What does a financial advisor do?
If you are looking for financial advice or considering instructing a financial advisor, you might be confused about what services they can offer, and whether they are right for you! The UK average hourly rate for a qualified financial advisor is £150. However, these can vary from £100 to £300, so it is crucial to have confidence that you are working with the right professional.
Financial Advisors - an Overview
There are many different types of financial advisor. Some offer advice across the spectrum of money management, and others specialise in certain areas.
In general, a financial advisor is there to help improve your finances, reduce your costs, and mitigate the financial risks that you take.
They do this in many ways, such as:
- Assessing your financial position and your future aspirations.
- Recommending products with the most potential.
- Helping you reduce costs or fees associated with lending and investing.
- Appraising your appetite for risk, and advising on your financial plans accordingly.
- Strategising for your plans and business requirements.
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What Different Titles do Financial Advisors use?
One of the confusing aspects of finding a financial advisor is that they can use different titles or professions. A financial advisor is a catchall term that refers to a broad range of professionals, rather than a job title of a specific role.
Examples of financial advisors include:
- Financial planners
- Tax advisors
- Investment specialists
- Financial counsellors/coaches
- Wealth management professionals
The type of financial advisor most relevant to your needs will depend on what sort of assistance you require. For example, if you have a significant asset portfolio and would like ongoing support to maximise your returns, a wealth management professional would be best suited.
If you need long-term help planning and budgeting for your retirement, then a financial planner would be your best bet.
Which Financial Advisor can Help me with Debt?
Many people choose to appoint a financial advisor because they are worried about debt or feel that their liabilities are out of control.
A professional advisor is in a perfect position to help you rationalise your debt, and recommend stable strategies to manage this and reduce your liabilities going forward.
In this scenario, a financial counsellor is a specialist in helping you take back control of your finances. They can create a plan with you, and advise at each stage of the process on the most optimal decisions to make.
Financial counsellors are referred to as many titles, such as debt counsellors, debt coaches and financial coaches.
How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?
The cost of appointing a financial advisor will vary considerably depending on the work you ask them to undertake, and whether this is for one task or a long-term advisory relationship.
If you appoint a financial advisor to carry out one short piece of work, they may charge an hourly rate. This can be from £100 to £300 per hour, and you should be provided with an estimate of the number of hours required before any work takes place.
Some financial advisors offer fixed rates for a piece of work. For example, they might charge a set fee of £500 to create an ISA or an annuity for you. In this scenario, you should receive in writing confirmation of precisely what is included in your fee.
Longer-term financial advice is usually carried out on a percentage commission basis. You might pay a retainer to have a financial advisor always to hand, or they might charge as a percentage of the value they have grown your portfolio by. This tends to be from 1% to around 2.5% depending on the size and complexity of your portfolio.
What Can a Financial Advisor Help me With?
Financial advisors can help with pretty much any need you have for independent professional advice. Examples of services include:
- Retirement planning
- Inheritance and tax planning
- Long-term budgeting
- Investment advice
Some advisors have a specific niche, and only offer advice around that specialism. For example, a tax advisor might only provide support with planning for tax efficiencies.
Other advisors will only accept clients of particular net worth, although this usually only applies to wealth management professionals who work with affluent individuals.
Do I Need a Financial Planner?
Using a finance professional can be a massive relief for people worried about managing their finances effectively, or struggling with debts or the prospect of not having saved enough for their retirement.
While some financial advisors work in specific niches, or with investment portfolios, there are plenty of financial advisors who work with regular clients who need ongoing support and advice.
The benefit of a financial advisor is that they don't just recommend products, but provide information, advice, and educate their clients to take control over their finances better for the long-term.
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