How has the pandemic changed attitudes to advice?

New research from LV= reveals that financial advice has continued to thrive during the pandemic, with inheritance prompting people to contact an adviser.

Related topics:  Finance News
Rozi Jones
14th January 2022
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"The research highlights importance to advisers of developing a strong and trusted relationship with clients"

23% of adults got financial advice since the start of the pandemic and the groups most likely to take advice were mass affluent (41%) and 18-34 year olds (36%), while men (31%) were more likely than women (16%) to consult an adviser.

More than a quarter (28%) say they now value their adviser more since the start of the pandemic, rising to 42% for 18-34 year olds.

23% communicated with their adviser more often during the pandemic and 19% said they found their adviser helpful during this period, with the figure rising to 39% for those aged 55-65.

Nearly one in four adults got advice during the pandemic. The most likely group to do so (40%) were the mass affluent – those with assets of between £100,000 and £500,000 excluding property – and inheritance is one of the main reasons people consulted a financial adviser, with 20% of 18-34s taking advice after receiving an inheritance.

Tax advice – on inheritance tax and accessing pensions in a tax-efficient manner – were also main reasons for mass affluent consumers consulting an adviser.

43% of mass affluent people want advice on how to access their pension in a tax-efficient manner and how to minimise inheritance tax.

45% of people with estates over £325,000 believe advice on minimising inheritance tax is valuable and about half of the UK population say they have already sought or plan to seek IHT advice. About one n 10 (12%) have already sought advice on minimising IHT with another 37% saying they plan to do so.

The research also found that views remain mixed on face-to-face advice. Face-to-face meetings are still important but Covid made some reluctant to do so.

22% disliked not being able to meet their adviser face-to-face while 22% said they had delayed seeing their adviser until they could meet in person, with the figure rising to 34% among 18-34 year olds.

Perhaps surprisingly, older age groups use more remote communication than face-to-face, with over 55s much more likely to have used video call than under 55s.

50% were happy to receive advice other than face-to-face, and this was especially true of over 65s (61%)

Clive Bolton, managing director of savings and retirement at LV=, said: “The latest LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Monitor highlights how the turbulence of the last 18 months has made people realise the value of high-quality financial advice.

“The uncertainty cause by the covid pandemic, lockdown and stock market fall last year has made people re-evaluate their priorities and, for example, many have decided to take early retirement.

“Although typically it is the relatively affluent who have consulted a financial adviser, it is good news to see so many young people taking professional advice. Many took advice after receiving an inheritance and it gives advisers the chance to develop long-lasting relationships with clients that could last decades.

“The research highlights importance to advisers of developing a strong and trusted relationship with clients, and annual reviews are one of the most important ways advisers can maintain a long-term relationship with clients.

“How people take advice has also been changed by the pandemic. Traditionally those aged 55 and over – a key demographic for advisers – preferred face-to-face meetings but fears of contracting covid means this over 55s are more likely to use video calls than under 55s.”

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