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Date: 20 February 2012 

Financially savvy people stress less

Financial planning advice can increase your sense of wellbeing, according to a study by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers.

The exploratory study conducted by researchers from the fields of business and psychology has shown that many clients feel more in control of their finances and have lower levels of stress after seeing a financial planner.

"There was a 16 per cent increase in the number of people who felt their financial situation had a positive effect on their mental health and wellbeing after seeing a financial planner," lead investigator Professor Natalie Gallery from the QUT Business School said.

"We knew that existing studies had shown links between goal setting and improved wellbeing, but it was unclear whether this would apply in the financial planning setting."

The research, which was conducted in partnership with the Financial Services Council, also examined people's satisfaction with their financial planners and the financial planning process.

From 172 people surveyed, 77 per cent of people felt satisfied with their financial planners, 15 per cent were neutral and 8 per cent were dissatisfied.

Professor Gallery and her research team recently received an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant to fund a larger-scale, more comprehensive study of this issue over a three-year period, again partnering with the Financial Services Council.

The outcomes of the project will inform industry practices for improving the value of financial planning advice to consumers.

The study comes at a significant time as the financial advice industry prepares for the introduction of the Federal Government's 'Future of Financial Advice' reforms to improve the quality of services and strength of investor protection.

"The study will provide a catalyst for evidence-based policy discussions in relation to the regulation of this industry," Professor Gallery said.

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Media contact: Michaela Ryan, QUT media officer, 07 3138 4494 or michaela.ryan@qut.edu.au

 

Professor Natalie Gallery