With the UK’s financial planning and advisory market worth in excess of £3 billion, there’s no doubt that this growth entity plays a major role in a turbulent, modern economy.
Entering this market for the first time can be a daunting prospect, however, thanks primarily to its immense diversity and complexity of the services on offer.
In this article, we’ll consider the ins and outs of financial planning, and address the key considerations for newcomers.
1. Not all Financial Planning firms are Created Equal
The financial planning market is extremely diverse, as it includes services such as wealth management, estate planning and saving for children.
Now, while there are service providers like Tilney who offer all of these services under a single banner, there are others who specialise and focus solely on a single, clearlydefined niche.
This is an important consideration, as you’ll need to have a clear understanding of your own objectives prior to liaising with service providers. This enables you to make an informed decision that will ultimately safeguard your interests and financial assets.
2. Financial Planning Represents an Investment
For some, it may seem counter-intuitive to spend money in the pursuit of future savings. There’s a saying which suggests that you “need to speculate to accumulate” however, and this principle is especially relevant when dealing with financial planning.
Typically, you’ll be required to pay a fixed rate fee to your financial planning firm, and this can vary between £50 and £300 per hour on average depending on the company that you choose to partner with and the range of services that you invest in.
You need to consider this outlay in line with the potential return, as you strive to prioritise value for money over a base, simplistic desire to save your capital.
3. All Reputable Financial Planners Should be Fully Accredited
On a final note, you must also ensure that your chosen financial planning firm is fully registered and accredited.
In terms of the UK, the company must be regulated and accredited by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), while its details should also be listed on the Financial Services Register. Without these documents, it is illegal for a firm to offer financial advice or service to clients on a professional basis.
If you’re a US client with a diverse range of international assets, you should also ensure that your service provider is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This is the American regulator, and you must make sure that you use a firm that is qualified to operate in relevant destinations.