Your circumstances might mean you require professional advice to make the correct decisions and take the correct actions. A professional adviser will help you prioritise your financial goals and give you an understanding of the bigger picture, taking into account other important factors such as potential tax implications. There are thousands of different financial products available and choosing the right one for you can be difficult and confusing.
Financial advisers can help you with a variety of things such as:
- Providing an income after you stop work
- Saving and investing money
- Buying and insuring a home
- Insuring yourself and your family against illness, disability or premature death
- Passing assets on to the next generation tax efficiently
- Changing personal circumstances such as starting a family, redundancy, divorce or bereavement
Once your financial adviser has recommended a plan it should generally be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it remains appropriate to your circumstances and accommodates any changes to your priorities.
Financial advisers usually charge for their services in one of (or a combination of) the following:
- hourly rate - typically averaging around £120 - £200, but can be higher for specialist advice;
- percentage of the money invested - this can vary depending on the size of the initial investment and will typically be 0.5% to 3%. An annual charge for reviewing an investment portfolio is likely to be 0.25%-1%;
- fixed project fee - typically £1,000 - £5,000 for a specific piece of research and advice work;
- some firms may also charge clients a monthly retainer fee of between £50-£100.
Fees depend on the experience and qualifications of the adviser and the geographical location of their business. Advisers are no longer paid commission, except for certain non-investment product recommendations, and they have to explain to you how much the advice will cost you. You will need to agree this and how you will pay for it before any advice is provided.
Financial planning involves revealing detailed personal financial information and can involve divulging information about your goals and ambitions, so you need to be comfortable in the company of an adviser. It is worth meeting a few to determine who you are most comfortable working with in an ongoing professional relationship.