People say their goal in life is the pursuit of happiness, with the major challenge is that neither money nor time are unlimited. As having enough money is often key to major life goals, financial advisers can steer you to make the best investment and spending choices for your personal situation.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at five reasons why an independent financial adviser (IFA) can be a force for good:
1. Save time
We’ll be first to admit that it’s tempting to avoid professional advice and just ‘go it alone’ with the wealth of information freely available online. The answer’s out there somewhere, you just need to find it!
The problem is that sifting through information, especially without experience to give you a basic perspective on what is most essential for you, has a very high time cost. Getting a basic background on finances takes only a few hours, but getting a specific solution takes much longer. How many hours or days can you spend learning about and comparing options for your situation?
A professional adviser sifts through information on your behalf, and uses their experience to judge what options would be best for you. They also have the network and resources necessary to find the best information quickly. This gives you a fantastic head start to achieving your financial goals. An initial meeting with your adviser is all that’s really needed to set up a financial plan, and an hour in the office can save you weeks of endless searching.
2. Save money
Given advisers’ fees, this reason seems counter-intuitive. Say you have plenty of time to learn all about financial theory, and how to apply it to your situation. Any information you’ve found online is still free, right?
Unfortunately, online sources rarely offer recommendations or condolences if their ‘advice’ turns out to be incorrect. Even if you find advice from a forum or Facebook group, keep in mind that it will come from untrained individuals – like lawyers, doctors, and other professionals, IFAs are legally prohibited from offering public advice for free. Making a wrong choice can be costly in the long run. It’s easy to go wrong when you have circumstances outside of the Joe Average examples most people use to illustrate financial theory (more on that later).
Also, let’s not forget that IFAs can help you actively save money: from pension plans to ISAs, from investment advice to mortgage negotiation, IFAs have a wealth of options at their fingertips, many of which are not common knowledge.
This is where it becomes important to choose a good adviser. It is entirely possible to get misleading or even harmful advice from bargain-bin financial advisers, but at the same time quality advice is not limited to the wealthy. Most quality IFAs offer their first consultations for free, and from there they can work out short- and long-term advice suitable to your income – and to your budget!
3. Personal, and personalised
Advice found online is typically written to the widest audience possible, in order to draw the greatest number of visits. For acquiring a basic background, this is a great way to become acquainted with financial terms. For finding a solution to your specific goals and needs, a more personal touch is needed.
This is especially true for LGBT(*) clients. Given recent leaps in LGBT rights and cultural standards, it is of utmost importance for LGBT clients to find specialised advisers who can keep on top of the most recent legislation. This includes not just varying laws for marriage, adoption, etc. throughout the UK – European laws and LGBT rights also vary widely.
High-quality specialist IFAs are trained to stay informed these laws, but more importantly they are trained to be sensitive and aware of LGBT issues. This includes being aware of the history of discrimination and cultural preference for cis lifestyles, and fighting to make sure you receive the best opportunities free from purposeful or inadvertent discrimination.
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