According to the Financial Conduct Authority, the proportion of UK adults seeking regulated financial advice grew from 6% in 2017 to 9% in 2018.
This is quite a jump – but not necessarily a surprise. After all, interest rates have remained well below inflation for over a decade (2015 excluded) and current accounts only offer slightly more favourable terms than can be found under your mattress.
So, if you’ve been asking yourself “Do I need a financial adviser?” our blog is here to help.
But first, let’s get the basics sorted.
What is an independent financial adviser?
An independent financial adviser is someone who can help you define and achieve your financial goals as efficiently as possible.
You might think: If a how-to guide on planning an investment strategy is just a Google search away, why do I need to pay a professional to do it for me?
The truth is, there is far more to financial advice than meets the eye. An independent financial adviser can analyse your unique goals and circumstances and help you find out:
- the best investment vehicle(s) to use,
- how much risk to take,
- the right asset mix for your portfolio,
- how to get maximum value for money from your investments, and
- how to make the most of your available tax allowances.
Beyond investing, an independent financial adviser can address a vast range of financial needs, from getting you the best deal on your life insurance to planning a sustainable retirement income.
They can look after and monitor your financial plans as time goes on, and keep you informed over economic and legislative changes that might impact your investment strategy.
And as your needs and life circumstances change, your financial adviser can adapt your strategy to suit. They’ll also help you keep a cool head in times of economic turmoil and uncertainty.
Is getting an ‘independent’ financial adviser important?
The ‘independent’ part is crucial. Financial advisers in banks or those tied to a panel of product providers can’t offer you the full range of options on the market today.
On the other hand, independent financial advisers have no such restrictions. They are free to act in your best interests and offer a truly unbiased perspective.
What are the benefits of independent financial advice?
In December 2019, pension and insurance giant Royal London and the International Longevity Centre co-published a report called ‘What it’s worth: Revisiting the value of financial advice’.
The report found that those who had received professional independent financial advice in the UK between 2001 and 2006 saw an average total wealth uplift of £47,706 by 2014/2016.
Furthermore, those who maintained an ongoing relationship with a financial adviser had nearly 50% higher average pension wealth than those who simply took advice at the start and then decided to self-manage.
Of course, these are average figures and the value of independent financial advice will vary from person to person. But what they show is that the benefits of financial advice aren’t just intangible ones like ‘peace of mind’, ‘expertise’ and ‘accountability’.
Instead, independent financial advice has the potential to leave you significantly better off over the long run.
Do I need a financial adviser?
There are many reasons you might benefit from independent financial advice. Below are just a few examples:
- You have burning questions like: Can I afford to retire early? Renovate my home? Go on a round-the-world trip? Spend a bit more on the things I enjoy?
- You’re thinking of selling your business and you want to make the most of your capital for yourself and your family.
- You’re a working professional and need help preparing financially for retirement, your children’s future or a change in lifestyle.
- You’ve inherited a large sum, and you want to invest the proceeds but don’t know where to start.
- You think you may have an inheritance tax liability, and you want to leave more to those you love most.
- You want to invest in a way that makes a social or environmental impact on the world.
- You want peace of mind in knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of after you’re gone.
- You self-manage a range of investments, but the burden is becoming too much, and you’re considering letting a professional to take over.
If any of the above resonate with you, then you might benefit from a conversation with a Robertson Baxter financial adviser.
Why should I choose Robertson Baxter?
As an experienced financial adviser firm based in West Yorkshire, we offer whole-of-the-market independent financial advice on everything from ethical investing to lifestyle planning.
Typically, our clients tend to be people such as business owners and professionals and their families – people who want to benefit from tailored financial planning and advice. We also look after some large organisations, such as universities and registered charities, as well as trusts and corporate clients.
Our client services team take care of the administration. Our paraplanning team take care of the research and recommendations for the adviser to discuss with you. And our executive PA will liaise between you and the team to ensure that all arrangements run smoothly and that you are looked after when you come to see us.
Which means that when it comes to mapping out your financial future, everything is taken care of, so you don’t have to worry.
And because we’re relatively small, you won’t be just a number to us. We’re a close-knit business and our clients become like family.
Don’t just take our word for it. The quality of our financial advice and customer service has seen us shortlisted in three categories at the 2020 Yorkshire Financial Awards, and two of our advisers recently featured in The Times UK Top Rated Advisers.
If you’d like to find out more, or book a free consultation with an adviser, get in touch today.