Needless to say, the last year has proved challenging, but resilience resumes, and financial needs are central to the way we live.
In a time whereby individuals’ financial circumstances could not be more contrasting: from furlough pay cheques to some saving more in one year than ever before, there has been a great need for advisers to step up, become more dynamic and serve clients while adapting to a new way of working.
We have uncovered some key points that may help advisers who have not been able to take a step back and analyse what could be happening under their noses.
A greatly needed reassurance – existing clients as well as new ones seeking much needed reassurance of sticking to their long-term plans. Questions posed among many are: "Should we move our investments to a lower risk environment or even cash?" and: ‘Are we still on track with our plans?’.
This is more of a simple answer from a financial planning perspective, but for a client there is a great value in having the access to a financial adviser. We felt that bringing in an interim review forward, and meeting clients that were more concerned about their finances increased their confidence and provided reassurance.
The power of speaking to someone - just to understand products - has never been more important. We have found 34 per cent of our new enquiries just want to ask a question and ‘chat through’ a specific topic without engaging in fully-fledged financial advice. This is reassuring in knowing that individuals have a great need and interest in financial planning advice who have never had it before. There are those that fit into the gaps between ‘advised’ and ‘not yet advised’ – who may steer towards becoming advised clients in the future.
Delayed and accelerated plans – some people will be coming out of this with far greater savings that at any point in time or have saved more money than that before. Unfortunately, others will have severely felt the financial impacts of the pandemic. The furlough scheme has been a life saver for thousands, but this has not taken away the uncertainty for those that are looking for jobs and those that have lost them. On the other hand, the pandemic has accelerated plans to: invest more, access pension plans and seek more financial guidance. Coupled with more money and more time at home, it seems as though people have sought to get their ‘financial ducks in a row’.
People need help now more than ever. With increased choice, better advanced technology and better access to products, there is a natural cause for confusion.
It goes without saying that it has been challenging times for providers. With their teams being affected by the effects of Covid and with service levels dropping it has become harder to contact current providers.