The thought of organising your finances can be overwhelming and intimidating, and so you put it off time and time again. There does come a point, where it does become important to plan for your financial future, particularly if you have a family. With the economy as it is, and tax legislation liable to change at any time, there is no better time than now to make plans.
It's not actually as difficult as you might think, particularly if you employ the services of a professional financial services firm. There are many organizations in the UK who offer guidance and advice to businesses and individuals.
It can be a comfort to know that you have a financial plan in place providing a review of your current state of affairs, earnings, and income from investments, insurance policies, pension, and future plans. A firm with Chartered Financial Planner status can offer you that little bit more as the title is synonymous with the highest standards of professionalism. Advisors have to have 5 years relevant experience in financial planning under their belt, as well as having passed demanding Chartered Financial Planning exams and show a commitment to their continuing professional development. There aren't that many advisors who have all the credentials and so if you find a firm with Chartered status you can rest assured that you are obtaining expert advice from highly experienced professionals.
Where advisors earn their income through commission, some investments might be more advantageous to promote as they generate higher commissions. Organisations that promote themselves as fee based have set fees for the service they supply and where commissions are received from a product provider, they pass the commission back to you. A transparent fee based service means the advice you receive is likely to be impartial as it is not influenced by earning commissions.
Before your advisor can help you with your financial arrangements, they have to find out as much about you as possible. Understanding your goals and wishes, and where you stand financially at the moment will allow them to fully assess your current situation and come up with strategies to fit your needs and benefit you and your family, or business.
With the accumulated information in hand, they can then make a financial plan with recommendations about how you should plan for your future. This will include investment planning, retirement planning, pensions, tax planning, inheritance tax advice and life insurance advice, collectively with your income and tax position.
The development of your personal financial plan will only be the start of the commitment, financial planning is a continuing process that develops and changes with your individual circumstances. A personal annual review should be carried out on the performance of your investments, changes taken note of, and a timetable drawn up of where to go next if your financial objectives are to be met.
Once your investment portfolio has been designed, your financial advisor will keep you up to date and fully aware of what is happening with your portfolio's performance, making modifications as and when required. You should receive a personal annual review to discuss any issues you have or plan for new investments, etc.
Many financial management companies now offer online access to your investments; this makes it much simpler to check up on the details of your investments, retirement plans, or saving schemes directly from home. A portfolio administration service allows you to study your investments and pension funds in your own time, in a secure and comfortable environment.
The best investment advice and financial plans are those that are personal to you, taking into account your own circumstances, your career and your long term aspirations. Choosing a fee based financial services firm means you can rest assured that the advice you receive is impartial and in your best interests.
About the author: Kathryn Dawson writes articles for Tower Hill Associates, a growing chartered financial planner providing financial services London such as investment planning. With their bespoke inheritance tax advice it is possible to minimize the amount of tax you pay.
Author: Kathryn Dawson
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