Financial advice: Still a core need?

Financial adviser is the main source for advice, followed by the internet and information from banks and investment professionals.

Financial advice: Still a core need? 

The digital age and the rise of the internet have allowed people to take greater ownership of their financial lives but our analysis clearly shows that financial advice remains sought-after. And it is likely that this development will continue in the future. Likewise, while improvements to artificial intelligence mean that robo-advice will potentially become increasingly prevalent, interaction with, and advice from human advisers, remains important – but trust and credibility will remain key.

On average Singaporeans use three main sources for advice. Financial advisers top the list, as cited by 53%, followed by the internet and information from banks and investment professionals, at 35% and 32% respectively.

This is supported by the fact that only 33% of Singaporeans said that when making investment decisions, they do research and make decisions without advice. The remaining 67% however make use of an adviser. There is also a significant group of respondents who are not yet ready to enter the investment market but believe in the value of expert advice when it comes to getting the best saving’s rate, information on how to save for retirement and investing tips and ideas.

Asked about the channels currently used to invest, and those they intend to use in the future, advisers remain at the forefront. While 35% said they currently use independent financial advisers, this rises to 38% when looking to the future.

The rise of digitalisation

This does not mean, however, that advisers can rest on their laurels, as digitalisation is penetrating the financial sector at a rapid rate and interest in other channels is growing. While just 29% of Singaporeans currently use an online investment platform, 35% said they plan to make use of them in the future. Likewise, presently just 5% of respondents said they use robo-advice but this jumps to 16% when looking at future intentions. That said, 52% do not currently use robo-advice and have no intention to do so in the future.