With the growth of the internet and secure online banking, access to financial information has become much easier. So is it really necessary to employ a financial adviser?
Quite simply yes, because the statistics prove that having a financial adviser can have a significant benefit on your wealth and financial security.
But with the internet isn’t it possible to do it yourself?
Well yes you can. But do you have the knowledge and experience to filter the choices you will be offered and select the most appropriate ones for your needs?
Every investment and pensions provider will tell you that they offer the best or the cheapest product. But they can’t all be right,
can they? Of course not.
It is an Independent Financial Advisor’s job to first of all help you to identify what you want to achieve, before helping you to make an informed decision about which savings and investment products will best suit your needs. As well as being experienced planners, IFAs use the latest software to compare the multitude of products available and to create a short list of the most suitable options.
The short list will then be subject to more detailed scrutiny to identify the best option.
We also subscribe to the most sophisticated investment selection tools in the market, that enables us to filter the 5,000 retail funds and 1,000 Exchange Traded Funds into meaningful selections that deliver consistent performance and control of risk.
And we don’t cost the earth either. Remember that you pay us, not the product provider, so we’re on your side.
So what is an Independent Financial Adviser?
An Independent Financial Adviser, or IFA, is a fully qualified individual that provides financial planning advice and guidance, to help you to set and achieve your goals in life.
We can use sophisticated tools to forecast your future wealth, and then apply a range of financial products and services to help you meet the goals we helped you to identify.
We are answerable only to you, our client, and to our regulator – the Financial Conduct Authority.
An IFA has access to the full range of regulated financial products and services available in the UK. Independence means that we operate on a “whole of market” basis with no ties to fund managers, banks or insurance companies.
My financial adviser tells me he/she is “restricted”. What does this mean?
Restricted advice is where the adviser either focuses their advice on a particular area because they are a specialist, or limits the choice of products and services they offer. Your adviser is legally required to tell you whether they are independent or restricted.
My bank advises me
Most banks offer restricted advice. Just like the franchised car dealer, they will tell you that theirs is the best product in the market for you. They are not allowed to compare their products against other companies.
Bank advisers are set targets for selling products. We are dedicated to delivering a quality service and building a long term relationship built on trust. If you need our advice but don’t want to buy anything we can agree a fee with you.
This means that we are able to give you impartial advice and recommend the most appropriate solutions for you, so that you will enjoy choice, value for money and our high-quality service.
The bigger picture
As your IFA we also consider the wider implications of your situation, such as taxation and legal matters. We can integrate our advice with your lawyer and accountant to ensure you have a consistent financial plan.
If you are thinking about legacy planning, such as reducing Inheritance Tax or making a provision for care home fees we would ensure that you have thought about legal arrangements such as Wills and Power of Attorney. As and when necessary, we can also introduce you to the services of other professionals such as Solicitors, Accountants and Stockbrokers, and work with them to achieve your goals.
Our financial planning process takes a holistic review of your financial objectives, and is designed to help you to plan and realise your goals.
So, is it expensive?
We like to think that we provide a value for money service.
Our charges reflect that we offer a full financial planning and advisory service tailored to you. This means that we take time to get to know you, your circumstances, and financial goals. This guided process is inevitably more expensive than the self-select offers you will find online, that give you no help or advice, and with no recourse if things go wrong.
We are responsible for the advice you receive, and we take this very seriously. This means that we have to maintain strict standards and meet the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority, and the majority of our advice is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Compared to other professional advisers we consider our charges to be competitive. For example, employing an accountant can cost £100 per hour or more, and solicitors costs upwards of £200 per hour, reflecting their skills and qualifications needed to practice.
We are highly qualified and skilled professionals, and hold additional qualifications for specialised advice areas.
We then maintain regular Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Our rates reflect the time needed to maintain the skills of the advisers and support team.
Ensuring that we are properly equipped to look after your lifelong capital has led us to make a significant investment in technology,
to keep you informed of the progress of your plans 24/7 and we offer each client a personalised website.
In summary, as an Independent Financial Adviser we can offer you:
Planning to help you identify and achieve your goals in life
Unbiased advice from the whole of the market
Solutions based on a wide industry and technical knowledge
Relationships with other professional advisers for a holistic approach
Product selection through technology-based research systems
An ongoing relationship with someone who understands your needs and aspirations
Clear service propositions to look after your finances
Advice based on meeting your needs, not selling to meet targets
The choice between paying for advice through fees or adviser charges
“It is always reassuring and comforting to receive comprehensive and professional advice regarding ones savings and investing plans for the future. These sentiments have been developed during my association with …