More millennials turning to advisers


By Sarah Kendell

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A majority of millennials were now seeking advice to deal with financial issues, although many consumers still believed financial advice was reserved for those with immense wealth or complex financial circumstances, according to new research from Mortgage Choice.

The group’s “Australian Financial Savviness Whitepaper”, based on a survey of over 1000 consumers, revealed 68 per cent of generation Y respondents were seeking the counsel of a professional adviser in order to make the right financial decisions.

However, across the broader population, one-third of consumers said they did not believe their circumstances warranted seeking financial advice, despite the fact that 73 per cent of those who had sought advice said their personal and financial well-being had improved as a result.

Addressing a media lunch in Sydney yesterday, Mortgage Choice chief executive John Flavell said the results indicated that rightly or wrongly, a large number of consumers were confident in their own choices when it came to money.

“The vast majority of Australians believe that they are money smart and make sound financial decisions, and that the decisions they make help them to make more of their money,” Flavell said.

“From my perspective it is quite surprising to think that so many people think their money works as hard for them as it does given that globally returns on investments are pretty anaemic – 94 per cent of respondents said that they think their money works hard for them as opposed to the other way around.”

However, there was still a proportion of the population who struggled to make financial decisions on their own, with 39 per cent of respondents admitting they found it difficult to understand financial data.

When it came to asset classes, property was the most popular with 51 per cent of consumers saying they invested in it, while 28 per cent said they invested in Australian shares.

Flavell said the enduring popularity of real estate was due to the fact consumers felt they could more easily get their head around it and they were also encouraged by tax incentives.

“As Australians we are in love with property as an asset class - the extent to which we can leverage into it the concessions from a tax perspective, whether it is on the way through or with CGT (capital gains tax) exemptions for the primary place of residence, all those things are still compelling and we also believe we understand it,” he said.

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