Do your clients trust you? Roy Morgan may have found that 74% of the Aussie public don’t trust financial planners, but new research suggests that the level of trust amongst those members of the public that actually use a financial planner’s services is now at its highest point since October 2008.
According to research conducted by the University of Adelaide’s International Centre for Financial Services (ICFS), clients are becoming increasingly pleased with the technical ability, trust and reliability of their financial adviser.
Despite the share market’s recent wobbles, the results – compiled in the latest Lifeplan ICFS Financial Advice Satisfaction Index – show a significant improvement in how advisers are performing in the index’s three key benchmarks of trustworthiness, reliability and technical ability.
Client perception of trust and reliability increased by 4.3 per cent, while perception of technical ability increased by 5.9 per cent. This put the twice-yearly index at a total score of 71.3 – its highest level since October 2008.
Lifespan head Matt Walsh said there has always been a relatively high correlation between share market movements and perceptions of investment performance by clients, but the same does not apply to perceptions of technical ability or trust and reliability.
“The dramatic increase in perceptions of trust and reliability and technical ability, at a time when the ASX 200 was doing very little, suggests that advisers have made good progress in helping clients understand the true benefit that they can provide,” he said
“The rise in perception levels shows return on investment is not the only, or even the main, criteria clients hold their advisers to, but that technical areas such as tax advice, estate planning or structuring of finances are highly valued by clients.
“Advisers tread the fine line between encouraging clients to invest for long-term benefit, and managing their short to medium term fears of market volatility. This survey shows that whatever advisers are doing is being recognised by their clients in a positive way.”
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