Should I get a chartered financial planner?
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I’m in my late twenties and am now a higher rate taxpayer. I’ve just inherited £250,000 from my grandmother. My parents want me to get a financial adviser to make sure I invest it and start to plan for my retirement, but to be honest I am afraid an adviser will bamboozle me with jargon, expect me to say yes to all kinds of stuff I don’t understand and tie up my money so I can’t afford holidays and special treats. Can you tell me simply what I should do, please?
Matthew Beck of Smith & Pinching responds:
The advice sector has suffered in the past from a reputation for being full of dry, serious men over a certain age who expect their clients to do as they are told. Believe me, that is no longer the case! There are advisers of all ages and approaches out there and you should be able to find someone to advise you who understands that you need to enjoy life as well as plan for the future.
I can’t tell you “simply” what you should do, because any advice I give must have you at its core. When I talk to clients, my role is to take on board all the things you would like to do and to help you understand what you can achieve in the short and the longer term. That means knowing everything about your circumstances and your aspirations. With that knowledge, I can then help you build a plan and put you on course to achieve it.
Pensions and investments are complicated things: it’s important that you don’t allow anyone to brush off your concerns about accessing your hard-earned cash if and when you want to. However, it is our job to make sure that you have the long-term security you need so we will urge you to put good planning in place and keep it under review.
My recommendation would be that you look at a number of independent financial advisers’ websites and social media and get an idea of the type of firm they are. Talk to them: most firms offer a free first meeting, so go and meet the proposed adviser – and if you don’t hit it off with him or her, go elsewhere!
As advisers, we’re here to help you, not to dictate to you. We’ll be straight with you about what we can help you achieve but, in the end, it’s your money.
Any opinions expressed in this article do not constitute advice. The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested.
For more information, please visit www.smith-pinching.co.uk
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