COVID-19 sees advisers experience more contact with clients, survey finds

Financial advisers experienced greater contact with their clients following the COVID-19 lockdown, according to new research by Seneca Investment Managers.

A study among 200 advisers revealed that 82% of advisers found themselves speaking to their clients more, or at least no less than before the pandemic hit the global financial markets.

Seneca IM said that lockdown has been to blame for “much of the volatility” experienced by the equity markets that have caused investor panic.

The investment firm suggested that many advisers saw their clients affecting retirement plans by reducing their risk exposure (22%) and reassessing their income withdrawal requirements (22%). Conversely, 19% saw their clients increase their risk exposure, while just 10% saw no clients affect their retirement plans during or post-UK lockdown.
 
For 46% of advisers, the biggest challenge, before lockdown and going forward, was revealed to be managing client expectations. Seneca IM found that a quarter (25%) are also braced for the challenge of maintaining the same level of natural income ,and the survey found that altering asset allocation was also considered a challenge for advisers to navigate as the year progresses.

Seneca IM head of business development, Steve Hunter, commented: “The rhetoric around the decline of advisers pre-COVID-19 couldn’t have been more misdirected. On the contrary, the value of good financial advice appears to have increased significantly among those we surveyed.

“Quality, sound advice at a juncture like this, both socially and economically, cannot come fast enough, and savers and retirees alike appear well engaged with their advisers. This bodes well for what may well be a challenging few months, or even years ahead for the financial markets.”

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