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The cost of advice conundrum: where to from here?

08 June 2021

Morningstar Australasia

AdviserLogic is part of Morningstar’s Financial Planning Solutions. Morningstar offers independent research, ratings, data and advice technology to help power the success of financial planners and their clients.

Much has been written about the gap between the cost of financial advice and clients’ ability or willingness to pay for it. Advisers and business owners are acutely aware of this squeeze, needing to justify the value of services more than ever.

In this fluid environment, as an adviser, you’re faced with some tough decisions. Do you focus exclusively on high net worth clients? Do you broaden your business to mass affluent clients? How do you introduce economies of scale?

With numerous studies showing the demand for advice is increasing1, how can you bridge the gap and capitalise on this opportunity that is right in front of you?

Scaled advice has been touted by many as the solution. But is that simplifying the problem too much? As an adviser or licensee, you’d be forgiven for being nervous about scaled advice. Given the amount the institutions are reserving for remediation2 any lack of clarity around the scope of your advice could cost you dearly. With that said, serving a broader swathe of clients naturally demands a more nimble approach. The question is whether that’s achieved through a single-issue transactional advice model, or delivering comprehensive advice more efficiently.

But what if there is a place for both? Naturally, a mass affluent client base is going to have, on average, a simpler financial situation and simpler needs. So why should it cost you the same to deliver advice to that client vs a high net worth client with more complex needs?

In opening the 2021 Morningstar Investment Conference, Morningstar’s Managing Director Jamie Wickham talked about effective data management and a user experience aligned with the adviser workflow as a way to drive efficiencies and help you serve more clients at a lower cost per client.

AdviserLogic’s Digital Advice module has been redefining how advice is produced. It’s now possible to select strategies, compare products and generate a Statement of Advice within a single guided workflow – and present that advice digitally to your client – whether scaled or comprehensive advice. It’s been awarded the Best Digital Advice Process awardfrom Investment Trends – recognition of the significant step forward that it represents for adviser efficiency.

Advisers can be optimistic about the investment being made into advice technology. Today, it’s possible to systematise practice workflows, avoid double entry of data, reduce software and template customisation bills, and onboard new clients & staff quickly. All this means a more sustainable practice, lower fees for clients and better outcomes for all.


  1. Professional Planner, Advice demand doubles in 5 years, 17 September 2020.
  2. Money Management, CBA increases Count Financial remediation indemnity by $32 million, 12 May 2021.
  3. Investment Trends – 2020 Australian Advice Technology Benchmark Report. Research conducted August – December 2020. Report released & award granted March 2021.