Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Successful and Sound Financial Planning

  • Carefully consider your objectives

  • Insist on clear and unambiguous charges & commissions

  • Understand your own ‘attitude to risk’

  • Get all advice in writing

I apologise in advance if these points are obvious but I increasingly find that individuals, couples and partners are not clear in what they have and what they want.

Let me also bring your attention to some items, which in my opinion often lead to inaccurate, misleading and false information. My three least favourite comments are;

  1. ‘It was in an advert in a newspaper’
The content of an advertisement is not necessarily accurate

  1. ‘I heard somewhere that……..’
Hearsay, conversations in bars and rumours are notorious in giving misleading advice

  1. ‘They are a well known company, they must be good’
Just never make that assumption, do your homework and find out for yourself

Financial Planning is not an exact science and you would be amazed how many people with very different circumstances and different objectives are sold an ‘off-the-peg’ solution. Many financial advisers are in effect product salesmen. Beware  If you want to be recommended to an adviser who will talk to you about your objectives please email me.

If the adviser does not provide clearly and openly what the charges are, it begs the question ‘What has he or she got to hide?’ It has been Financial Services Authority (FSA) policy in the UK for open disclosure of charges and commissions since 1993. Yet even FSA authorised advisers in Spain often do not disclose all charges and commissions. I see no reason why a table of charges should not be clearly set out in writing.

Good advisers are always happy to be open and will answer your requests in writing. If you would like to be recommended to an adviser please email me.

In my opinion, your attitude to investment risk is a key question that an adviser should ask. As this is not a concept you may not have heard before, the best advisers will give you examples. As most will use a Confidential Questionnaire or Fact Find, they can explain the concept based on your needs and desires.

Never be afraid to ask questions and expect answers. Of course if you ask an adviser a technical or obscure question he or she may need to seek clarification themselves. But always insist on your questions being answered.

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If you have your own question, I’d be delighted to answer it. Those of you who live in Spain or intend to live in Spain should be very careful when choosing an adviser. Please take note of the points in this article.

You can write to me with your personal experiences or to be put in touch with my recommended adviser by sending me an email