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Do I really need a financial adviser? Experts argue their case…

Your Money
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Your Money

Consumers could be missing out on the benefits of financial advice because of some common misconceptions. Here, the experts dispel the myths.

1. Myth: You need to be wealthy to see a financial adviser – Dave Penny from Invest Southwest says: “You may need to be wealthy to see a wealth manager, but most independent financial advisers will be happy to sit down with any client to assess their situation before making a decision regarding whether or not they are able to help. In my experience where the full range of a client’s situation and needs is assessed, there are usually areas where help can be offered and the client benefits. A good financial adviser will be able to make money and save money for a client and be paid appropriately in that process.”

2. Myth: Advice will take up a lot of my time – Danny Cox from Hargreaves Lansdown says: “Financial advice does not have to involve long, drawn out meetings spread over several weeks. Many firms offer the telephone-based advisory services where the advice can be provided in a timely fashion, when it’s convenient for you.”

3. Myth: All effective tax planning is ‘dodgy’ – Lisa Conway-Hughes from Westminster Wealth Management says: “Maximising all your allowances each year can make a big difference to the tax that you pay. Simply maximising your pension can take you into a lower tax bracket completely. Getting specialist advice to help you carry forward unused allowances and understand pension input periods can really pay off. You can then consider other investments such as Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) to legitimately tax plan. When done professionally, tax planning is fair, transparent and an essential part of good financial management.”

4. Myth: All financial advisers are the same – Jason Witcombe from Evolve Financial Planning says: “I think there is a general misunderstanding about how different one adviser will be from another. There are different ways of giving financial advice and charging for it and therefore it is important for consumers to shop around so they can find someone who offers the sort of service they want and need.”

5. Myth: You can’t obtain financial advice without being sold something – Simon Linstead from Nurture Financial Planning says: “This couldn’t be further from the truth. Our core service centralises around providing clients with advice starting with a review of what they have, where they want to be and what they need to do to get there. The only thing we ‘sell’ is our time and expertise. After listening to what our clients really want, overwhelmingly it was just this: enough time to have all their questions answered in a language they understood. Second to this, ultimately, most clients are more concerned with obtaining value for money than they are about specific cost.”

6. Myth: It’s hard to find the right adviser – Karen Barrett from says: “Like any service or product, finding what’s right for you can take a bit of time, which is why we have created a very simple checklist to help people find an adviser that suits their own needs. It’s a good idea to shop around and compare services before choosing an adviser. You can conduct a search, free of charge at to find an adviser that’s perfect for you.”