Independent financial advice

Independent financial advice: what’s the point?

May 4, 2016 1:56 pm Published by

What’s the point of getting independent financial advice? In fact, is it ever truly independent?

As financial advisers, we’re bound to have something to say on this commonly held view. So, using the many decades of experience we have between us, here’s the case for using an IFA:

So much choice

There are literally thousands of investment options – equity, fixed income, derivatives, commodities – and within each category there are a myriad of providers, each with their own glossy brochure, hoping to tempt the investor. Without getting advice from those who know – i.e. an IFA – how can you be sure you are making the best choice for you?

Assessing your approach to risk

How much of a risk-taker are you? Do you, on the one hand, relish the thought of a bungee jump but baulk at the idea of cycling without a helmet? Do you like a flutter on the Pools but avoid bingo? In other words, do you have a good idea of how much financial risk you are prepared to take? Few people truly do, so surely it would be better to ask a professional IFA for help. Your IFA will go through a questionnaire, step-by-step, and assess your tolerance towards risk. Then, having assessed this, the adviser will probe into your financial situation and financial goals with a fine-tooth comb. And only once armed with all the available information, will the IFA can guide you towards the investments best suited to your individual circumstances.

Is independent financial advice really independent?

At Hartsfield, we charge a fee for the work we do for our clients. We don’t take a commission from providers. This means we have no incentive to choose one product over another, and therefore we can say we are truly independent, working only for the interests of our clients.

Tax implications

Depending on your personal or business circumstances, investments can be an extremely effective tool in mitigating the amount of tax you pay. For example, if you are a company owner or director, there are a number of legitimate ways to reduce corporation tax to keep your liability to a minimum, through making full use of the annual investment allowance, other capital allowances and allowable expenses. An IFA will be fully informed about the tax implications of any investments you plan to make and advise you accordingly

Have we made the case for independent financial advice?

We hope we have made the case for seeking independent financial advice, and that you understand a little more about our investment philosophy, but if you’re not convinced, please get in touch and we can chat about it further. And if you are convinced, and would like our help, we’d love to hear from you.

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This post was written by Paul Verwoert

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