Decision making can be hard. As humans, we often suffer from mental biases that hinder our ability to make ideal choices. Or we simply leave things in the ‘too hard basket ’knowing we will get around to sorting it out one day. As a financial adviser, I often find myself helping clients navigate this process, and often it just starts with identifying a goal. What motivates us to keep pushing forward in our career or business? Why do we do what we do? Ultimately, what is it all for – what do we want? These lofty questions are not usually what you would expect to be discussed at your accountant’s office, however, as the resident financial planner at AgilisCA, this is where I often start my conversations. Without knowing what the end goal is, or what is important to someone, how can I know what advice is going to help them achieve it?
What is commonly understood and expected to be the benefits of financial advice such as retiring earlier, relative investment returns, or other explicit goals; the true value of advice is more intangible. A recent study conducted jointly between IOOF and CoreData where 12,643 advised Australians were surveyed revealed those who have received advice:
- 90% agreed their adviser is a critical partner in their financial success
- 93% rated their financial adviser as very good or good with respect to the value of their services
- 84% agree the value of advice outweighs the costs
- 93% would likely recommend their financial adviser to family, friends, or colleagues.
Some of the key benefits:
- 93% believe advice provides clarity around goals and progression towards them
- 91% agreed receiving advice helped them to achieve their financial goals
- 86% agreed advice helped them achieve personal goals
- 82% believe advice helps inspire them to work towards and reach their goals.
What is more, 90% of advised clients say that accessing financial advice has left them in a better position financially. Advised clients say it also provides them with improved mental health (50%) less worry and stress (88%), and better relationships with family and friends (41%).
The Governments MoneySmart website provides some good basic information on how a financial adviser can help you make important financial decisions; the website also offers some good tools and calculators to get you thinking about your own situation and goals.
Even if you feel you have a good handle on your financial situation, having a discussion with a financial adviser may prompt positive action in areas that you are simply unaware of. After all, we do not know what we do not know. If the benchmark for good financial advice extends beyond financial gains, to improved physical health, stronger relationships, and personal happiness, what are you waiting for!? There’s a popular Chinese proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” Basically, the best time to act is now!