And what those that do, can gain by taking it

Financial advisers often wonder why so many people do not take any kind of financial advice from a professionally qualified financial adviser, preferring to take advice from friends, family, an accountant (not qualified to do so) and even the man down the pub

Contact Martin Dodd on 01902 742221 or email him at martin.dodd@miadvice.co.uk if you would like talk about money issues.

There are of course many reasons for this, so I have asked the question of lots of people over the years, just so that I could be certain of the reasons.

And the answers that I got back were many and interesting to say the least.

Here are some of the responses that I got from people.

  1. I don’t believe in it.
  2. It’s too expensive
  3. It’s just not value for money
  4. I’ve had a bad experience in the past
  5. I don’t need advice
  6. My accountant tells me what to do
  7. I take advice from my family, they know what to do

As you can imagine, that’s not what I want to hear and it would be easy to feel a little dejected. Not just for me and my business, but for all the other financial advice businesses. But to be perfectly honest most of those reasons are perfectly reasonable, as there have been times in the history of financial advice that we would all preferred not to have happened.

So having got the answer to the question, it got me thinking.

Is one of those answers the real big one?

In my opinion the main reason why people do not take financial advice, is the cost of advice and does it represent fair value.

Of course fees can be avoided by becoming a DIY investor. There are websites and business operating that will allow you to invest directly yourself. But there’s more to it than that. There is what I call the “unknown, unknowns” or in other words none of us know what we don’t know.

So what does good financial advice help with? The list is extensive, but here are a few.

  • Help you work out where you want to get to
  • What I need to do to get there and by when
  • How to decide what level of risk you can justify taking
  • How to measure that risk
  • How often to review that level of risk and why
  • To understand what my overall capacity for loss is
  • How to put together a portfolio taking into account your capacity for risk
  • What type of investment wrapper best suits your circumstances
  • When to rebalance your portfolio and when
  • How much should you be saving to achieve your medium and long term goals
  • How to hold you nerve in turbulent market
  • How to deal with losses (most people freeze, then panic and sell)
  • How to make sure my assets pass tax efficiently to my children
  • How to balance investing for your future and paying off your mortgage
  • How to reduce your Inheritance Tax liability
  • How to pass on more of your wealth to your family
  • How to plan to reduce Capital Gains Tax

Now I wouldn’t expect all of the above to be on your list of priorities, but I am pretty sure some of them will be, wherever you are on your journey.

Sadly, many people think that investment growth is the only measure of value of a Financial Adviser to justify their fee. This is perhaps the fault of our profession. We need to develop our skill set so that we improve the experience of the clients that work with us, so that they have a better understanding of what a financial adviser can bring to the table.

This article does not provide specific advice and you should always seek professional advice from a qualified adviser before making any decisions.

Contact Martin Dodd on 01902 742221 or email him at martin.dodd@miadvice.co.uk if you would like talk about money issues.

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