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The increasing importance of financial advice in a post-pandemic landscape

Read the full white paper, The Post-Pandemic Advice Landscape

CoreData Research has published a new white paper, The Post-Pandemic Advice Landscape, analysing the seismic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Australian financial advice industry.

The pandemic has changed how advisers work, where they work and how they engage and communicate with clients. It has increased the demand for advice, and the recognition of its value. And it has impacted the financial and mental health of clients.

The white paper spotlights the importance of good advice in navigating a crisis. But it finds that many advisers believe the crisis has widened the advice gap – further compounding the recent exodus of advisers as the new FASEA standards came into effect.

The paper argues that some of the COVID-19 impacts will be temporary, with life in many states already returning to “normal”. However, other ways in which practices have pivoted and adapted may become permanently entrenched in the industry.

The shift to virtual interactions and increased use of digital tools and solutions to combat social distancing restrictions, for example, amounts to a communications revolution which will forever alter the way advisers engage with clients, as well as clients’ expectations and demands regarding engagement and flexibility.

Technology such as video conferencing that has long existed but seldom been used has enabled new forms of client interactions, new working practices have enabled advisers to work more efficiently and perhaps more productively. Advisers can meet with clients remotely, offer greater flexibility to their clients with virtual meeting options, and, for those with clients spread far and wide, gain back valuable time they would otherwise have spent travelling.

Other technologies, including digital documents and e-signatures, have brought about similar benefits. Thus, while COVID-19 has inflicted severe economic and financial damage to many lives, it has also modernised the Australian advice sector and ushered in more streamlined working practices.

Significantly, the white paper finds that Australian advisers are not alone. While the virus had a greater health impact in the UK, and the lockdown periods a significant impact on business operations, the experience of financial advisers has been similar. Like Australia, the UK advice industry has been forced to revolutionise the way it works to accommodate rising demands and increased client communication.

The white paper says that while COVID-19 has left a trail of uncertainty, anxiety, and in some cases even tragedy, the value of advice is clear. Almost all (96.7 per cent) advisers surveyed across North America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa agreed that the crisis has demonstrated the value advisers can have in helping clients to navigate turbulent markets.

This idea is not new, but demonstrates how now, more than ever, advisers play a key role in supporting their clients through difficult times.

Read the full CoreData white paper, The Post-Pandemic Advice Landscape.

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