Many people think that financial advice is required only by the very rich. However, everyone can benefit from it. George Square’s Parry Leggett highlights 10 reasons why it’s a good idea to seek professional independent financial advice whatever your circumstances.
Using a trusted financial adviser can help you to make wise and informed decisions about building and protecting your assets, make the most of your investments and secure the long-term future of you and your family. Here’s our top reasons for using a financial adviser:
To protect your family
There are a lot of people trying to sell you insurance but an independent financial adviser can tell you which ones are actually worth buying. They will assess your position and guide you through the best options to protect yourself and your family. Whatever your needs, an adviser can help ensure personal tragedy does not turn into financial crisis.
To help plan your spending and saving
To secure your long-term future, you need to build some assets – initially to get you through the rainy days and then to pay for holidays and luxuries. Step one is to plan your spending so that you begin to save, and step two is to plan that saving so that you can build your wealth as efficiently as possible. Regardless of whether you begin with £10 or £10,000, an independent financial adviser can look at your situation and find the best starting point for you.
To help you plan for retirement
Most people these days realise that they cannot rely on the state for more than the absolute basics. However, planning for retirement is a complex business and there are many different options available. Pensions have come a long way in terms of flexibility and transparency and now offer a wide range of investment choices. An independent financial adviser will not only help sift through the many rules and product options but will also help construct a portfolio to maximise your long-term prospects.
To secure your home
The mortgage market has always been complicated, with its discounts and variables, indemnities and early redemption fees. In the aftermath of the credit crunch, mortgages became even more complex, and lenders’ requirements even more stringent. Nevertheless, buying a house is still one of the most expensive decisions we make, and the vast majority of us need a mortgage. An independent financial adviser, if authorised to provide mortgage advice, could save you thousands. Not only can they seek out the best rates, they can help you assess sensible levels of borrowing, make the most of your deposit, and might also find lenders who would otherwise not be available to you.
To help meet your investment goals
As you progress through life, you begin to build your assets and your income begins to increase. You can then start to consider how you can enhance your position rather than simply consolidate it. This could mean anything from looking to retire early to paying private school fees or investing in overseas property. However your dreams evolve, an independent financial adviser can help assess what is realistically possible and put in place the best plan to help you achieve it.
To find the right combination of assets
Investment is as much about protecting against potential downsides as it is about targeting maximum growth. High returns are often associated with high risk, and not everyone is comfortable with the idea that their investment might fall overnight. An independent financial adviser will make a detailed assessment of your attitude to risk before making any recommendations. They will also ensure you do not put all your eggs in one basket by helping you diversify not only across asset classes but also across accounts, individual funds, and product providers.
To obtain an objective assessment
Every new investment opportunity or product is likely to be accompanied by a certain amount of hype, but that does not necessarily mean it is right for you. Investors have been – and will continue to be – caught out by market bubbles or high charges because they do not take a step back. A financial adviser knows how products and assets work in different markets and can outline the possible downsides for you as well as the potential benefits. Between you, you can then make a more informed decision about what you can believe, and what you really should avoid.
To save money
Once your risk and investment assessments are complete, the next step is to look at tax, and even the most basic overview of your position could help. It may simply mean using Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) or a pension plan to benefit from government incentives or for more complicated arrangements, it might mean moving assets to your spouse or children to make full use of their personal allowances. An independent financial adviser will always have your tax position in mind when making recommendations and can help point you in the right direction, especially in more complicated situations.
To keep you on track
Even when your investments are running to plan, someone needs to keep an eye on them in case market developments or abnormal events push them off course. You can ask a financial adviser to undertake this monitoring work for you. They can assess the performance of individual investments against their peers, ensure that your asset allocation does not become distorted as markets fluctuate, and help you consolidate gains as the deadlines for your ultimate goals move closer.
For peace of mind
Money is a complicated subject and there are many things you need to consider in order to protect it and make the most of it. Markets are volatile and the media are prone to exaggerate the risks and the rewards. Employing a good independent financial adviser can remove the pressure from you and place the job in the hands of an expert. Whether you need general, practical advice or a specialist with dedicated expertise, you could find that, in the long term, the money you invest in expert advice will be paid back many times over.