Making sure your money is working as hard as it possibly can for you isn’t always easy, especially as there’s often lots of complicated financial jargon to get to grips with.
People who perhaps don’t have the time or confidence to sort out their money matters themselves, or who need expert help deciding what to do with their savings, often seek professional advice. Even though this advice comes at a cost, the hope it that it will ultimately make you more money over the long-term.
Here, we look at some of the main benefits of using financial adviser – and what to watch out for.
- They can help you achieve your financial objectives
Most of us have one or more financial goals, whether it’s saving for retirement or building up savings to help cover our children’s education costs. Whatever the reason you want to save a nest egg, an adviser can talk you through the best ways to achieve your aims. They’ll look at not only what you can afford to put away each month but will also pick the right investments for you based on your approach to risk and your timeframe.
- They can research the whole of the market on your behalf
Trawling through endless investments yourself is not only time-consuming, but unless you’re financially savvy, it can leave feeling more confused than when you started. When you get advice from an independent financial adviser, they can research the whole investment market on your behalf and recommend the best homes for your cash.
There are also restricted financial advisers, but they can only recommend certain products to you, or products from specific organisations.
If you prefer to manage your money matters online, then ‘robo-advice’ is another option, although rather than reviewing all your finances, this often involves simply matching investors to investment portfolios depending on their goals, attitude to risk, and how long they want to invest for.
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- They can help you keep tax bills to a minimum
A good financial adviser will be able to explore ways to reduce the amount of tax you pay, for example through the use of tax-efficient wrappers, such as individual savings accounts (ISAs). If you have a partner, and one of you is a higher rate taxpayer and the other doesn't pay tax at all, they might, for example, suggest putting investments solely in the non-taxpayer's name. Whatever your circumstances, a good adviser will know how to minimise your tax bills.
- You’ll have some protection if something goes wrong
If you think an adviser has mis-sold you an investment product, you should first complain directly to them to give them the opportunity to put things right. If you’re not happy with their response, you can raise the matter with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and you could be awarded compensation of up to £350,000. Bear in mind, however, that you can’t complain about how badly an investment has performed, but you can complain about whether the advice that led you to put your money into it was suitable.