People work with financial advisers for a number of reasons. This can range from needing support with their ongoing financial planning, all the way to providing pensions advice, and setting up an effective estate plan.
Financial advisers can help people plan for the future they desire, mitigate tax, and ensure they protect their financial legacy, for future generations.
We have written this article to help people establish if they need a financial adviser and some of the signs they do.
This article is split into two parts:
- Part One – Do I even need a financial adviser?
- Part Two – Signs you need a financial adviser
Part One: Do I even need a financial adviser?
It’s a question many people ask when considering their long-term financial goals and plans.
It’s important to note: the need for financial advice isn’t restricted only to those who currently have a high net worth, hundreds of thousands to invest or a high level of income. This is a massive misconception in our industry.
You can work with a financial adviser at any age and any stage of your life. This includes people at the start of their financial journey, those who have begun investing and even people already in retirement.
You don’t have to have a high net worth; it’s a case of finding the right financial adviser, suited to your situation and goals.
The decision to work with a financial adviser isn’t one to take lightly. The decision is highly personal and should be aligned to your long-term goals.
By choosing to work with an IFA you’re choosing expertise over chance.
Their expertise can help you realise your financial goals and dreams.
Can’t I just do this myself?
The short answer is “yes” – if you want to manage your own financial planning without the aid of an experienced specialist you can.
The internet provides a mass of information to those inclined to seek it out. Data and opinion can be gleaned from various news and specialist investment sites providing a multitude of options to people who prefer to work on a self-invested basis.
This can be helpful in broadening your knowledge and improving your understanding of the savings and investment options available and the assets that make them up.
So why would you want to engage a professional adviser. I often liken it to servicing my car. I could buy a manual, visit a web forum, order parts online and do the whole thing myself, saving the cost of visiting a mechanic.
But I don’t.
For two reasons.
Firstly it’s a question of expertise. My mechanic has years of experience. He’s serviced hundreds (if not thousands) of cars in that time. Sometimes he only has to listen to the engine to diagnose a problem that I may never have understood, even with hours of hours of internet searching.
More than that, he often spots problems before they occur. Prevention is better than cure but only if you know what you’re looking for.
Secondly, it’s because I really don’t want to do it myself. It’s not a question of laziness; it’s efficiency. There are things I’d much rather do with my hard-earned leisure time than read a technical manual or get my hands dirty under a car bonnet.
If I can pay a trusted professional a fair and reasonable fee to do a better job than I could do and give me my Saturdays back that sounds like a good deal to me.
It’s exactly the same when you choose to work with a financial adviser.
Like choosing a mechanic, you need to find someone you can trust.
When I needed a mechanic I started by asking people I already trust for recommendations, reading online reviews and talking to potential candidates.
I was looking for someone who would answer my questions clearly, showed themselves to be knowledgeable and, crucially, someone who I liked. I wanted someone I could work with for years to come and you can’t underestimate the importance of the fact “people buy people”.
The benefits of working with a good financial adviser
The expertise and experience that a good IFA should demonstrate will have come through years of studying, gaining professional qualifications and working with numerous clients with a variety of financial goals and objectives.
A good financial adviser will help you to:
- Clarify your goals and objectives
- Better understand the things you already have
- Make best use of tax allowances, reliefs and rebates
- Understand the risks you’re taking, making sure they’re appropriate to your attitudes and objectives
- Spot potential pitfalls and help protect against them well in advance
- Mitigate future tax liabilities before they occur, such as:
- Capital Gains Tax
- Inheritance Tax
- Lifetime Allowance charges
- Model your financial future, helping you to explore different potential options and putting you in an informed position before making important decisions
- Ensure any strategy for drawing down an income is sustainable
- Protect your assets against the potential costs of care in retirement
And all of this without having to sacrifice disproportionate amounts of your hard-earned free time.
In summary: there’s nothing stopping you from managing your own financial planning, just like there’s nothing stopping you from cutting your own hair, building your own extension or performing your own dentistry.
It all comes down to a question of what value you put on experience and expertise and what value you put on your own time.
The next part of this blog highlights some of the signs you may need a financial adviser.
Part Two: Signs you need a financial adviser.
Note: This article doesn’t constitute financial advice. Your capital is at risk when investing in equity markets. Past performance is not a guide to future returns. Investments can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you originally invest.