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COVID-19 redefines value of advice

COVID value of advice

How the value of advice is defined should be one of the legacies arising from the coronavirus pandemic, the head of an industry body has said.

Redefining the value of financial advice to include benefits beyond monetary results is a legacy from the COVID-19 pandemic practitioners should acknowledge, the leader of an industry body has said.

“For all the conversations we have and research we commission about the value of financial advice, we often overlook the fact that it’s not really about generating high returns or paying less tax,” Association of Financial Advisers chief executive Phil Kewin said today during the organisation’s national conference, Vision 2020.

“The real value is what financial advice does and what financial advisers do for clients’ mental well-being.

“Financial advisers help their clients take stock of their lives, make plans, set realistic goals and check progress against those goals. And by doing so clients are able to take control, achieve mastery of their lives and fulfil their dreams.

“As advisers you’re not trained therapists, but what you do undeniably has therapeutic benefits.”

Kewin’s comments about the extended role financial advisers play in clients’ lives were prompted by Lifeline statistics indicating the organisation broke a 57-year-old record for the number of calls its suicide prevention hotline took.

Further, he pointed out other COVID-19 measures, such as the early release of super, should create an additional area where the value of advice and advisers can be easily identified.

“According to the latest Treasury estimates, around 2.6 million Australians have taken advantage of this scheme,” he revealed.

“For many it has been a lifesaver, but it’s a lifesaver that has seen around $42 billion taken out of our nation’s retirement savings pool. People’s businesses and careers have been impacted profoundly.

“But ultimately that’s a lot of people who need help to rebuild their financial futures. Who can they turn to for that help? Who will they turn to for that help?”

He said this is an indication financial advisers will play a critical and valued role in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery of the nation.

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