Research published by Equiniti today revealed that 42% of investors see the media and articles as their preferred source of investment advice. Financial advisers and wealth managers were the second most popular source of advice (29%), while family and friends and banks were the joint-third most popular (10%).
Equiniti, which is share registrar for half of the FTSE 100 and pays around £160bn of dividends annually, conducted the survey with over 6,000 investors. The findings show that retail investors are removing the barriers to accessing the stock market by relying on publicly available information and managing their investments online.
While financial advisers were equally popular with men (29%) and women (28%), male respondents were far more likely to turn to articles (46%) than women (35%), who preferred to speak to a bank (14%) or friends and family (14%).
Age had a big influence in how likely people were to seek out advice. Only 14% of those aged 25-34 would go to an adviser but that figure grew steadily to 32% of 55-64-year-olds. That trend reversed when it came to asking family and friends for advice, as 31% of 25-34-year-olds said they would be the first port of call while only 8% of those between 55 and 64 in age favoured that choice.
When those who do not use a financial adviser or wealth manager were asked what put them off, 32% said advice was too expensive while 21% said they did not trust advisers.
Commenting on the findings, Mark Taylor, Chief Customer Officer at Equiniti, said:
“With the growing availability of information and services online, people are becoming more emboldened to make their own decisions.
The advice market has changed dramatically in the past few years. As the industry has professionalised and mass market investment moved online, IFA’s have been targeting higher value clients with a need for added-value advice. In the immediate aftermath of RDR it was feared that this would leave an ‘advice gap’ for people needing help with smaller investments. What we have seen are high-street providers, such as banks like Santander and Lloyds, responding to this demand with low-cost, consumer-friendly online guidance tools.
Financial empowerment and accessible investing has seen the number of DIY investors increase in recent years. Availability of information has been a significant issue within the industry for many years and with customers looking for high-quality, impartial help they are trusting newspaper and online sources for their advice.”
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The survey was conducted among employees of Equiniti clients with 6,165 complete responses captured via an online survey. The survey was completed in Q3 2016.
Equiniti is a specialist outsourcer delivering technology-enabled solutions to some of the best known brands and public sector organisations in the UK, including c.70 of the companies in the FTSE 100. It is the UK’s leading provider of share registration and associated investor services, and also has market leading positions in administration of employee share plans, pension administration and software, and employee benefit schemes. Equiniti's services, which are delivered by over 4,300 employees, benefit 28 million people in the UK and 120 countries around the world.