Financial stress and advice post-2020

Couple speaking to a financial adviser, looking at finances on a tablet.

If there was ever a time to rethink how you manage your finances, the last 12 months would be a glaringly obvious example. 

An uncertain job market, plummeting interest rates, and rollercoaster real estate fluctuations have massively altered spending priorities and opportunities, as well as the ability of many Australians to save money. 

A global study by computer software company Oracle and personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi found money-related stress and anxiety has more than doubled for Aussie business owners and consumers.\

With COVID-19 driving unprecedented economic twists and turns, many people are turning to companies or services offering financial advice and support. 

Data from workplace mental health organisation, SuperFriend, shows financial service professionals are in high demand. More than 14% increased their work hours in 2020, responding to enquiries around government support measures, early super release and loan deferrals.

But in the advice-seeking process, Australians have had to reevaluate the sources they use to help manage their finances. 

Fintech VS human financial advisers: How do Aussies use both?

Oracle’s research shows a large group of people (39%) trust technology – like automated savings and transfer features in banking apps, or chat bots on finance sites – more than themselves to manage their finances.

Professional financial advisers are still sought over these services, but only by a slim majority of 51%, according to the report. 

While everyday consumers look to advisers for guidance around major financial decisions like purchasing a car or taking out a mortgage, Oracle found more (63%) are looking to tech services to free up time spent managing finances, reduce unnecessary spending and ensure they meet payments on time.

The report shows sentiment among business leaders leans more towards automation. Two-thirds of business owners trust automated services more than themselves when completing finance-related tasks, and 68% trust it more than their own finance teams.

A large majority want robotic-automation in finance approvals, compliance and risk management, reporting, budgeting and forecasting. 

Meanwhile, they want financial professionals to focus on communicating with customers, negotiating discounts and approving transactions.

Whether you lead a business or a household, juggling all of these money matters can get more complicated if you’re experiencing financial hardship. If you are struggling, you can turn to these free financial counselling services in Australia for guidance.