How can a Financial Adviser help?

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What Does A Financial Adviser Belfast Do?, EM Gray & Co

How can a Financial Adviser help?

Tracey O’Reilly Johnston talks about the role of a financial adviser.

What exactly does a financial adviser do?

Just like you would hire an architect to create a plan or a design for your home, you can engage the services of a financial advisor to help you create a plan for your money.

A financial advisor is usually equipped to help you on a number of money matters and provide clients with specialist advice on how to manage their money. Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming with so much choice of products and different options out there.

So you might feel happier having some expert guidance as to what you could do with your money. You could just be looking for reassurance or confirmation that what you already have in place is enough.

A financial advisor will look at your personal circumstances and financial plans and recommend products to meet your needs. An advisor’s role would normally involve researching the marketplace, recommending appropriate products and services and ensuring that clients are aware of things that could best help them in life.

Everyone’s situation and circumstances are unique to them. It’s called ‘personal finance’ for a reason – so your advisor will personalise everything to achieve specific goals for you – whether they are short term goals like a holiday or wedding, medium-term goals like putting children through education, or long-term goals like planning for retirement.

What services does a financial adviser offer?

Most advisors will offer you a variety of services. Typical examples are investment advice – to identify the best investments for your particular risk tolerance and your goals. We also help you stay on course or make strategic adjustments when life’s unexpected events come calling. We help people with saving for college – and this is really important at the moment with the rising cost of education.

An advisor can help identify saving strategies that would match your needs – for education, a wedding or to buy your dream home. We put your goals within reach and help you stay on track.

You might also engage the services of a financial advisor on debt management. If debts are standing in the way of your financial life, we can help create strategies to pay down your existing debt and stay out of it in future.

We’re very often asked about tax planning – we help you take advantage of available tax savings, like charitable donations, pensions, ISAs and tax loss harvesting. We usually work alongside your accountant or tax advisor to make sure that your investment plan minimises your annual tax liability.

Retirement planning is a very big area, whether or not you’ve already put money away for your retirement. We help you boost your retirement savings and have tools like cash flow modelling to give you a good indication of how much to save to retire on the income you’d like. It’s also important that what you’ve already saved for retirement can be protected.

Clients come to us to talk about long-term care and their health in the future. No matter what your age, your advisor can help you provide for healthcare in later life. We can also help with estate planning – transferring your wealth to your loved ones, creating charitable gifts and other opportunities to pass on the wealth you have worked hard to build. Wealth preservation is another area, where we can guide you on how you can retain your hard earned savings.

When should I see a financial adviser?

The sooner, the better. Essentially, there isn’t really a right or wrong time to see an advisor, but engaging with us will ultimately help you achieve your financial goals and stay on track.

A lot of clients come and see us when they start working because pension auto-enrollment can be daunting. It’s not obvious at that age how pensions work and why they’re so important. At the start of your career you’re typically receiving more money than you would be used to, so you may want guidance on what you should do with this new income.

Another key time in life is planning to buy a home or thinking about having a family. It’s important to consider how you would provide for your family if you weren’t there. Clients also seek the services of a financial advisor when they come into a sum of money – an inheritance or even a lottery win.

Ultimately, whenever you choose to seek an advisor we will help you get into a better financial position than you are today.

What’s the process when seeing a financial adviser?

If you made contact with us today, the first thing we would do is meet with you, either in our offices or somewhere convenient for you. It could be your home or your workplace.

At that first meeting, we want to get to know you and your specific financial situation better. We’ll ask about your needs and objectives. We’ll chat to you about the services that we can provide and if you’re happy with that, we will explain the process in a bit more detail.

At EM Gray we follow a six stage advice process:

  1. Establish what your life goals are and explore your personal circumstances.
  2. Collect all relevant personal and financial data and confirm your attitude to risk.
  3. Explore your current position and how you’ve arrived there, to help us recommend products to suit your needs.
  4. Prepare personal reports and recommendations setting out different strategies to get you where you would like to be.
  5. Agree the plan with you. We may need to address budget constraints by prioritising the most important or most achievable steps.
  6. We then put everything agreed in place. If you would like us to, we would continue to meet with you on a regular basis to make sure that everything stays fit for purpose.

As your financial advisors we can offer you advice throughout your life – from budgeting in the present to retirement savings for the longer term. We will help you refine and achieve your short term and long term goals. This is where most advisors get their job satisfaction from – building partnerships with clients and seeing them meet their goals.

Speak To an Expert

Whenever you choose to seek an advisor we will help you get into a better financial position than you are today.

What is the normal fee for a financial adviser? Does it cost for an initial conversation with you?

We don’t charge our clients anything for that initial conversation. There’s a misconception that if you have a financial advisor that you must be very wealthy – but that just isn’t the case.
We’re here to help everyday people achieve their financial goals. The costs may be a lot less than you think.

Different advisors have different ways of charging for their services. Some charge you a flat fee, others will charge an hourly rate and some charge a percentage fee on the investment amount you have with them.

There may be an initial advice charge, and they may also charge an ongoing fee to continue to manage and advise on those different funds and investments for you.

At EM Gray we discuss our fees at the outset and they are agreed with you in advance – it’s very clear and transparent. Everyone should have fair access to financial advice and guidance, so we make it affordable.

Overall, when it comes to fees and charges for financial advice, it’s all about paying someone for the expertise you’ll need to get a brighter financial future.

We’ve gone through a lot of information here and there’s a lot to take in, so if you have any questions, just get in touch. I’d be very happy to help.

The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount invested.

HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen.

Tax treatment varies according to individual circumstances and is subject to change.