To start with, any financial adviser you choose must be regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. This ensures that they are qualified to give you independent, professional advice and that their business is sound and legally compliant. They should also at least be members of the Irish Brokers Association (IBA) and preferably be registered as Qualified Financial Advisers too. When you meet your Financial Adviser you should also ask them about the providers whose products they sell and what their terms of business are.
It’s important that you’re satisfied and confident in the financial adviser you choose, because it’s often the case that when you find the right adviser you’ll also find the right savings plan, pension or investment. For this reason and more, you’ll probably find yourself going on to trust that same adviser with your business for many years to come, and that together you’ll build a prosperous and rewarding financial future.
It’s so easy. Which is precisely why you need to stop and think hard about choosing any financial product, especially a pension or investment plan. Even someone working in the financial industry will take plenty of time to weigh up their options before choosing the one that’s right for them, and they know what to look for when they start out.
Savings plans, pensions and investments come in all shapes and sizes, offering a wide variety of terms, risk levels, charges and potential returns. There are literally thousands of financial products and probably hundreds of different suppliers to choose from. Good products and not so good products, good suppliers and not so good suppliers. You even need to choose the right time: what might have made a good investment six months ago won’t necessarily be the right investment now, and vice versa.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys getting all your facts together - researching the market, calling around the different financial houses, understanding often complicated rules and regulations, as well as developing a keen insight and understanding of the workings of the savings, pensions and investment markets - then maybe, just maybe, you’re the right person to choose the plan or pension for you.
What if there were people who would do all the hard work for you?
- Who would sit down with you and work out what your financial needs are.
- Who would use their in-depth knowledge of the market to draw up a list of suitable products.
- Who would know which financial company to turn to for the right savings or pension plan, the right investment fund.
- Who would guide you through the paperwork, help you weigh up the potential risks and rewards, and ensure that no matter what decision you make, at least you’d be making a well-informed decision.
The good news is that there are such people. They are called financial advisers, and it’s their job to do all the financial legwork for you and give you professional, impartial, financial advice. It’s what they’ve trained and studied for many years to do, which is why they may be best placed to provide this advice to you.
A good professional financial adviser will certainly save you time. That’s because once they speak to you, they’ll know more or less what plans and product areas are and are not right for you. They’ll also know straight away where to look for the right products. Plus, they may already have the brochures and other material to hand so they can talk you through some of your options there and then.
That is where we come in - we will answer many of the questions that arise as you go through the process of weighing up your options, such as explaining the charges, the levels of risk, the return you should expect to get and so on. What you may not realise, however, is that using a financial adviser can also save you money, often quite a lot of money. That’s because they are duty bound to give you what’s called ‘best advice’: i.e. the best product at the best price at the best time, to the best of their professional ability. This can save you a lot of money in terms of charges and fees and even tax. Of course, by helping you choose a good product they can also be instrumental in maximising the return you get from your money – advice that’s literally worth its weight in gold.