Advisers face crypto clamour from clients

AJ Bell’s latest survey of over 300 financial advisers has found that three quarters of advisers say that they have had their clients ask them about investing in cryptocurrency and that 26 per cent of advisers have said that their clients hold cryptoassets.

Only 4 per cent said they would consider advising clients to invest in cryptocurrency directly, but 26 per cent would consider recommending investment in a multi-asset fund that had some crypto exposure. This compares with the 43 per cent of financial advisers who hold gold as part of a balanced asset allocation. 
Laith Khalaf, financial analyst at AJ Bell, comments: “Advisory clients aren’t immune to the lures of cryptocurrency, and many have been asking their adviser about investing, according to our latest survey. All but a few advisers said they wouldn’t consider recommending a direct investment in cryptocurrency, though just over a quarter said a multi-asset fund with crypto exposure was a different matter. 
“Cryptocurrency is here to stay for the foreseeable, and so advisers are going to find themselves continuing to field questions on the subject from clients. However the asset class hasn’t really made it into mainstream investment solutions, with the notable exception of funds from Ruffer, who bought Bitcoin earlier this year, but realised profits pretty swiftly thereafter. Nonetheless just over a quarter of advisers said they would consider investing in a multi-asset fund that had some crypto exposure. 
“That seems the most likely path for crypto to make it into the portfolios of advised investors in future, though that would require more asset allocators to build exposure to cryptocurrencies, something we haven’t seen as yet, because the prevailing mood towards crypto in the investment community is still one of deep scepticism. That seems legitimate given its volatility, a lack of functionality in the real economy, a heavy carbon footprint, and bucketloads of regulatory risk. So while investors may choose to dabble with a few pounds here and there, crypto in its current state isn’t highly investable for advisers or money managers.”


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