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Last Article Uploaded: Friday, December 3rd, 9:22PM

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Lack of advisers a '10- to 30-year problem'

An ageing adviser workforce means New Zealanders may not be able to get advice when they need it - and the problem could last decades, AMP's director of advice says.

Monday, May 23rd 2016, 6:00AM 6 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

Blair Vernon spoke at the Commission for Financial Capability's decumulation forum in Auckland on Friday.

He said many New Zealanders had a consumption problem - both before retirement and in it. "That's the biggest challenge facing New Zealanders, their preparedness to spend on other things pre-retirement, not retirement savings or even the consumption of quality advice on how to accumulate. There is a belief they can carry on that consumption rate unabated in retirement and somehow be unhappy about the outcome. That's the conversation we are going to have to have in a somewhat crunchy fashion with new Zealand."

If the problem was not confronted, people could end up desperate and more susceptible to scams or unwise investments, he said.

But he said another problem was that there was a lack of people available to help those who needed it.

"Another thing that is a challenge for us is simply supply. The supply of advisers to help people in this journey. There are an awful lot of people who need help. They need help pre-retirement and they need help in retirement. We know our financial capability is limited but so too is the supply of people appropriately qualified to do that job."

He said AMP estimated fewer than 1000 AFAs were practising and a smaller number specialised in things such as discussions about retirement and decumulation.

"Whether we like it or not, even if there was a rush of people who wanted to get busy with this, there is no supply to deliver the required advice and I don't see that changing any time soon."

Vernon said 15% of his adviser force were over 65 and that would rise to 30% by 2020.

"They are unlikely to be available to help New Zealanders. That's an industry issue to confront because most of the products we talk about genuinely need advice. We have got to figure out the issue of supply but I see a very narrow pipeline of that for some time. It could be a 10- to 30-year issue given what we see in the industry and how many are about to leave."

Tags: AMP Commission for Financial Capability

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Comments from our readers

On 23 May 2016 at 11:58 am w k said:
any studies done what causes the lack of advisers? another $500k project opportunity for mjw? "experts"? "consultants"?
On 23 May 2016 at 5:29 pm traveller said:
So AMP estimates the country only about 1000 advisers. Perhaps there are two problems 1) potential candidates do not see it as a viable career path, at least outside of eg a bank, because 2) New Zealanders do not like to pay for advice so the income potential is limited.
On 24 May 2016 at 7:28 am coolrunnings said:
Here's a question: How does someone new get into an investment advisory business, other than joining a bank? From my experience many smaller investment practices while keen to recruit, aren't particularly keen to invest. Therefore a new entrant is faced two choices: join a bank / institution on a decent salary, car, bonuses, steady flow of referrals, or join an 'independent' firm, with no to low base salary, no client base, and the prospect of spending 5/10 years trying to build an investment book which will eventually yield a decent income of successful. I appreciate that this doesn't apply to all financial planning business but from what ice seen the vast majority (while facing succession plan issues down the line) simply aren't prepared to invest in new entrants.
On 24 May 2016 at 8:50 am Pragmatic said:
Good question @coolrunnings. Simple answer is "wait". It won't be too long before new/younger industry participants will attract these clients & new clients for a much lesser cost
On 24 May 2016 at 9:59 am Dirty Harry said:
It seems all you need to do to build a million dollar investment practise is buy a retiring adviser's business for two million.
On 24 May 2016 at 1:24 pm macca said:
Ironically AMP were one of the major recruiters in the industry until they decided to disband their local sales management structures.

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