Ever lied to your doctor? Exaggerate the amount of sunscreen you use and downplay the junk food and units of alcohol consumed? Don’t feel too upset, we’re all at it. A 2015 survey in the USA conducted by digital health platform Zocdoc found that around a quarter of patients don’t tell the whole truth to their doctor. Embarrassment or fear of being judged were the top reasons for not telling doctors the whole story.

Fear of judgment affects every one of us. No matter how experienced or successful people become, nobody wants to show perceived weaknesses or shortcomings in our lifestyle, actions or desires. So, we end up lying or avoiding engaging with people all together on matters fundamental to our wellbeing. We even do this to the people whose job it is to support us.

When it comes to getting financial support the challenges just keep mounting. The Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR), found that people commonly also avoid getting financial advice because of a lack of trust, or the feeling that it’s ‘not for them’. The FAMR also highlighted concerns about declining adviser numbers and a move in the market towards advisers only targeting high net worth savers. The same report showed that at least a quarter of people who need advice, aren’t getting it.

The maths is simple. 25,000 financial advisers and 12.8m people who need financial advice; there simply isn’t enough capacity to support good financial wellbeing. This isn’t a point lost on the FCA and a wellpublicised campaign focusing on affordability, accessibility and engagement is driving much of their focus. Affordability remains a persistent hurdle.

An insightful report published in 2015 by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau on the advice gap, points out that 49% of households have net financial wealth of less than £5,000 (46% to June 2014).

With an initial financial review averaging £500, it’s not surprising that few households would be willing to spend 10% of their savings on adviser charges.

So, could robo-advice be the answer?

Working in administration means you’re at the front line of most member questions. And, what it highlights, is that the majority of members want to be told what to do.

Guidance has its place, but advice is what members really want.

A quick and easy way for them to be told what the most suitable options for them are, and how to access them. Roboadvice could offer access to a mass-market advisory service that liberates savers from the

By Daniel Taylor – Trafalgar House

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