Opportunity for advisers to show value of their advice

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The current market environment gives advisers a special opportunity to show their worth to clients, says Damen Purcell, head of retail distribution at Australian Unity Investments.

“After three or four years of most clients being unwilling to do anything but put their money into cash, things are starting to change, and there is increasing interest among investors in equity and property markets.
 
“The fact clients are now more willing to take on risk and look at growth assets means advisers can show they add value by making recommendations about suitable asset classes that not so long ago would have fallen on deaf ears.
 
“Advisers also have a role to play in reducing the timelag between the market making a move, and investors following.
 
“It is normal for there to be a timelag between the market moving into a ‘bull’ phase and investors getting back into equities, and advisers should be doing everything they can to reduce this timelag for their clients by developing and explaining the best strategy for them.
 
“To best assist clients, advisers need to show the ability to develop portfolio construction strategies, and not just be ‘order executors’ who follow their clients’ directions, which has tended to be the case since the GFC for those clients who have insisted on sitting on cash.
 
“It’s also an opportunity for product suppliers to give more support to advisers rather than just promote products, by providing the resources and data to help advisers communicate to clients an understanding of asset classes and the attractions of particular sectors,” Mr Purcell said.
 
He added advisers have an even more important role to play for those clients who are still uncertain about whether to move back into markets.
 
“It’s understandable advisers might be nervous about arguing with clients but they need to help clients understand they can’t sit on the sidelines forever, and that they are already missing out on significant gains in the market.
 
“Advisers need to engage and be persuasive with their clients because that’s what they are there for.
 
“If the relationship is going to develop in the way in needs to in a post-FOFA world, advisers need to stick to their guns and show the value of their advice,” Mr Purcell said.

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