The Financial Planning Association has used Financial Planning Week to highlight the contrasting experience of advised and non-advised consumers during the pandemic, with advised Australians reportedly “not impacted financially compared to Australians without a financial planner”.

In a statement accompanying the association’s inaugural ‘Money & Life Tracker: COVID edition’, FPA chief executive Dante De Gori identified two “distinct groups” among Australians: “those who lost income and were forced to dip into their savings to get by; and those who were able to save money because they felt in control of their financial position or were cautious of what the future holds”.

“One thing that stood out was that those who had a financial planner by their side were able to cope more confidently than those who didn’t,” De Gori noted.

According to the report 70 per cent of the 2000 people surveyed believe they could have done something differently to improve their position since the pandemic started, with regrets including a lack of control over impulse buying and missed investment opportunities.

While 80 per cent of those surveyed had not engaged a financial planner, 13 per cent of this cohort were now considering seeking the services of a financial planner. Unsurprisingly, the report stated that the majority of people considering engaging a financial planner were in the wealth accumulation stage, ie between 35 and 55 years old.

Twenty per cent in this group believed they didn’t have enough assets or investments to warrant engaging a financial planner, while almost a third believe they can ‘do it themselves’ vi online resources, or with the help of family and/or friends.

“The research has shown that Australians who’ve planned for tomorrow experience greater peace of mind and wellbeing today,” De Gori stated.

“The value of a financial plan has never been more important due to the experience of the pandemic and now that Australia is officially in recession after 29 years,” the CEO continued. “Those who are in receipt of professional financial advice are well-guided and we-engaged with their money and will make better decisions and get better results for themselves and their loved ones.”