A survey carried out by Fairstone, one of the UK’s largest Chartered financial planning firms, reveals that almost two-thirds of clients said that market volatility did not prompt them to alter their attitude to risk.

Coupled with this, 71% of clients surveyed said Brexit hadn’t impacted their financial planning with almost half (41%) seeing it as just another market cycle.

Results of the Annual Client Survey conducted by Fairstone are published today as part of a new White Paper, entitled Navigating Volatility; The Importance of long-term financial planning.

Commenting on the White Paper, Dr Matthew Connell, director policy and public affairs at the Chartered Insurance Institute said: “It is clear from Fairstone’s survey that a lot of important conversations have taken place between Fairstone’s advisers and their clients over many years, so that everyone understands why they have committed to the financial solutions that they have in place, and they understand the importance of high-quality advice, evidenced by Chartered status.”

For the survey, Fairstone polled over 1,000 of their clients, seeking their attitudes over a range of financial issues from their risk appetites throughout their lifetime and the importance of investing ethically to why they chose to take financial advice and what new services would be of most value to them.

Further highlights of the survey revealed:

  • 80% have made provisions within their retirement to take into account that people are living longer
  • 75% of respondents believed that being Chartered is essential in their decision-making around who to appoint as an adviser
  • A need for more education around financial services, with 71% of respondents believing that IHT thresholds weren’t publicised enough by the Government
  • 60% of respondents said that investing into ethical and sustainable assets is extremely important to them

Fairstone CEO Lee Hartley said: “We recognise that talking to our clients is an essential part of our client-centric approach as it helps us to recognise what our clients want now and also in the future, to fill the gaps in understanding as a business.

“Part of that process is our Annual Client Survey which enables us to lift the lid on what our clients think about financial services, giving us a unique insight into their thoughts, patterns and behaviour and what shapes their decisions around investing, retirement and financial planning.

“The results of the survey were incredibly interesting, and it is encouraging to see the value our clients place on independent financial advice as well as their understanding of the importance of long-term financial planning.”

The overwhelming view by clients taking part in the survey was that the key to financial planning is to remember the importance of long-term planning, whatever the socio-economic situation. More than 65% of respondents said that their attitude to risk had not changed over the course of their lifetime.

Mr Hartley added: “While no one could have predicted the global effect of COVID, the financial advice industry has always been impacted by an ever-changing landscape. History has shown us that even when market impacts are severe, there is always recovery. Staying calm and objective is central to keeping any financial plan on track for success.”

As part of the White Paper, Fairstone also published its Annual Client Index, highlighting three tangible outputs: client satisfaction, repeating advice and investment cost savings. The Index showed the firm has 98% client satisfaction, 91% repeating advice and has secured £2.3 million in investment savings for clients.

Mr Hartley added: “Collectively this endorses our client centric ethos and is testament to our commitment that our client relationships should underpin all aspects of our business.”

Headquartered in Newcastle, Fairstone is the number one ranked wealth management firm on Trustpilot* with over 69,000 clients and operates nationally across 42 locations.

A full copy of the White Paper is available here

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Andrea Barker
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