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Financial Happenings Blog
Wednesday, December 29 2010
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) last week released a findings report on the access to financial advice in Australia.  The report was compelling reading for us in the industry but also provided some discussion points for those tossing up whether to seek financial advice.  ASIC Access to Financial Advice Report

The report made the following key findings:
  • Cost of advice: A significant gap exists between what consumers are prepared to pay for financial advice and how much it costs industry to provide advice.
  • Scale of advice provided: Many Australians, particularly those who have never previously accessed financial advice, want piece-by-piece simple advice rather than holistic advice. Many advice providers still provide holistic advice as the default option.
  • Consumer perceptions that advice is out of their reach: Evidence suggests some people do not seek financial advice because they feel their financial circumstances do not warrant advice.
  • Consumer mistrust of financial planners: A lack of trust in financial planners to provide unbiased, professional advice limits the number of consumers who seek advice and the value they place on financial advice.
  • Access to general advice and information: The provision of general advice or factual information is less extensive than it could and should be. For many consumers general advice and factual information may be sufficient to meet their current advice needs.
  • Financial literacy: Gaps in financial literacy, especially among certain demographics and in relation to certain financial topics, limits some consumers’ engagement with financial matters and so stops them from seeking advice.
Since opening our doors in 2006, we have been working at addressing the issues raised by ASIC through:
  • Implementing a flexible fee structure with ongoing fees 1/2 of the average financial advice fee charged in the industry and minimal establishment fees.
  • Flexible advice offerings depending on client needs with a free initial consultation often being sufficient for many who knock on our door.
  • Through lower fee levels, making our services accessible to a much wider segment of clients.
  • Implementing a firm independent of product bias by not accepting commission payments nor ownership bias.
  • Providing a source of general advice through this no cost general advice website and our email newsletter service.
If you are interested in taking the first step to access great quality financial advice please get in contact for an initial consultation.

Scott Keefer
Posted by: AT 07:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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