Concerns over market volatility and retirement have risen during Covid-19, making them the two issues clients are most likely to raise with financial advisers, according to research from Standard Life.
Two-thirds of respondents to Standard Life’s bi-annual survey of 250 UK financial advisers said they are now more likely to receive enquiries from clients on market volatility and its impact on investments than they were before the pandemic.
The research found 41 per cent are more likely to receive enquiries around retirement planning and 23 per cent are more likely to receive estate planning requests.
The data showed 23 per cent report a higher likelihood of enquiries around protection planning, while just 13 per cent of advisers say they are more likely to receive queries around equity release.
Advisers have become less optimistic about the UK’s ongoing economic recovery than they were in April. Of those surveyed, 57 per cent said they were optimistic about the UK’s economic recovery over the next 12 months, ten points fewer than in Q2 2020.
However, advisers maintain a positive outlook when it comes to their own prospects, with 93 per cent optimistic about their own job, slightly down from a figure of 95 per cent in Q2), and 93 per cent are optimistic about the prospects of their firm, down from 96 per cent in Q2.
Advisers also remain confident about the health of future client rosters, with 84 per cent optimistic about taking on new clients in the next 12 months, compared to 85 per cent in Q2.
Data for Standard Life’s Quest report was collected between 5th October and 18th October 2020. 250 UK advisers who work with Standard Life took part in the survey.
Standard Life UK distribution director Caroline Miller says: “2020 has brought significant disruption and uncertainty to financial markets. Amid these conditions, advisers have been a source of clarity, reassurance and guidance for their clients.
“It is clear that the events from the last nine months have prompted many individuals to rethink their plans for the future, including retirement. With the impact of the pandemic still very much with us, advisers will continue to play a key role in helping their clients navigate complex decisions and to identify the best paths forward for their specific circumstances.
“Even amid challenging economic conditions, it is hugely encouraging to see advisers report such strong confidence in their own prospects.
“The continued provision of solutions, including platform technology, that maximise value and suitability will play a big part in enabling them to continue to deliver excellent client service and grow their businesses.”