Majority of Singaporeans now prefer professional financial advise: study

More than 80% said that they now prioritise seeking financial advice before a major decision.
A majority, or 56%, of Singaporeans ranked financial advisers as their top source of financial advice, a survey by St. James’s Place Wealth Managemeng Asia (SJP) revealed, marking a shift in the investment advice sentiment that was traditionally dominated by preference to family.
This is followed by websites and blogs, and bankers at 49% and 40%, respectively.
“As volatility has beset all traditional asset classes, retail investors are turning to trusted advisers to help manage their money,” said Matthew Deeprose, head of business, St. James’s Place Hong Kong.
Family continues to be one of the major sources of financial advice for Singaporeans at 38%. Bringing up the rear are financial advice books (25%), investment seminars (16%) and the media (14%).
Sentiments on financial advisers in the investment landscape is shifting, with over 51% of Singaporeans believing that they could get better investment outcomes in the past five years had they engaged with an advice.
Most Singaporeans, or 81%, stated that they now heavily proritise seeking financial advice before making any major financial decision.
Wealthy Singaporeans-those with an annual household income of more than $200,000 (US$145,700)- prioritise financial advisers with 28% indicating such. This is followed by family and bankers at 17% and 14%, respectively.
Meanwhile, 87% of Singaporeans felt that they need more financial advice when it comes to investments, 80% on the topic of mortgages, and 78% on the topic of retirement planning.
In terms of the mode of advice, majority or 94% of respondents from the Lion City also said that they prefer to receive face-to-face financial advice, the survey also found. This is despite the rapid rise of robo-advisory platforms in the wealth management and financial advice space.
A total of 53% of Singaporeans said that they prefer to engage with a financial adviser, and 32% consult with their banker first.
In contrast, only 12% indicated that they prefer to consult with a robo-adviser first.
“Unsurprisingly, whilst technology has made great strides in the investing ecosystem, we still see that investors prefer to receive face-to-face, human advice. This is because investing one’s savings and trusting in others to manage wealth can be a very emotional decision, even more so in today’s volatile markets, one that requires mutual trust, respect and reassurance,” noted Gary Harvey, CEO, St. James’s Place Singapore.
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