Low interest rate environment creates adviser opportunity

Advisers dealing with clients shifting out of term deposits because of low interest rates will have to be prepared to have a conversation about fees, Milford Asset Management’s head of private wealth says.

Friday, February 7th 2020, 6:06AM

Senior analyst Ian Robertson said the fund manager was seeing more people looking for alternatives to bank deposits as the low interest rate environment continued. “We are now seeing investors make inquiries and consider their alternatives, such as investment funds, as their term deposits mature and they’re faced with even lower rates moving forward.”

The main banks are all offering term deposit rates below 2.7% out to five-year terms.

Head of private wealth Philip Morgan Rees said advisers who picked up clients as part of that shift would have to explain the difference between a term deposit and an investment fund – and how the fund was structured and managed, with capital gains potential.

“The other big thing is fees.”

He said investors used to a bank would not have seen the margin the bank took before it offered the term deposit. When a fund manager calculated fees as part of the price that was highly visible in comparison.

But he said advisers would be able to prove their value by helping clients devise a sound plan from the outset and then providing emotional support to keep them on it as markets changed. “Periods of volatility are the hardest times. That’s when clients are most anxious.”

He said Milford was not seeing people take unreasonable risk in the search for better returns. Most new clients who signed on at the end of last year had been at the conservative to moderate end of the investment spectrum. “But that is the benefit of advice. The advice we give is a distillation of age and stage, financial position, liquidity risk, time horizon, experience, their other investments and risk tolerance. A good adviser is putting all those things together.”

He said, when the market wobbled at the end of 2018, Milford had the highest number of calls it had had in years from worried clients.

Tags: investment investment advice Milford Asset Management term deposits

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