The stats relating to the number of people who seek financial advice and support is only about 20% of the population* which is rather a small number when you consider that virtually all people in the workforce have some form of debt, superannuation or insurance.
There has been plenty of promotion by Industry Superannuation Funds, various articles and programmes in the media as well a plethora of new Government legislation which you’d think would trigger more people to investigate their financial position and what they can do to improve their prospects.
The reason for this financial apathy, we believe, is that people’s awareness of their financial state is largely out of sight and out of mind and usually only becomes apparent when something drastic occurs such as forced retirement, ill health or accident, receipt of an inheritance or other change in personal circumstances. Most people are consumed by what happens each day so little wonder that planning for life events, whether they come to pass or not, takes a back seat. More than ever, we’ve become a society dependent on meeting our needs instantaneously or on impulse.
This partly explains why our national debt level is now at record highs and savings are at record lows. Even manufacturers, retailers and industry work on the principal of ‘just in time’ where they buy and sell products based on short term needs.
Sound financial advice
Sound financial advice is almost the opposite experience of all that we’re accustomed to in today’s fast and hectic way of life. The focus of a skilled adviser is to engage their clients in identifying their current circumstances and those things that are most important to them so that they have a good understanding of what they wish to achieve for themselves and their families.
This valuable information is the basis for creating a financial plan which might include specialist strategic advice around taxation, superannuation, retirement income or structuring an insurance programme in the most effective way.
The benefit of the advice process is to create path or direction through clarity and new vision so clients are motivated to achieve their desired outcomes. This is then seen as a financial marathon rather than a sprint.
*Source Investment Trends 2015 Direct Client Report