Financial advice appears to be making a significant difference to New Zealanders’ insurance, mortgage and money habits, as Financial Advice New Zealand research has shown that 70% of Kiwis with advisers have reviewed their insurance over the past 12 months, compared to 40% of those without an adviser.
Reflecting on the impact of the advice community over the last year, chair Sue Brown said that good advice is clearly having the kind of impact that the industry is hoping for. The research showed that advised Kiwis were feeling more financially secure and conducting regular check-ins on their products - both on a yearly basis, and in response to significant life events.
She noted that this has been a significant finding for the group, which has been focusing on the value of advice as one of its key pillars since its launch.
“At last year’s AGM, we launched our first research report - ‘Trust in Advice.’ This year we’ve carried out more research, this time to investigate the positive behaviours shown by advised New Zealanders,” Brown said.
“The research has shown us that thanks to quality advice, Kiwis are much more likely to be doing the sorts of things we expect, and showing the kinds of behaviours we hope for. Reviewing their insurance products regularly and at key life events, paying more into their KiwiSaver, being smart with their mortgage decisions, and as a result they feel more financial secure than their un-advised peers.”
“Across all advice streams, we see positive behaviours from advised Kiwis at a much greater rate compared to the un-advised,” she explained. “We really wanted to share this high-level finding with our members.”
The research also showed that 86% of New Zealanders with advisers regularly review their spending habits compared to 69% of those without, and 70% conduct regular reviews of their KiwiSaver - 49% for those without an adviser.
Brown said a key priority for Financial Advice New Zealand going forward will be to promote the value of financial advice to New Zealanders, and to support its members in raising their profile with the general public. She highlighted that members have a significant level of input when it comes to the activities of the group, and feedback is always welcomed on how it can better promote the interests of its members.
“The Board meets twice a year for half a day to facilitate its strategy sessions, and this keeps us focused on our goals and allows us to re-adjust our priorities as required,” Brown said.
“The pillars of advocacy, promotion and standards support our overall vision that every financial adviser is a proud member of our professional body, and that in turn supports the other aspect of our purpose - supporting New Zealanders to achieve choice in their financial matters, and to achieve financial security.”
“One of the things we hold as our guiding measure is to understand how satisfied, or otherwise, our members are with our performance,” she explained.
“We were delighted to receive overwhelmingly positive feedback through the membership survey that we conducted back in April, with 83% of responding members saying that they believe Financial Advice New Zealand is heading in the right direction. This gives us confidence that our members value what we’re doing, and they’ve also given us plenty of ideas of where we could focus next, and that feeds into every Board strategy day.”
Looking to the future, Brown said she hoped to see Financial Advice New Zealand continue to grow, as an increase in members will inevitably mean an increased profile across all areas for the industry.
“In the three years since Financial Advice new Zealand was launched, we’ve matured into a strong professional body with a solid understanding of who we are, and what we stand for,” she said. “In 2022, we’ll welcome FAPs as members, and our increased focus on visibility through promotion will support general member growth.
“Member growth supports our advocacy strength, and our ability to deliver further support all members. There’s an incredible amount of knowledge within our member base, and in 2022, we’ll look to strengthen that network through the Member Advisory Committees, the Corporate Associate Forums, and our regional leadership teams. The input of our members ensure we’re understanding their key issues, and are focusing on what matters most to them.”