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Aussies lost money due to lack of advice

Despite Australia living up to its reputation as a lucky country during the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians' investments took a bigger hit than their international counterparts - likely due to a lack of financial advice.

New research from PIMCO surveyed Australian and international investors. It found that 60% of Australian respondents claimed the pandemic had a negative impact on their investments, compared to an average of 51% across the APAC markets surveyed.

This is despite Australia handling the COVID-19 pandemic significantly better than many other countries, with fewer cases, deaths and restrictions on businesses than elsewhere.

More Australians expect national and regional economic growth than their counterparts in the other APAC markets surveyed, also making the hit to Australian portfolios curious.

The research found those in the sample hardest hit by COVID-19 were those on lower incomes, described as earning less than $1800 a week. In this group, 19% said the pandemic has had a major negative impact on their portfolios, compared with 10% of those earning more than $1800 a week citing a major impact.

In terms of who they trust to inform their investment decisions, most Australian investors put faith in their own experience and investment history: 59% say this always or often contributes to their investment decisions, compared with an APAC average of 48%.

Somewhat contradicting that, Australians were more likely to say they trust professional advice - 58% compared with an APAC average of 36%.

"PIMCO has been a strong advocate for the benefit of advice and we were pleased but not surprised to see the level of trust that Australian investors have in their financial advisers," PIMCO head of client management, APAC Adrian Stewart.

"Relying on the expertise of investment specialists can be a helpful way of combatting cognitive and emotional biases when investing."

Originally published by Elizabeth Mcarthur


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