Unbiased.co.uk recently commissioned a report to see what consumer benefits there are in seeking independent financial advice (Full report can be found here). I was surprised that in Northern Ireland only 17% of the population use an independent financial adviser (IFA). Not many people would say that they are happy with the state of their finances and it’s strange only a small percentage choose to seek professional advice.
Standard Life highlighted a few of the questions people ask about their money:
- Will I have enough money in the future to do what I want?
- Am I saving and investing in the right place?
- Am I paying too much tax?
- What are my options when things change?
- How can I keep an eye on my investments?
“A good adviser will quickly understand your financial position and help you identify your goals. They’ll look at the lifestyle you have today and the one you want in the future. They’ll understand how you want to invesest and what your financial – and life – priorities are. With this insight they’ll prepare a financial plan that’s unique to you, and more importantly, a plan that will adapt as your needs change. In short, they’ll make dealing with your finances easier”.
Some statistics showing the differences between those who have taken financial advice and those who haven’t:
- The advised group included more people with life insurance, pension provisions and investments than non-advised group
- The advised group had double the pension funds of those who hadn’t taken advice.
- People with an adviser save more and on average save more than £40,000 higher than those who don’t seek advice.
Advice plays a vital role in your financial health. “People said that ‘peace of mind’ was ranked highest as a benefit of using an IFA. Other popular answers were that it was reassuring to know, having taken advice, people were doing all they could for their family and seeking advice had saved them time. Others suggested it helped them to set clear financial goals and stick to them.”
The report “clearly highlights that there are benefits to seeking independent financial advice: whether it is the adviser’s professional expertise leading to better products and better returns, having a safety net in place, such as a protection product, or giving their clients confidence in their own financial decision making.”
All quotes taken from the Value of Advice report 2012.
By David Gibson