Three out of four people (73 per cent) say they would seek help from an IFA to help them predict how major life changes would impact their finances.
When dealing with crisis events — be it personal, such as divorce, or external economic problems like a market crash — savers and investors said they would prefer help from a human rather than a robo-adviser or automated service.
This trend is even apparent among millennials, who are often seen as being more comfortable with digital and robo-based solutions.
In fact one in four of those aged 34 or under said they would prefer to seek advice from a IFA, rather than a robo-adviser when it came to planning for their future. The research, by Scottish Widows, says it is clear they prefer the human input on a whole range of complex real-life scenarios – from getting married, starting a family or planning for their future. This is four times as many as those over 35.
Scottish Widows says these findings present an opportunity for advisers to offer a more holistic approach to financial planning, as just under half (45 per cent) of IFAs currently offer these types of scenario exercises.
However almost one in three (27 per cent) say they plan to do so in future.
The data shows that developing new ways to meet evolving needs of young people could re-shape the way IFAs work with clients, as new ways of communicating, the rise of responsible consumption and broader wellness trends impact customer expectations.
However, those aged 18-34 are much more open to new forms of communication.
When it comes to receiving annual statements, 20 per cent of people aged 18-34 said they would prefer to be contacted by an automated chatbot, almost three times the overall average of 7 per cent.
In a similar vein, more than one in 10 (17 per cent) of younger respondents said they would prefer to be contacted via social media, more than three times the overall average of 5 per cent
While a quarter (23 per cent) of people would like advice on how to invest ethically, this rises to a third (32 per cent) of those aged 18-34 – suggesting millennial-age customers value responsible consumption trends and ethical financial choices.
IFAs could benefit from showcasing how they can help younger customers invest, as four in 10 IFAs (42 per cent) said they are currently experiencing little demand for support in investing ethically.
Scottish Widows distribution director Jackie Leiper says: “The landscape of the advice market has changed dramatically in recent years, and is still evolving within a growing demographic that hasn’t traditionally had the same need for advice in the past.
“There will also be a greater need to create advice models that reflect the growing intergenerational opportunity around inheritance, and as a result we are seeing IFAs adapting to continue to provide valuable support at milestone moments and in between.”