Do I need a financial advisor?
Nearly everybody, at some stage, would benefit from the expertise of an independent finance professional. They support people with a wide variety of advice, from support in a debt crisis to effective investment planning. The UK average cost of appointing a financial advisor is £150 per hour - but the savings and advice they provide can be far more valuable.
When Do I Need a Financial Advisor?
There are critical stages at which a finance professional might be able to provide significant savings. They deliver independent advice to ensure that you make the most informed decisions, before making any significant financial commitments.
Some of the most common times for a person to decide to appoint a financial advisor include:
- When they get married or decide to start a family.
- When they are planning to finance a child's education costs or university fees.
- When they buy a property or are looking at remortgaging or moving home.
- When they start a new business or undertake a career change.
- When they are planning for their retirement.
- When they are looking to make investments or rationalise their investment portfolio.
- When they are in financial trouble and need expert support.
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Can a Financial Advisor Help Me?
Almost certainly. Everybody will make financial decisions, whether they are about purchasing a property or deciding how to manage the repayment of debts.
Financial advisors are not solely investment specialists, and while many wealthy individuals will have a wealth management expert or a financial planner, they provide a broad scope of services to help in all scenarios.
The benefit of using a financial advisor is that they are fully independent. So, for example, if you are deciding what type of mortgage to take out, they will discuss your finances with you and make an educated recommendation as to your best option.
Your financial advisor will also look to the future, and help with budgeting and forecasting. They will share with you the reasons behind their recommendations, to help you understand all your options and the reasons why one might be preferable.
How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?
How much a financial advisor costs depends on what work they are providing, and how long you are working with them for. One-off pieces of work might be charged at a fixed rate, or on an hourly basis.
The hourly rate for a professional financial advisor ranges from £100 to £300 at the higher end of the spectrum.
Your advisor will explain their costs and fee structure before undertaking work and may offer a free initial consultation to help you better understand what support services they can provide.
Can I Make Sure My Financial Advisor is Independent?
Finance professionals can be registered with several trade organisations, and have to achieve a level of qualification and demonstrate continued professional development (CPD) to remain affiliated with that professional body.
Reputable financial advisors will deliver their advice regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that they follow the FCA rules and guidelines.
Most FCA registered financial advisors are either Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) or fall into the broader range of whole-of-market advisors.
An IFA provides fully independent advice tailored to your circumstances.
Whole-of-market advisors include many professions such as mortgage advisors, investment specialists and tax advisors. There are many other official accreditations that they may carry, and they are required to explain, before you undertake any paid work, what services that can provide.
Is a Financial Advisor Worth The Cost?
It depends what advice you need, and the nature of your finances, whether you decide that paying a financial advisor is right for you.
They can provide substantial savings in recommending products or lenders that you may not have considered - particularly when it comes to investments or large purchases such as buying a property.
A financial advisor can also be a source of great help if you are struggling to manage your finances, or are concerned about something such as your retirement.
If you appoint a financial advisor to manage investments on your behalf, they will usually be paid a percentage of the value of your portfolio or the amount by which they increase its value. This means that your financial advisor's fees will increase in line with the value they bring to your portfolio.
Other financial advisors are paid directly by the product provider when they recommend a particular insurance or financial product. This is called an introducers fee and means that you don't pay the advisor directly as they earn a commission from the lending you choose to use.
You may also wish to find out about wealth manager fees, if you want to find out more about how a wealth manager may be able to advise you compared to a financial advisor.
Financial advisors may also be able to advise as to your personal financial arrangements, but if you own a business you may want to approach an accountant specialising in business financial arrangements. Find out more about small business accounting costs, for accounting and payroll cost factors specifically.
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