Aegon 

Just one in four baby boomers have an IFA

Just one in four baby boomers have an IFA

Despite baby boomers owning more than a third of the UK's wealth, just one in four (25%) in this age group have sought advice from a financial adviser.

This is according to research by Aegon, which revealed those aged between 55 and 73 are missing out on potential investment gains as they lack confidence and knowledge about where to invest their money.

The research, conducted in October 2018 among more than 2,000 UK adults, revealed two in five (39 per cent) baby boomers have no risk appetite, while 44 per cent prefer to avoid risk at all costs, compared with 36 per cent of those aged 18 to 34.

A quarter (26 per cent) put their risk aversion down to a fear of making a wrong investment decision. 

Just 3 per cent said they are highly confident that their chosen investments will deliver strong returns over the next five to 10 years, compared with one in 10 aged 18 to 34-years-old.

One in five also stated they don't know what they view as a good return on investment over a 10 and 20-year period.

Nearly a third said being financially cautious is incredibly important to them, while 18 per cent said family and friends would describe them as cautious.

According to Office for National Statistics (ONS) household wealth data, baby boomers own more than a third of the UK's wealth, primarily driven by the value of property, pensions and savings.

Nick Dixon, investment director at Aegon, said many baby boomers in retirement, or nearing that point, are sleepwalking into poor financial decisions due to failing to seek financial advice.

Mr Dixon said: "Our research shows that, even though baby boomers have accumulated the most wealth, they are at risk of excessive caution and exposing their hard earned money to stagnation.

"Not only will growth potential be reduced, but the impact of inflation on savings held in cash or very low risk investments means that what those savings can buy will fall over time.

"Those in this age bracket should consider how to make their money work harder into retirement and avoid the trap of holding excessive amounts in cash, which can create a false perception of risk control."

Mr Dixon said taking measured risk is essential to generate decent investment returns.

He said: "Good financial advice can build confidence and improve understanding of risk to inform investment decisions that best suit an individual's life stage and goals."

Ian Highton, partner at Essential Financial Advisers, said he is not surprised by the findings and feels these cautious attitudes are inherited from the generation before.

Mr Highton said: "My parents fall into the top end of this age bracket, and they are certainly more cautious. Their parents lived the war, and the aftermath which involved rationing. So attitudes towards money was very different.

"However, the clients we have in this age range generally come to us because they have noticed they are getting much lower returns on investments like Isas, than they did years before.