Do you need a Financial Adviser?

If you’re looking to invest, buy a financial product or plan for the longer term, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do for the best. Unless of course you consult the experts, and that’s where we at Seventy Financial Planning come in.

There are more options than ever before now in how we save – and spend – our money. So to avoid getting caught in the confusion, it’s better by far to consult with a team of local, dependable experts.

The new rules on pensions have given us flexible access to retirement savings that we can spend as we like. There are more opportunities to save tax-free with the increase in the ISA (individual savings account) limit, and some of us will be able to leave more to our children and grandchildren now that the rules on inheritance tax have changed in respect of the family home.

But, while the changes are exciting for many, for others the brave new financial world has become a scary place. The availability of choice gives more opportunities for making mistakes, many of them costly and irreversible. A bit of handholding is more than welcome.

Who needs financial advice?

If you are living on pensions paid direct to your bank account and have little in savings, you probably don’t need the help of a financial adviser – although, if you are on a really low income, it could be worth contacting one of the free or charitable services that will make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to.

If you are extremely wealthy, you probably have financial, accountancy and legal advice already. The situation is different for those in the middle, as typically it’s people within this bracket that won’t quite know where to turn for help.

An adviser can also help with general investment advice, drawing up a financial plan or advising on individual projects, such as paying for school fees, or allocating assets to benefit from the inheritance tax rules.

If any of these comments apply to your circumstances, you will benefit from seeing an adviser:

  1. You have a substantial sum to invest, such as an inheritance or the proceeds of a property sale.
  2. You want to give money to someone else, including by inheritance.
  3. You are planning your retirement and want to make the most of your assets.
  4. You want to transfer your pension from one scheme to another.
  5. You want to draw money from your pension without buying an annuity to secure your future income.
  6. You need help in buying an annuity to make sure you get the best deal.

What are the different types of financial adviser?

Financial advisers offer services ranging from general financial planning and investment advice, to more specialist advice, such as the suitability of a particular product such as a pension.

In the case of investment products, some advisers are ‘independent’ – meaning they offer advice on the full range of investment products from the market or a specific market segment (e.g. pensions), while others offer a ‘restricted’ service meaning that the range of products or providers they will look at is limited. Always be sure you’ve asked whether they’re showing you a full or restricted range before you begin – your best advice is obviously going to come from those independent advisors who can give you advice on the full range and variety of products out there.

What are the benefits of getting financial advice?

If you buy an investment product based on financial advice and a recommendation, you should get a product that meets your needs and is suitable for your particular circumstances.

Depending on the type of adviser you use, you might also have access to a wider range of choices than you’d be able to assess realistically on your own.

You also have more protection if things go wrong if you buy based on advice. For example, protection would be given where unsuitable advice was given, or your adviser is found to have not acted in your best interests. Similarly, non-advised investors would also be protected if they were misled or mis-sold a product.

What are the advantages of using a financial adviser?

As well as the obvious – advice and expertise – a financial adviser will usually be able to give you the benefit of access to a wider range of investment choices than are available to purchase direct, and you will also be covered by guarantees and protections. 

These include recourse to the Financial Ombudsman Service if things go wrong, and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in the event of adviser default. 

It should, however, be pointed out that compensation is only available for mis-sold products or other advisory wrongdoing, such as fraud, and not simply if your investments don’t perform as well as you hoped.

Is financial advice expensive?

Financial Advice should always provide value for money, and most advisers will have a range of solutions to suit different budgets. No one should be deterred from taking advice simply on the grounds of cost. The truth is, unless you are both confident and competent, not taking advice can work out a whole lot more expensive.

For those with simple needs, these solutions may be online tools and investment platforms that cost little or nothing to use, in addition to the cost of the investments, while those with more to invest or complicated requirements may wish to pay for a full face-to-face service.

A good financial adviser will earn his money by making money for you, or at the very least helping you to save it and preventing you from losing it. 

Is it cheaper to buy products without a financial advisor?

You won’t have to pay an advice charge if you invest without receiving advice. But you may be more likely to buy a product that is unsuitable for you if you invest without taking advice first.

Advice can help you buy a better product than one you choose yourself. An adviser will also have the expertise and knowledge to find better options, as some products are only available if you go through an adviser.

How do I choose a financial adviser?

As with any professional service, from dentists to designers, a substantial part of the relationship is one of trust and simply “hitting it off” with your adviser. A recommendation from a trusted friend is a good start. Meeting the adviser informally before getting down to business can also be a good strategy, if circumstances permit.

You can talk to one of our qualified team at a time to suit you to discuss your needs and to find out a little bit more about us for yourself – simply follow the ‘contact us’ links on this website and enter your details for a callback.

How do I know my financial adviser is qualified?

Financial advice is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which ensures that only suitable people enter the business and can give advice to the public. Advisers working in financial advice firms these day will generally have one or more of a vast array of qualifications, many of them at degree level. The key qualifications to look for are Certified or Chartered Financial Planner(we are). You can check your adviser’s authorisation and qualifications on the Financial Conduct Authority website.

 

Start planning your future. Speak to us today.

Contact Us

Seventy Financial Planning
The Apple Store, Haggs Farm,
Haggs Road, Follifoot, Harrogate,
HG3 1EQ

01423 611004

[email protected]

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