Sarah Austin, Independent Financial Adviser from Martin-Redman Partners, explains the different ways financial advice can help you make sensible money choices, and make your money work harder for you.
The benefits of Independent Financial Advice
Most people are likely to need financial advice at some time in their lives; especially so when going through a significant life event like having a child, buying a home or deciding on when and how to retire.
The benefits of using an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) are many fold, including:
- Helping you plan for the future and set life goals (i.e. at what age do I want to retire?)
- Help you reducing tax and make sure you are aware and using all of your tax-free pension and saving allowances
- Growing the value of your pensions or investments by recommending a diversified portfolio of funds, and reviewing these regularly.
- Providing a sounding-board to help you make better decisions with your money.
In what areas does an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) provide advice?
IFA’s offer independent advice on a range of financial matters including your:
- Savings and Investments – including but not limited to cash deposits, ISAs and Investment Bonds
- Pensions – building your retirement fund, options when taking it and advising on pension transfers
- Protection – ensuring any income protection, life or critical illness cover offers you comprehensive cover, at the best cost, from the whole of the market.
- More complex areas - like estate and tax planning.
What can I expect if I see a financial adviser?
Initially, an adviser will discuss your current circumstances, your lifestyle and financial goals and your budget – this is sometimes known as a ‘fact-find’.
They will then undertake extensive research of the whole of the market (they are not limited to a small number of providers) and present you with a written report, bespoke to you, explaining the reasons behind the advice.
Once you have understood and asked any question you may have they will help put your plan into action, helping set up your plans with the Providers and invest your money into the correct funds.
What are the benefits of using an Independent Financial Adviser?
An IFA will often ask a range of ‘what-if’ questions that you may not have considered and help you work out what your financial goals are. For example; what age do you want to retire and how much money will you need based on the lifestyle you’d like?
If you are looking to arrange a complex financial product, such as a pension or investment, it may save you (or make you more) money by seeking independent financial advice, especially if you’re not sure of all the ins-and-outs of the product, the legislation and the tax treatment surrounding it.
The real value of financial advice is seen over the longer term after you have put your financial plan in place. Your IFA will meet you on a regular basis (at least annually) to review your financial plan and ensure it remains appropriate for your current situation. They will adjust your arrangements as the markets or tax rules change to ensure you to stay on track to achieve your longer-term life goals.
If you’d like to read more on how an IFA can help you, the Money Advice Service (a government-run body) outlines the benefits of getting financial advice here.
How much does it cost?
Most IFAs will offer a free consultation at an initial meeting, to understand which areas you would like financial advice on, to identify how they could help you, and for you to get a sense of whether you’d feel comfortable working with them.
Thereafter the cost of advice will be dependent on how many areas you would like the adviser to provide advice on and the complexity of your situation. There are different ways that you can pay for advice including:
- An hourly rate
- A set fee for a price of work
- An ongoing fee; for ongoing investment and review services
The cost of these should always be set out in a fee agreement before the IFA starts to work for you, signed by both you and your IFA. But whenever you consider the cost of advice, it is a good idea to think about its value too.
For more detail on how we structure fees within our firm see ‘Our Services & Fees’ page here
How do I get professional financial advice?
Martin-Redman Partners are a team of experienced Financial Advisers who can advise on your personal or business financial arrangements. We have been building trusted relationships with clients for many years by articulating clear and tailored recommendations in areas ranging from investments to retirement planning, to complex estate planning advice.
The information contained is for guidance only and does not constitute financial advice. It is based on our understanding of UK legislation, whether proposed or in force, and market practice at the time of writing. Levels, bases and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change. Accordingly, no responsibility can be assumed by Martin-Redman Partners its officers or employees, for any loss in connection with the content hereof and any such action or inaction.
We provide independent financial advice on investments, pensions, inheritance tax planning and protection. We work with private individuals, businesses and professional introducers, such as accountants and solicitors, to ensure our clients financial advice needs are met.