Yesterday saw the publication of the Financial Literacy : Australians Understanding Money report published by the Financial Literacy Foundation. There is a lot of interesting material presented in the report for an educator and financial planner such as myself. It also provides a timely reminder on how a financial adviser can assist a client in the educative process of how to manage money and investments.
The commentary on the report has mostly been positive focussing on the findings that:
- 83% of adults say they have the ability to deal with credit cards
- 90% say they have the ability to budget
- 88% say they have the ability to save
- 89% say they can manage debt
- 69% say they have the ability to invest money
- 63% say they can ensure they have enough money for retirement
However the report goes on to find that:
- 48% say that dealing with money is stressful and overwhelming
- 48% say they do not budget regularly for their day to day finances
- 66% would not consider both risk and return when choosing an investment
These statistics suggest to me that having ability does not necessarily carry over into successful and stress free experiences managing money. This is where a good financial adviser can be of service.
The role of a financial adviser is not solely about developing investment portfolios, they also can provide clients a relationship similar to that between a coach and athlete. The financial advisers can help clients with the basic techniques and strategies necessary to build wealth:
- Ensuring you save more than you spend and keeping to that
- Understanding the trade off between risk and return
I also believe that good financial advisers provide their clients with someone to keep them committed to their saving and investment strategies.
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