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2020 pivotal year for advice conversations

19 November 2020

2020 has been a pivotal year for advice conversations amid a shift in attitudes towards personal finances, new research has shown.

According to a survey by Charles Stanley, more than half (52%) of advisers reported an increase in ‘out of hours’ contact with clients during the Covid-19 pandemic, while 47% of advisers also noted that clients required a significant level of detail on their investments and performance.

The wealth manager said that estate planning and intergenerational transfer of wealth has been edging higher up clients’ priority list, according to 55% of advisers. Similarly, a third (34%) of consumers surveyed said that making plans to pass on wealth and inheritance is the main reason they would seek financial advice.

The pandemic was found to have prompted many clients to question their financial plans, with 70% of advisers noting an increase in concern from clients over funding for later life, while 63% reported an increase in concerns around income generation and 61% cited early retirement.

Elsewhere, the research found that this year has also seen a change in demographics, with over two thirds (68%) of advisers seeing more engagement from younger audiences. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter (23%) of advisers said there has been greater appetite for sustainable investing.

John Porteous, group head of distribution, Charles Stanley, said: “It’s been a difficult year for many, with financial plans and investments thrown off course by the market turbulence and the economic impacts of Covid. It’s at times like this that financial advice really pays dividends and our survey suggests this is translating into a surge in demand among advisers.

“During 2020 advisers have been quick to adapt to “the new normal” pivoting high touch face to face business models to be able to serve a more diverse client set remotely.  And while this has undoubtedly placed a lot of pressure on them, it’s also arguably left them better equipped for the new adviser conversation which is fast emerging.

“As we go into 2021, finding new ways to serve an engaged, intergenerational audience will be a priority to meet their differing attitudes and requirements.”

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