Independent Financial Adviser – IFA York and North Yorkshire
10 Reasons to use an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA)
Many people think that financial advice is only required by the very rich. However, everyone can benefit from it. Not only can it help you protect and build your assets, it can assist you in making the most of your investments and in securing your and your family’s long-term future.
TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY
There are a lot of people trying to sell you insurance of one type or another but an IFA can tell you which one is actually worth buying. An IFA will assess your position and guide you through the best options to protect yourself and your family – whether you are single or married, have young children or they have left home. Whatever your needs, an IFA can ensure personal tragedy does not turn into financial crisis.
TO HELP PLAN YOUR SPENDING – AND SAVING
To secure your long term future, you need to build some assets – initially to get you through the rain by days and then to pay for holidays and luxuries. Step one is to plan your spending so that you begin to save – and step two is to plan that saving so that you can build wealth as efficiently as possible. Regardless of whether you currently have £10 or £10,000, an IFA will look at your situation and find the best starting point for you.
TO HELP YOU PLAN FOR RETIREMENT
Once you have sorted out your short-term saving needs, you can start thinking about the long term – and most people these days realise that they cannot rely on the state for more than the absolute basics. However, planning for retirement is a complex business and there are many different options available. Pensions have come a long way in terms of flexibility and transparency in recent years and now offer a wide range of investment choices. An IFA will not only help sift through the many rules and product options but will also help construct a portfolio to maximise your long-term prospects.
TO SECURE YOUR HOUSE
The mortgage market has always been complicated with its discounts and variables, annual equivalent rates and caps, indemnities and early redemption fees. In the aftermath of the credit crunch, mortgages have become even more complex, and lenders’ requirements have become more stringent. Nevertheless, buying a house is still one of the most expensive decisions we make, and the vast majority of us need a mortgage. An IFA could save you thousands, particularly at times like this. Not only can they seek out the best rates, they can help you assess sensible levels of borrowing, make the most of your deposit and might also find lenders who would otherwise not be available to you.
TO HELP MEET YOUR INVESTMENT GOALS
As you progress through life, you start to build your assets and your income begins to increase. You then start considering how you can enhance your position rather than simply consolidate it. This could mean anything from looking to retire early to paying school fees for private schools or investing in overseas property. However your dreams evolve, an Independent Financial Adviser can help assess what is realistically possible – and put the best plan in place to help you achieve it.
TO FIND THE RIGHT COMBINATION OF ASSETS
Investment is as much about protecting against potential downsides as it is about targeting maximum growth. High returns are often associated with high risk – and not everyone is comfortable should their investment fall by a third or more overnight. An IFA will make a detailed assessment of your attitude to risk before making any recommendations. They will also ensure you do not put all your eggs in one basket by helping you diversify not only across asset classes but across accounts, individual funds and product providers.
TO OBTAIN AN OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT
Every new investment opportunity or product is likely to be accompanied by hype, proclaiming it to be the best thing ever – but that does not necessarily mean it is right for you. Investors the world over have been and will continue to be caught out by market bubbles or high charges because they do not take a step back. An Independent Financial Adviser knows how products and assets work in different markets and can outline the possible downsides for you as well as the potential benefits. Between you, you can then make a more informed decision about what hype you can believe – and what products you really ought to avoid.
TO SAVE MONEY
Once your risk and investment assessments are complete, the next step is to look at tax and even the most basic overview of your position could help. It may simply mean using Individual Savings Account (ISAs) or a pension plan to benefit from government incentives or it could mean choosing growth-focussed assets over income in order to make use off capital gains allowances rather than pay income tax. Alternatively, for more complicated arrangements, it might mean moving assets to your spouse or children to make full use of their personal allowances. A Independent Financial Adviser will always have your tax position in mind when making recommendations and can help point you in the right direction, even in complicated situations.
TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK
Even when your investments have been put in place and are running to plant, someone needs to keep an eye them in case changes in markets or abnormal events push them off course. You can ask an IFA to undertake this monitoring work for you. They can assess the performance of individual investments against their peers, ensure that your asset allocation does not become distorted as markets move, and help you consolidate gains as the deadlines for your ultimate goals approach.
FOR PEACE OF MIND
Money is a complicated subject and there are many things you need to consider in order to both protect it and make the most of it. Markets are volatile and the media are prone to exaggerate both the risks and the rewards. Employing a good Independent Financial Adviser can remove the pressure from you and place the job in the hands of an expert. Whether you need general, practical advice or specialist with dedicated expertise, you could find that, in the long term, the money you invest in expert advice will be paid back many times over.