When times are good, and confidence is high, most financial advisers should be able to help generate at least reasonable returns. However, in times such as those we have experienced over the last few years, having the support of a ‘trusted adviser’ you can rely upon to help, guide, support and advise you is more important than ever.

Why take financial advice?
There are a range of reasons why someone takes the decision to seek financial advice. It can often be key life events such as inheriting wealth, having children, changing job, or preparing for, or moving into, retirement – but for many, it’s to build or protect wealth and plan for the future.

The Money Helper website, which helps to bring together the support and services of three government backed financial guidance providers: Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise, states:

“There are many reasons why financial advice can be helpful. For example:

  • If you buy an investment product based on financial advice and a recommendation, you’re much more likely to get a product that meets your needs and which is suitable for your particular circumstances.
  • Depending on the type of adviser you use, you might also have access to a wider range of choices than you’d be able to find realistically on your own.
  • Advisers can provide expert guidance when you have important and potentially difficult financial decisions to make, such as approaching retirement.
  • An adviser can put a plan together to help meet your short, medium, and long-term goals. They can then keep you on track to reach those goals and make changes where necessary.
  • If you have money to invest, an adviser can make sure that it works hard for you and that you make the most of the tax reliefs and allowances available”

Should you choose independent or restricted financial advice?

Whatever the reasons for seeking financial advice, we never lose sight of what a big step it can be for people to reach out and look for a long-term trusted partner to help them achieve their goals and aspirations. Personalised financial advice is most effective when a strong and long-term relationship is built. However, do you choose an independent adviser or a restricted one?

According to the Citizens Advice website:

“There are two types of financial advisers:

independent financial advisers (IFAs) give unbiased advice about the whole range of financial products from all the different companies available restricted advisers give advice on a limited range of products. They may specialise in one area, for example pensions, or they may only offer advice on products offered by a limited number of companies. It’s usually best to get independent financial advice so that you can look at the widest range of advice and products available.”

Don’t go it alone
Now is not the time to try and go it alone – even if you think you have the right knowledge and experience. Regrettably, we have seen many people where self-select investing, which whilst on the face of it may initially save costs, has been an expensive experiment.

When volatile times happen, as we have recently seen, it may seem daunting. A good financial adviser will help you understand the principles of investing and the techniques available for managing risk effectively, through diversification of assets. No financial adviser, however, can claim to be able to predict the peaks and troughs of financial markets, and it’s extraordinarily difficult to time exactly when the best days to invest will be. However, ‘time in’ the markets, not ‘timing” the markets, is generally the most effective approach over the medium to long term.

Read Client Reviews
One of the ways to help you understand the value in getting advice is to read reviews from client themselves. At MDG Professional our financial planning consultants regularly invite their clients to leave reviews on the advice and service they have received. They do this through an independent review site called VouchedFor. Here all reviews are checked for their authenticity, and you can also read all the reviews about that adviser, as well as the firm. An adviser is rated in a number of areas, and clients are asked questions based on quality of advice, quality of service and value for money.

Financial Planning and Tax Planning “All Under One Roof”

Creating a financial plan can also involve specialist tax planning, so on many occasions there will be a need to involve a tax professional. You could be selling a business, land or disposing of an investment for example. We work alongside our tax experts and accountants at MDG Professional to provide careful financial and tax planning to secure the long-term financial future for you and your family. One such area, where this often needs to be considered, is in relation to Inheritance Tax and Estate Planning.

At MDG Professional our quest is to help our clients achieve prosperity, a secure future and peace of mind. We provide bespoke tax planning, financial planning and wealth management all under one roof. Advice on Inheritance Tax related matters could be provided by a mixture of both our financial planning and tax specialists.