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New survey shows value of advice

Government officials devising a new regulatory regime for financial advisers are to pick over the results of the ANZ/Retirement Commission financial literacy survey released yesterday.

Friday, March 17th 2006, 6:27AM

by Rob Hosking

The survey – New Zealand’s first adult financial literary study – includes a number of questions inserted at the request of the Ministry of Economic Development, Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan says.

“They were interested in the area of consumer protection,” she says. “Some questions on behaviours and attitudes in those areas were added.”

More than half - 58% - of those who had bought superannuation and/or insurance sought financial advice before making their decision.

The main sources of advice were insurance adviser/agent (38%); an independent financial planner (36%) and a relative or friend (36%).

There was a high level of satisfaction – 85% found the advice obtained very useful or useful.

“The percentage for advice obtained from an independent financial planner was considerably higher at 94%,” says the survey.

Nearly two thirds of those who had invested or considered investing in managed funds or other collective vehicles had also sought advice, with more than half – 56% - going to a specialist investment adviser.

Of the rest, 26% got advice from friends or relatives; 16% from their accountant; 14% form a sharebroker; 9% from a bank and 4% from a lawyer.

And 83% found the advice from a specialist investment adviser to be very useful or quite useful.

The survey also shows a surprisingly high level of satisfaction with the various disclosure documents.

Those who had obtained an investment statement were happy with the material. All categories of information on those statements were regarded as very useful or quite useful by at least 87%.

The highest rated information was about risk, likely returns, who to contact for enquires and what the charges are.

Comment: Putting financial knowledge on the fast track

I had the pleasure yesterday of attending the release of the ANZ/Retirement Commission study in adult financial knowledge in New Zealand. [READ ON].

Rob Hosking is a Wellington-based freelance writer specialising in political, economic and IT related issues.

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