Australians reluctant to seek Professional Advice

Australians more reluctant to seek professional advice

A global survey shows that Australians are twice as likely to turn to family and friends for financial information as they are to seek advice from a professional.

The survey was conducted by global research firm GfK on behalf of the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) and in conjunction with the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

It found that Australians rely less on planners and websites for financial information, compared to people in other countries.

A total of 70% of Australians did not know who to trust when it came to arranging their financial matters, compared to 66% globally.

While consumers are interested in financial planning services, 41% rely on friends and family, 30% rely on websites for financial information and 23% turn to a financial planner, compared to 31% globally.

When asked about the most helpful services that a financial planner can provide, Australians answered budgeting and debt management first (37%) and retirement planning second (35%).

Globally, retirement planning ranks highest at 50%, while investment planning ranks second, at 38%. Budgeting and debt management rank third at 36%.

Knowing who to trust is the biggest barrier with Australians willing to work with a financial planner. As many as 64% say that trustworthiness is a very important consideration, while 70% say they don’t know who to trust, compared to 66% globally.

FPA chief executive Mark Rantall said: “The survey reaffirms our own findings and validates our strategy of lifting education and professional standards of professional financial planners to help earn the trust of more Australians.”

Overall, 19,092 consumers who were either primary or shared household financial decision-makers participated in 19 territories around the world.