Consumers eschew financial advice
ALMOST half of investors make financial decisions on their own, with only eight per cent opting to use a financial adviser, according to new research.
A survey by pensions provider Aegon into how people make financial decisions found 47 per cent do so independently and 41 per cent consult their partner or spouse.
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Steven Cameron, pension director for Aegon, said the figures were worrying as separate research showed just 14 per cent of people are confident about planning their retirement goals and choosing their investments, while only 20 per cent are comfortable deciding how to access their pension independently.
“The low take-up of financial advice is very worrying,” said Cameron. “Greater personal responsibility for retirement planning combined with increased levels of economic and political uncertainty, mean people need professional financial advice more than ever. In fact there are few people who wouldn’t benefit from financial advice at some point in their lives, especially since the introduction of pension freedoms.
“Our findings emphasise the scale of the task facing the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) in making advice and guidance more accessible. It’s important the FAMR delivers on the recommendations made last year and opens up access to advice in its widest sense.”
“In the meantime, he says, people should consult free sources of guidance such as Pension Wise, the government’s free pensions advice portal.
“Providers and possibly their employers can also provide basic information,” he said. “But for the more important or difficult decisions people should seriously consider paying for financial advice and in many cases, the benefits of getting things right can far outweigh the costs. It might be money well spent to ensure they are doing the best they can with their finances for their financial futures.”