One in four consumers are happy to pay for financial advice, according to AXA’s Big Money Index

As the economic gloom persists, AXA’s latest Big Money Index found that more consumers are happy to pay for financial advice amidst continuing uncertainty about where to invest, and more appear to be taking steps to manage their finances more proactively.

16 March 2012

Posted in Product

by Stephen Sobey (see media contact)

> Download the AXA Big Money IndexReport Q4 2011

AXA's quarterly report, which presents a snapshot of financial confidence, behaviour and attitudes as well as views on topical issues among eight distinct demographic groups*, revealed more than one in four are happy to pay for financial advice.

With 10 months to go until the Retail Distribution Review is implemented, the findings show that consumers are more comfortable than ever with seeking help for their retirement and investment planning: the findings saw an increase of four percentage points since March 2011 as people sought professional advice on how to make the most of the money they had.

Moreover, despite a general feeling of pessimism around the economy and finances, it showed that burying heads in the sand is out of fashion: just seven per cent said they 'actively avoid' opening their bank statements or checking their balance online.

While the wealthier segments remain the likeliest to turn to the professionals (45 per cent of Exclusive Lifestyles and 38 per cent of Successful Security agreed that they are), even around one in five of The Stretched (18 per cent) and Modest Middle Years (19 per cent) suggested they would be happy to pay for money management advice. Forty-four per cent of all respondents agree that they don't know where to invest or save their money to get a decent return - high even among the most affluent groups at 40 per cent.

Meanwhile, just one in four (24%) consumers say they would rather turn to friends and family than an IFA for financial advice.

AXA Wealth's MD of marketing and distribution, David Thompson, said: "In the year that the RDR will be implemented, this is welcome news for IFAs. As the general sense of financial pessimism continues, consumers are increasingly likely to turn to the professionals for how to make the most of the money they have. Given that over 40 per cent of even the most affluent consumers in our research say that don't know where to invest or save their money to get a decent return, then this is an apt development."