Professional independent financial advice is valuable and worthwhile. Recent research* shows that those who have consulted a financial adviser have 80% more in savings and investments, are nearly twice as likely to hold a pension and feel more financially confident about the future.
The financial services market has been undergoing a transformation. Advisers are exploring how advice is delivered and how clients value and pay for it. They are investing in higher qualifications and are examining how they run their own business to develop a more transparent and flexible structure. Financial advice is becoming much more strategic. Advisers help their clients develop long-term plans that focus on their lifetime goals, such as saving for retirement or building a college fund for their children. Professional advice can give clients the reassurance that they’re doing the right thing.
So what answers can you give to your clients to prove that independent professional advice is of benefit to them?
Type of advice
Show your clients that you are independent. As their adviser, you can research the market and offer advice on the financial solutions available in the whole market. Unlike banks, you can offer advice without any bias towards a particular product or provider.
Experience and knowledge
Independent financial advisers have a wealth of knowledge of the marketplace and the financial options available to clients. They are aware of the regulations applying to financial products and can cut through the complexity of the market and the financial jargon to provide clients with real and tangible solutions for their financial needs. Many advisers are also working towards greater qualifications, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) as well as keeping up to date with continuing professional development.
Different advisers have different charging structures, with some taking commission on the products they sell, others charging a fee for services and others taking a percentage of assets under management. Some advisers use a mix of these options. Be clear with your clients about how they pay for the service you provide. Help your client make a realistic assessment of costs by talking them through what options are available.
Independent financial advice can help customers save money. By helping them take advantage of tax breaks at different times in their lives and by investing their money in the right products for them, you can add real value to their wealth. The research shows that those who receive advice are more than twice as likely to have a pension and have nearly twice as much in savings and investments than those people who don’t get any professional advice.
Of course independent professional advice doesn’t just prove its worth in hard numbers. Good advice helps customers understand their personal financial situation and those that receive advice are better aware of the need for making provision for an income in retirement and also during times of sickness. Those who use a financial adviser have more life assurance (57% v 27%), have more critical illness cover(25% v 10%) and have more income protection (11% v 2%)*. It can also leads to a better understanding of financial advice, as people become more informed about what’s available. With great advice, clients can put in place flexible, efficient long-term strategies for their financial futures. It helps provide peace of mind that they are providing for themselves and their families into the future, allowing them to become more confident in their financial decision-making.
The opportunity is there for you to talk with your clients now, to tell them of the benefit you can offer them.
Getting good financial advice means success for you and your clients. The trust that you bring to the relationship along with the support and research you provide, ensures your clients are in control of their financial futures. They can look forward with confidence, knowing they’re saving and investing to have the lives they want. Good advice is a great investment and together we need to promote how valuable it is.
*Research plus online survey of 1001 Irish adults, July 2013