The true value of financial advice today

There are clearly a variety of reasons why people utilise the services of a financial adviser, but among the key motivating factors is undoubtedly the peace of mind professional advice affords to clients. And, in challenging times like these, it is clearly not difficult to understand why that particular benefit is deemed so important. 

Peace of mind 

A recent survey1 sought to ascertain the main reasons why investors seek the expertise of a financial adviser and it found that more than half of those that use one did so for peace of mind. In contrast, just a third said they used an adviser due to their own lack of financial expertise, while less than a fifth did so because of time constraints. 

Soft factors are important 

The research also asked investors which aspects of advice they place most value on, with two-thirds saying investment returns were critical and just over four in ten attributing value to tax management efficiency. Interestingly, however, the study also found that a number of soft factors were equally, if not more, important to investors. For instance, half of respondents said they valued the ability to plan how they will attain their financial goals. 

Support key in difficult times 

The value of support provided by an adviser tends to be accentuated during challenging economic times when clients typically need greater reassurance and the confidence required to maintain a long-term outlook. During such periods, for example, advisers perform a vital role by ensuring clients 

do not fall into the trap of ‘selling low’ or ‘buying high.’ 

Avoiding expensive mistakes 

This latter point perhaps highlights the true value gained from using a financial adviser, which is that it helps clients avoid making costly mistakes. In essence, value therefore seems to stem less from picking the best investments and more from constantly making smart decisions across a range of issues, whether that be: tax, cost or income management, asset allocation, portfolio rebalancing, or withdrawal strategies. 

1Hymans Robertson, 2023 

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.