There is no shortage of free guidance on budgeting and saving. But a personalised game plan can be the difference between financial success and falling short. The sooner you get that advice, the better.
What does a financial adviser do?
Many people turn to friends, family and colleagues for advice when faced with a new financial situation like setting up a pension or applying for a mortgage. But they are not as qualified as a professional adviser.
Financial advisers are trained to offer personalised advice. They help you make financial decisions and meet financial goals. No matter where you are in your journey and no matter your goals.
An adviser will review your current circumstances, then help set realistic goals and build a path towards them.
As with any plan, you and your adviser will want to regularly check-in and discuss what changes, if any, are needed.
Is it worth it to have a financial adviser
At some point in our lives we can all benefit from financial advisors. Everyone. Not just the well-off or those nearing retirement.
So whether you’re trying to get out of debt, save for retirement or hit your millionaire goal, the answer is yes, it may be worth it to have a financial adviser.
When do I need a financial adviser?
Many people think to speak with an adviser when they want to invest and discuss a portfolio of assets, or need help with their retirement and pension. Or perhaps they want help to tackle debt. Theses are very good reasons.
It is also smart to meet with an adviser when personal situations are changing. This can be when getting married and combining finances with your partner, having a baby, or getting a divorce.
None of these situations or goals are financially straight forward. Although some guidelines are universal and freely available, you can benefit from layering in a personalised step-by-step plan developed by an adviser.
You can complement any goals by tracking your finances with Money Dashboard’s free tools. These provide monthly overviews of your goal progress and help you see where your money is going.
Different types of advisers
There are two types of investment advice to consider: independent or restricted.
Independent: The adviser’s advice is unbiased. There are no limits to the investment products (like a savings account or pension fund) for consideration and recommendation.
Restricted: The adviser is limited to the markets and/or products and services it can recommend. The adviser may be restricted by where they work, or by the provider they work for.
Financial advisers are required to disclose what kind of advice they offer and explain what it means to you.
How to find a financial adviser and what qualification to look for
There are UK websites dedicated to helping people find and select an appropriate, regulation-compliant financial adviser. The top sources to check include Money Advice Service, Unbiased and VouchedFor.co.uk.
When looking, seek confirmation that they are a certified financial planner or chartered financial planner.
But be careful with the buzzwords without clear definition like financial planner (are they certified or chartered?), money coach, and wealth manager.
How expensive is a financial adviser?
Advice shouldn’t break the bank. Rates will vary, but an adviser worth their salt will save you more than they cost.
Many advisers offer a free introductory session and will lay out their prices for further services. These can be fixed fees, hourly rates, or percentages of assets invested and so on. Experts caution to be wary of any adviser with exit fees.
What to discuss before meeting with a financial adviser
There is a short go-to list of things to know about the adviser before committing to working with them.
About the Financial Adviser:
- Do you offer independent or restricted financial advice?
- What are your qualifications
- How long have you been working as a financial adviser and where?
- How much do you charge (including exit fees)? What services are included?
- Do you earn commission?
- Do you specialise in a particular area? How does that help me?
- How often will we communicate? And how?
- Will you be looking after me, or passing me on to your colleagues?