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Independent investors: 16.8 million Aussies don’t have a financial adviser or planner

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The majority of Australians are taking matters of financial advice into their own hands, according to new research by Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 1,054 respondents revealed just 16% of Australians have a financial adviser or planner.

That leaves 16.8 million Aussies (84%) who are making their own financial decisions.

The research shows men (18%) are more likely than women (13%) to seek financial advice.

The most common reason Australians don't get financial advice is preferring to manage their own money (42%), followed by the advice being too expensive (39%).

Kylie Purcell, investing expert at Finder, said costs are a significant barrier for many Australians who desperately need financial advice.

"Cost is a key issue for 2 in 5 Australians who aren't currently receiving financial advice.

"In fact this was one of the most common issues for all demographics, bar baby boomers.

"The reality is that the majority of Australians aren't prepared to pay anything for financial advice. Even those who are willing to fork out for it don't want to spend a lot."

Finder's research found the average Australian who is willing to pay for financial advice is prepared to spend $1,164 – much less than the current cost.

A third (29%) of Aussies who don't get financial advice say their net worth isn't high enough to warrant the cost.

Purcell said financial planners are not just for wealthy people.

"Everyday Australians also use financial advisory services – they can be a huge help in creating wealth and in safeguarding against loss.

"Many advisers offer the first consultation for free so it's a good opportunity to shop around and find one that you're comfortable with.

"Just make sure to always read the financial services guide (FSG) because this tells you what fees they're charging and whether they have any ties to products they may be offering."

Finder's research shows almost 1 in 5 (17%) Australians don't trust financial advisers.

"In the wake of the banking royal commission, it's no wonder some Australians have lost faith in the advice sector.

"Luckily, a lot of positive changes have been made since then, including the banning of commissions from most investment product recommendations and greater transparency around how fees are charged," Purcell said.

Purcell said robo-advisors were also an option worth considering.

"Although you don't get the same level of personal advice, robo-advisors can be a good alternative for those who can't afford to see a financial adviser.

"With a robo-advisor you typically fill in a questionnaire and are then recommended an investment fund that suits your risk profile and investment goals."

Do you have a financial adviser or planner?
Source: Finder survey of 1,054 respondents, October 2022
Why don't you have a financial adviser/planner?
I prefer to manage my own money42%
It's too expensive39%
I don't think my networth is high enough to29%
I don't see the benefit27%
I don't trust financial advisers17%
I don't know how to find one8%
Other (please specify)2%
Source: Finder survey of 890 respondents who responded 'no' to having a financial adviser or planner, October 2022

Check out Finder's guide to choosing a financial adviser that suits you.

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