Even if you have a good handle on your finances, have some investments and understand the stock market, chances are that you can still benefit from professional financial advice. The world of personal financial planning is increasingly complex, especially when you are an expat, and an objective and unemotional analysis from an experienced advisor will invariably find a few areas that will require some attention.
Our role is to assist you in achieving your goals, whether they are protecting your family, planning for your future, moving money between currencies, prioritising debts or simply helping you to work out what is most important right now. A good advisor does exactly that – advise – not sell. There is a massive difference between a salesman and an advisor. Advisors are not product led and they should be finding appropriate solutions for your problems, not simply looking to sell a high commission paying policy. We provided added value to your investments as you get to benefit from our years of experience and knowledge.
Always ensure that whoever you speak to has proper professional qualifications (and preferably more than just a basic certificate), a number of years experience and is willing to take the time to talk about what you want, not what they want you to have. An initial meeting is a ‘getting to know you’ exercise where the advisor gathers information and finds out what you want and need. It is not a time to sell. If someone want you to sign up for a 25 year savings plan then walk away.
Independent advisors, the only kind who can offer truly impartial advice, have access to products from right across the market and so are able to find the best products in your particular circumstances at the best price, assuming this is what you need. We also advice on matters such as arranging wills, the impact of Sharia law, offshore bank accounts, inheritance and school fees planning and taxation. We will know about schemes and companies who do not market to the general public and have a wide range of professional tools at our disposal.
Money is an emotional topic for many people, couples especially, and bringing in an impartial professional can help greatly. Major life events are times when advice is needed more than ever, birth, marriage, divorce, job changes, death, moving country. Taking impartial advice from an objective professional can make transitions easier.
The relationship with your advisor should be long-term and ongoing. (I still advise people that I first met some 15 years ago.) Your situation will change and certainly the economic situation changes regularly so just about everyone requires an annual review, even if only for a quick chat about progress and a look at their investment portfolio.
Come and have a chat over a cup of coffee sometime…