The Q4 2016 MLC Wealth Sentiment Survey revealed that less than 3 in 10 Australians have attempted to obtain any sort of professional guidance over the last 2 years when it comes to personal financial matters.
Savings, investments, superannuation, retirement, and tax planning were financial topics that many Australians were found to be going it alone on, with over 70% of us having not sought advice concerning them.
The survey also found that, despite constant increases in school fees and expenses, 90% of Australians have not been given advice on financing their children’s education.
NAB Executive General Manager of Wealth Advice Greg Miller said money decisions need to be “good ones that are based on our unique circumstances and goals”.
“The decisions we make about our money affect us every day of our lives, and they really impact our happiness,” Mr Miller said.
“While some people are well-equipped to go it alone, money matters are complex for some but critical for everybody, and over time the decisions you make can have huge implications.”
Findings in the report suggested that this lack of professional financial advice may be linked to our low levels of wealth satisfaction.
Respondents ranked their income a 4/10, their net worth a 4.1/10, and their lifestyle a 4.7/10.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, satisfaction levels increased across the board as income increased, and men were slightly more satisfied than women.
While very few of us are actively seeking professional financial advice, it’s important to note that those who have recommend doing so highly.
82% of those who had engaged the services of a financial planner rated the advice received as ‘good’ to ‘excellent’, with respondents saying the advice was good because:
- The advice given was tailored to their specific needs
- The planner identified and understood their investing purposes and goals
- The planner looked at risk and ways to minimise it
Some other key findings from the survey were that:
- Roughly half of Australians don’t think they’ll have enough to retire on (55% of women and 48% of men)
- 9 out of 10 Australians don’t consider themselves wealthy
- Nearly half of all Australians don’t believe they’ve done enough to reach their wealth goals
Mr Miller said busy people often feel “overwhelmed by all the financial decisions they have to make”.
“In the end, they often don’t end up doing much at all, or doing what’s easiest, which may not be the best course of action,” Mr Miller said.
“It’s natural that having a professional do the legwork and guiding you through such an important part of life takes a lot of the stress away.”