research shows that around four in 10 people have never had a financial adviser, ever. A broadly similar proportion have previously had an adviser, but don’t anymore. That leaves about a quarter of people with either an ongoing advice relationship or a relationship based on seeking advice periodically. That’s broadly in-line with the received wisdom that between two and three in 10 Australians have an advice relationship.

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