Some three quarters of advisers surveyed (74%) say that failing to start a financial plan early enough is the biggest threat to client’s long term financial security, well above other risks such as inflation, having to support children or ageing parents financially and relying on property prices to provide an income.
Some 13% see inflation as the biggest threat and 12% see pressure to support parents or children as the most pressing concern when it comes to Financial Planning. Failing to plan early enough was the biggest risk to financial security followed by the consequences of an ageing society (65%) and relying on rising property prices (39%).
In other findings on adviser attitudes, the survey found that half of advisers (48%) expect investment returns to rise over the next year while a third (29%) anticipate falls.
However, while advisers were optimistic about the positive prospects overall for client wealth, Aegon’s Adviser Attitudes Report pinpoints a number of macro-economic ‘warning lights’ that are now flashing on the dashboard for the adviser community. Stock market volatility and Brexit are seen as the biggest threats to client wealth over next two years.
The report, which tracks the behaviour, attitudes and concerns of UK financial advisers, reveals that advisers now rank stock market volatility as the biggest threat to client wealth in the short term, with a third (36%) identifying it as the factor that will have the most significant impact over the next two years. The UK’s exit from the EU also remains a major issue, with more than a quarter (28%) of advisers concerned that Brexit risk will impact client wealth above all else.
The Aegon Adviser Attitudes Research was conducted among 252 UK financial advisers, between 21-27 June 2017.
Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “Strong growth in the stock market following the Brexit referendum has resulted in a buoyant period for financial returns and it’s encouraging that much of the financial advice community expects this to continue. However, with so much going on in the political and economic landscape, it’s impossible to know for certain what’s waiting round the corner.
“UK growth forecasts have been revised down, and clients are facing a range of new, and perhaps more present, threats to their wealth. With inflation rising above expectation and interest rates likely to follow suit, savers need support to make the right decisions.”
• Editor's note. Story updated 3.10 pm 9 Oct 2017 to add details of survey respondents.