In all honesty, almost everyone could get some benefit out of working with a professional financial adviser. Listening to a professional in any sector is usually a good idea, but when it comes to money, it can be crucial to plan for a stable future.
The problem is, getting financial advice means you have to spend money in order to make money, something many of us are reluctant to do.
When it comes to our finances, we are unwilling to trust a stranger, reluctant to gamble, and usually want to play it safe. This means that plenty of people in the UK and worldwide are hesitant to seek professional financial advice.
The entire financial sector is full of confusing legislation, changing taxes, hidden costs, and unusual investment opportunities, which leaves most people confused and unsure if they could really benefit from working with a financial adviser.
In this article, we will break down some of the myths surrounding financial advice to help you get a better understanding of when you should seek professional help and who you should speak to.
When should you get a financial adviser?
As previously mentioned, almost everyone could benefit from working with a financial adviser. Any professional who is properly trained and certified will be able to give tailored advice based on your situation.
So, even if you think you don’t have enough money to work with a financial adviser, they will still be able to help.
However, there are two main questions to consider when deciding if you need a financial adviser:
- Has something changed?
- Are you saving for something?
It could be a positive change, perhaps an inheritance, a hefty pay rise, or winning the lottery. It could be a negative change, like a sudden expense. It could even be a positive change like welcoming a new child or buying a new house.
Whatever the change, if it affects your existing plans and financial health, you could do with professional advice. Before committing to anything, you should explore your options. One of the crucial things to know about financial advisers is that you can speak with them and get advice at a low fee without committing to a long-term contract.
Just as you would seek advice from a doctor if your health changed, you should seek professional financial advice when something changes with your finances.
If you are looking for financial security, want to get on the property market, save for retirement, or send a child to school, a financial adviser can help. Financial advisers don’t just work to increase your cash; they can work toward specific goals. If you want to achieve something specific, getting in touch with the right kind of financial adviser can be hugely important.
You can give a financial adviser time constraints regarding when you want to access your money. A financial adviser can work to a deadline, so if you have a goal but need practical, actionable steps to get there, you should get a professional to help make a plan.
Pros And Cons Of A Financial Adviser
In an ideal world, we’d all have financial advisers. But this is the real world, so before you commit to a qualified financial planning service, you should know what to expect; the good and the bad!
Benefits Of A Financial Adviser
The most obvious benefit of working with a financial adviser is that your finances will improve. With so many different types of financial advice, this can happen in many ways, from investments and interest or debt restructuring and management.
A professional can advise you on the best way to improve your finances that will result in a much stronger financial position allowing you to achieve your goals. The most common ways this happens is:
- Pay off mortgages faster
- Save more money
- Grow existing assets
- Protect income
- Invest for the future
- Strategic money goals
- Minimized taxes
- Fewer risky investments
Most people don’t have a healthy relationship with money. It doesn’t matter how much you have; there is always something to worry about.
A financial adviser can help alleviate some of those worries. You can fall asleep at night knowing that your money is working hard, it’s in the right place, and you’ve minimised your tax payments.
Financial advisers make dealing with your money and planning for the future a positive experience, not something you should lie awake panicking about.
Help With Legalities
When it comes to money and taxes, it can be incredibly complicated. Tax payments change regularly, and failure to pay can result in large fines and complex legal action.
Financial professionals are trained and certified to take the legalities into account. They can let you know which paperwork you need to fill out by when, and what should be declared.
Disadvantages Of A Financial Advisor
Potential Conflict Of Interest
This doesn’t apply to all financial advisers, so for some, this won’t be an issue. Some financial advisers work with institutions that offer a commission for a certain type of investment.
This means they invest your money with them, so they get paid, rather than looking after your interests. Make sure that you work with an independent financial adviser to negate this potential risk.
Financial advisers aren’t free, and they need to make money too. If they aren’t on commission and genuinely invest in your best interests, they will take a small fee either as a flat rate or a percentage of your investment. This means that you will be paying them.
Of course, you’ll still be increasing your overall wealth, and it’s in their interest for you to make money so they can make money, but you do need to consider fees when working with a professional.
Quick Money Access
Again, it doesn’t apply to all situations, but depending on how you invest your money, you may not be able to touch it for a set amount of time without incurring significant costs.
These can add up and become a nasty shock if you don’t know what you are doing. Make sure you speak with an adviser who understands your short-term and long-term needs to avoid this issue.
If you end up working with an adviser who has a very different style and attitude to you, you may actually find yourself with increased stress.
Handing your money and effectively your future into the hands of someone else is daunting, but when you don’t trust them, it’s downright scary!
Working with the wrong adviser for you can be hugely frustrating and stressful and may make you worry more about your money than you did before. You need to find the right adviser for you.
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Different Types Of Financial Advisers
As you can see above, there are many incredible benefits to working with a financial adviser.
The few drawbacks can be avoided simply by doing your research and working with the right financial adviser. Financial advisers come in many areas with different specialties, so make sure you are working with the right kind of financial specialist to get all the benefits without any of the problems.
An investment adviser focuses specifically on investing your money in a way that makes sense for you.
Whether it’s a small starting amount or a large lump sum, an investment adviser knows the markets and can provide advice based on how much you have, how much of a risk you want to take, and if you have a deadline. They usually work with a broker.
A financial planner offers a much broader approach. As well as looking at investments they can also help with budgeting, emergency funds, retirement, tax, insurance, and savings.
They will look at all your assets, including things like if you own a business. They look at the whole picture and provide advice for a better financial future. If you want advice on more than just investing some money, this is an excellent place to start.
A wealth manager generally works with high-net-worth individuals. They take an overall approach to looking at existing assets, retirement planning, inheritance, estate planning, charity planning, and insurance to ensure that all your assets are in the right place.
Like a financial planner, they can recommend investments and restructuring to clients with significant wealth. More than other types of advisers, they may also specialise in foreign laws for people with assets abroad.
Some types of investments can only be made by brokers. Either an individual broker or a brokerage firm will make investments on your behalf. They work to sell services such as insurance, stocks and shares, and mortgages.
They usually earn a small commission on each sale. Generally, other financial advisers may also be brokers or work with brokers to make investments.
Other Types Of Financial Advisors To Consider
A fiduciary financial adviser is legally obligated to keep your best interests as the number one priority. All recommendations must benefit you.
They cannot make recommendations based on if they earn a commission for a particular investment. You should always want a fiduciary financial adviser.
Some financial advisers work in specific job sectors such as the medical profession, public servants, teachers, or blue-collar workers.
They will undergo specialist training to offer tailored advice in that area related to specific laws and restrictions. While they will be able to give good advice, you might be better off going elsewhere.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of uncertified financial advisers out there. Lots of people use the term without any qualifications to back it up.
Whatever type of financial advice you need, make sure whoever gives it to you has a proper qualification. You can ask for their qualifications and can search for them online on an official database. Make sure they have valid credentials.
Getting a financial adviser can seriously overhaul your current financial situation and help you plan for a better future. But the world of finance is complicated so getting the right kind of financial adviser is crucial.
There are some disadvantages but making sure you are working with the right adviser can help avoid many of the horror stories you hear. Aside from some minor costs to pay your financial adviser, there are basically no drawbacks.
If you have a sudden change in situation or have a goal, you can reach out and take the first steps to have a better future.