Advisers told: Pick your time, prove your value

Advisers can use new behavioural research to glean tips on how to drive new connections with clients and deepen existing ones, the Financial Markets Authority says.

Friday, March 1st 2019, 6:00AM

It has released the results of the second phase of its KiwiSaver trial, run in conjunction with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and ANZ.

It focused on getting action from KiwiSaver members who were turning 56 and in the ANZ Lifetimes KiwiSaver fund.

The aim was to see if behavioural prompts would make them more likely to take financial advice, make an active choice and which fund they were in, or increase their contributions.

The trial had two phases, from June to October 2017 and January to July 2018.

The second phase found that a revised version of a letter sent in the first trial made members more likely to use online tools - but still no one contacted the advice service.

Follow-up phone calls were more successful, encouraging members to talk to an adviser.

Scott McMurray, FMA acting director of external communications and investor capability said there were clear messages for financial advisers from the research.

"A few simple things can make a reasonable difference."

While many AFAs saw KiwiSaver as a challenge, there was a big opportunity that would increase with time.

Making it easy for people to access information and advice would make them more likely to engage, he said.

If they could click on an emailed link they were more likely to follow through than if they were required to take part in a more complicated process.

But he said something as simple as picking up the phone at the right time in a client's life could help.

People seemed more open to advice conversations around significant milestone birthdays.

McMurray said a theme from the research was that people felt they lacked the time to talk to an adviser, they worried they would not be confident in the conversation, and were not sure of the value that would be offered.

But those who did get financial advice were much more confident about their financial prospects and had better outcomes.

McMurray said advisers needed to clearly demonstrate the value they could bring.

There would always be demand for advice, he said.

Tags: ANZ financial advisers FMA KiwiSaver

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