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In the 21st century, in the absence of adequate state pensions, it has become increasingly important for us all to take control of our own retirement savings. That means that most of us also need professional advice to assist us in making sound investment decisions and to ensure that those savings are working as hard for us as they possibly can.
Finding the right financial adviser is as important as finding the right doctor, but where do you start? Here are some key questions to ask when choosing a financial planner.
Is your financial planner client-focussed?
A good financial planner will put the client first. This means listening carefully to a client’s requirements and creating solutions which will help them reach their own unique financial goals. This requires time, effort and thought because each client will have very different needs and, crucially, a different tolerance to risk. It also requires you to be able to trust that person with very personal information which you wouldn’t normally share with strangers.
A good financial planner should put together a comprehensive financial strategy tailored to your personal needs. If you feel they are simply trying to “sell” you products, you’d be better off seeking advice from someone who doesn’t.
Is your financial planner independent?
Many financial advisers, particularly in Asia, are tied to particular product advisers. This obviously restricts the options they can recommend to their clients and is only ever in the interests of the financial planner as they earn larger commissions for this exclusive arrangement.
An independent financial adviser who is not tied to any individual product provider and can recommend financial products from any source is able to select the right products to fit their clients’ needs from the whole range of products on the market.
Is your financial planner qualified to manage your investments?
Many financial planners are also responsible for investing their clients’ money. Steer well clear of these! Financial advisers should definitely not be responsible for making investment decisions. Financial markets are hugely complex and understanding them is a specialised job best done by those with expertise and resources dedicated to doing just that. Good financial planners will concentrate on your monetary goals but appoint a reputable wealth manager to manage your investments and savings. Do ensure that you clarify this before choosing your adviser.
Will you have access to your financial planner when you need it?
The best financial planners should be constantly monitoring your objectives to ensure that you are on target to achieve them. Of course, as we progress through life our priorities change. Getting married, relocating to a different country or having children will move our investment goalposts and our life insurance requirements. Developing an ongoing relationship with your financial planner and having access to them when you need it is imperative.
Choosing the person who is responsible for your financial future is a really important decision. If you are unable to answer yes to all of the above questions, it might be time to find a new financial planner.
If you would like to learn more about how Infinity can assist you with any financial planning issue get in touch today.
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