COVID-19 has created uncertainty everywhere and impacted not just our health but our wealth too. From millennials to retirees, we’ve had to review our finances and adapt to the changing environment.
We’ve seen volatile share markets, slashed dividends on bank stocks, record-low interest rates and sectors like airlines, tourism and traditional retail struggling to survive. On the other hand, online shopping and e-commerce have surged, and more people are saving now than before the pandemic.
During this uncertainty, many people have found their financial adviser to be a critical source of guidance and a valuable sounding board. In many cases, the adviser-client relationship has been a long-term connection. It’s built over many years and based on trust and confidence that the adviser has the client’s best interest at the centre of every decision.
Demand for advice doubles
The financial advice industry is full of examples of clients reaching out to their advisers in recent months, leveraging these long-term relationships at a time of worry and crisis.
Recent research from the Investment Trends 2020 Financial Advice Report showed three in four financial advice clients had been in contact with their adviser to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advisers are also fielding an unprecedented number of calls from potential clients who are confused by the current markets and understand they need help.
The instability of recent times has undermined the confidence of those who are retired or are about to retire, with many wondering if they’ll be left with enough superannuation savings for a comfortable retirement. But those who have a long-term relationship with their adviser can rely on the fact their adviser knows them well, understands their unique circumstances and life goals, and can deliver advice tailored to them.
Advice for different life stages
Financial advice can be helpful at a range of life stages, not just when thinking about retirement. Some common things advisers can help navigate financially are:
- saving for and preparing to buy your first home
- getting married or starting a family
- budgeting and money management
- growing wealth
- estate planning
- planning for retirement
- retirement and aged care.
Advisers can help with practical advice in all these scenarios. But more importantly, they can help you focus on your financial priorities and goals and create a plan to achieve them.
Life’s journey has many twists and turns and points at which priorities change. For many people, it’s a journey best navigated not only with partners, family and friends but with a trusted financial adviser by their side.