Investors choose advice as savings and pensions remain uncertain

16 January 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
Worried investors are turning to Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) as the financial markets remain uncertain, new research from AXA has revealed.

In fact, the study found that almost 90 per cent of investors have been affected in some way by the credit crunch, which could explain why 40 per cent of wealthier consumers with long term investments like personal pensions, ISAs or bonds, have been reviewing their assets.

As a result, demand for IFAs has increased, as AXA found that more than 60 per cent of IFAs have reported an increase in cash management advice as 75 per cent of IFAs are reviewing portfolios for clients.

The study also found that 74 per cent of investors are concerned about the safety of their cash while 70 per cent worry about the value of their investments.

Following the collapse of some UK banks and Government intervention, 53 per cent of clients are concerned about the strength of providers, while more than half are anxious about their pension value.

And, as the economy remains uncertain, it seems investors are less willing to take risks.

AXA found that almost half of consumers said they would take less investment risk now than before the credit crunch, although almost half believe that as a long term investment now is as good a time as any to be buying.

Commenting, Mike Kellard, CEO at AXA Winterthur Wealth Management said: "Now is the time for IFAs to market advice as a commodity in itself by spending time with their clients, undertaking in-depth reviews and scrutinising the financial strengths and product capabilities of providers.

"With 40 per cent of wealthy consumers reviewing their investment portfolios, there is an opportunity for IFAs to really be involved in educating their clients and helping them understand where to move money in order to achieve their financial goals.

"Our research shows that, whilst consumers are understandably more risk averse today than they were a year ago, many still see the long term buying opportunities."

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