Digital Asset interest soars, while financial consultants are not equipped to respond: Monochrome Research

Digital Asset interest soars, while financial consultants are not equipped to respond: Monochrome Research

New findings from Monochrome Research show that while a vast majority of Australian financial advisers have been asked about crypto assets in the last year, very few felt equipped to respond to client enquiries.

A recent Financial Standard survey commissioned by Monochrome reveals that 77% of advisers in the last 12 months experienced Bitcoin and other digital assets coming up in client discussions, and yet only 18% felt adequately equipped to respond to their inquiry.

Monochrome Asset Management’s CEO Jeff Yew (pictured) says the findings provide an insight into the wealth management industry’s gap in being able to counsel their clients, in this emerging sector.

“Financial advisers need better educational resources about the digital assets space, to give them the ability and confidence in discussing the subject with their clients,” he said.

“The space has grown rapidly, however the educational resources available to advisers have struggled to keep up, and it has resulted in a disparity in advisers’ knowledge on digital assets versus the enquiry from advisers’ clients.

“More than three-quarters of consultants are receiving enquiries about digital assets and yet, a significant 82 per cent feel they are not able to adequately respond to the digital assets enquiries.”

There is estimated to be between 600,000 and 1.1 million Australians currently exposed to digital assets. And as of yet, the $3.3 trillion Superannuation industry has very limited regulated pathways to access this nascent asset class.

“We at Monochrome are advocates for more regulation, which ultimately will facilitate advisers to more confidently engage with their clients in providing advice and recommendations on digital assets,” Yew said.

He added that apart from a significant gap in the level of education and understanding about digital assets, there was also an unfortunate tendency for Bitcoin to be used as the catch-all brand for the broader digital asset sector.

“There is an enormous array of coins and products available in the digital assets space and I think the tendency to lump them all together under the blanket-term ‘cryptocurrency’ is to the detriment of the industry and ultimately investors,” he said.

Monochrome has developed what they believe to be part of the solution to this problem, in their research and education platform, Monochrome Research, launched on Monday 11 October.

Monochrome Research is operated independently of Monochrome Asset Management and will provide educational resources and objective findings from research undertaken in the digital assets space.

Monochrome Research, will curate relevant CPD-accredited content to inform and educate financial advisers and portfolio allocators, including SMSFs, on digital assets.

Yew says he hopes those working in the wealth management industry will come to rely on Monochrome Research as an invaluable educational resource.

“There is an urgent need for better awareness and understanding of the breadth of variety in this sector and financial advisers can play a critical role in continuing to protect and grow the wealth and piece of mind of many Australians.”