Singaporeans don’t trust financial advisers: report

Singaporeans lack confidence in their financial knowledge and don’t know where to turn for advice, despite living in one of the most financially sophisticated countries in the world, a new survey has found.

The survey, carried out by the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) and released by the Financial Planning Association of Singapore (FPAS), put the Asian nation in the bottom three of 19 countries for its residents’ financial confidence and understanding – ahead of just South Korea and China.

Only 13% of Singaporeans said they felt confident they would achieve their financial goals, while 11% were satisfied with their financial knowledge.

The survey also found that a massive 72% of Singaporeans didn’t know whom to trust when it came to seeking financial advice.

The majority of respondents – 54% – said they rely most of all on friends and family for financial advice, while 45% put financial advisers in their top two sources of advice.

Of the 19 nationalities, Brazilians were by far the most bullish about their financial know-how, with 33% saying they were confident in their own abilities. South Africa came in second place at 27%. Just 15% of Brits said they were confident in their financial knowledge, 14% of Australians, and 2% of Chinese.

The extent of Brazilians’ self-confidence about their financial future was even greater, with 65% believing they would achieve their goals. South Africans were a distant second at 38%.

While Singaporeans were confused about where to go for financial advice, they were more reliant on financial planners for advice than many nations. In Singapore 45% of respondents put “financial planner” in the top two sources of advice. That compared to 31% of US respondents, 23% of Australians, and just 15% of UK respondents, the lowest.

Only Malaysian and South African respondents were more reliant on financial advisers than Singaporeans.

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