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Getting financial advice

It’s time to review your finances and make sure your money is working as hard for you as it possibly can. Somewhere out there are the right financial products for you but unless you have the mind of a forensic detective and understand the complexities of everything from insurance and pensions to hedge funds and derivatives get sound financial advice.

If you don’t already have someone in mind as an adviser one of the best ways to find someone good is to ask family, friends or colleagues for recommendations. You want someone who’s independent so that he or she can give you impartial advice about the whole range of products on offer. If you choose an adviser who isn’t independent they can only advise you on the products they work with. Some advisers specialise; if you want advice on pensions you might want and adviser who is a pensions specialist. Ask about the qualifications of anyone you are thinking of seeing.

The other question you have to ask is about how you pay for the service. You may choose an adviser to whom you pay fees upfront. Fees vary hugely so find out before you book your appointment. Try haggling to get the fees reduced if possible and ask for the first session to be free so that you get the chance to decide whether or not you have a rapport. The other option is an adviser who gets his or her fees through commission which you ultimately pay for because it’s added to the cost of the product you buy. Or you may pay for advice through a combination of the two.

Whoever you choose it’s helpful if you can build a lasting and trusting relationship which will make you both money for years to come. Remember that a financial plan made now needs to be reviewed frequently. What’s right for you in the current climate may not be right once the economy picks up again or if your circumstances change. The degree of risk you’re prepared to take with your savings and investments may be different when you’re single from when you’ve got a partner and children. Getting the right adviser is just the start of the process. 

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