Have you ever avoided taking advice?

From putting together flat-pack furniture to making more major decisions, sometimes the temptation to ‘go it alone’ gets the better of us.

We’ve all read the headlines when things go wrong. Unscrupulous advisers profiting from recommending steel workers transfer out of their occupational pensions along with tales of salesmen pushing unsuitable products in order to line their own pockets by emptying those of their clients.

These stories will always occupy deserved media prominence with the underlying message of caveat emptor (“buyer beware”).

The right advice at the wrong time can be frustrating too.

I’m sure we all know how annoying it is to make a purchase and then be told ‘Oh no, I wouldn’t have gone for that one…’ - whether it’s a fridge, a car, or something even bigger.

So, it can sometimes seem easier to steer clear of taking advice.

Two sides to the advice story

But I want to reinforce the overwhelmingly positive side of the equation. Financial advice is a force for good. It can – and does – help to transform futures.

Yes, there is a cost but if you examine this in the round, the resulting benefits from the right guidance pays this back and more.

Now, as a savings specialist offering advice at the heart of our business, it’s no surprise that I’m taking this position.

But we’ve also taken the trouble to survey companies large and small, to see if employers take the same view.

Our research found that the majority do. Eighty-six per cent of companies said coronavirus had increased the importance of, and need for, better understanding and support for financial wellbeing in the workplace.

When you add the fact that eight out of ten respondents said their company’s fortunes would also be boosted if their people were given the opportunity to learn more about financial matters, you begin to see a different aspect.

Advising on the gap

Clearly, there is broad acceptance that financial education in all its forms is largely positive but some areas are clouded in doubt because it can be complex. How you select a partner to deliver financial education or advice, and why, are important factors.

Which is where the argument comes back to the workplace.

We think this is where much of the uncertainty can be removed.

By recognising the bond of trust between most employers and staff, seeding a relationship with a trusted adviser who has been through the due diligence process of corporate selection can only remove much of the uncertainty for employees to accessing education and advice.

The advice gap is something we’ve returned to a number of times and our survey shows why.

Six out of ten would be happy to use an external expert partner as a pathway towards helping their people with financial support, education and advice.

In doing so, not only are they able to establish this as a direct employee benefit, but also create a relationship whereby workers can approach an adviser with a greater degree of confidence and trust.

So if this is something you’re considering doing for your employees, get in touch - we’d be happy to help provide the right kind of financial advice, when it’s needed most.

Posted by Steve Butler

Topics: financial wellbeing, Financial Planning, financial advice

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