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Financial Planning
Monday, November 1, 2010
Valuing advice

Admitting that we need advice and then asking for it is probably the hardest step in planning for our future and ensuring that we can achieve the long-term goals that we set for ourselves.

One of the reasons it is so hard in today’s fast-paced, do-it-yourself world is that marketers would have us believe that cutting out the intermediary is the way to go. We’ve all heard it – save costs, save time, get it done direct. But when it comes to planning for your future, the real question is: ‘What am I losing out on if I don’t get advice from a financial adviser before I buy a financial product?’
Liberty’s Executive for Commercial Units: Marketing and product management, Andrew Warren, believes that an adviser acts as a financial coach and provides an unbiased viewpoint of your financial status, enabling you to remove yourself emotionally and give you the space you need to plan for the long term. A financial adviser can get a solid idea of the client’s current situation and needs, and is able to offer better solutions than would otherwise the case if they were going it alone. “Long term financial planning is conducted more effectively if in partnership with a financial adviser,” he points out.
Another benefit of enjoying the services of a financial adviser is that it cements a working relationship for further planning and strategy in the future. “Once you start building a good relationship with your financial adviser, it will stand you in good stead for many years to come.” When the time comes for a claim on your insurance or you need to consider what to do in the face of a major change in your life, such as marriage or divorce, you have someone to call and talk to, and someone who will help you make the right decisions based on your changing needs. “Even knowing that your partner has someone to talk to if something happens to you, can give you peace of mind,” he notes.
In the end, it is the individual’s responsibility to take care of his own financial affairs, whether he has the benefit of advice from an adviser or not. “Your needs and circumstances are constantly changing; the environment in which we live is evolving and the degree of certainty consumers have is declining. Financial advisers and product providers aren’t ultimately responsible for the outcome of your financial plans, but they can certainly provide you with the tools and strategies to help you reach your goals and achieve your dreams.”
Sure, there will be a fee attached to the advice you receive. But the cost of taking no action and ending up with no cover or the wrong cover when you need it most is far costlier in the long run.
 

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:23.11 1st November, 2010
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