Why hire a financial planner?

11th February 2019

The Author: Craig Gardner
Craig works in the Madrid office as a Financial Planner and is responsible for helping clients make better financial decisions.

If you’ve arrived at this post then you have likely asked yourself whether you should hire a financial planner. You might be at the start of your journey to find the right financial planner, or maybe you’re simply questioning whether this is really a service you want?

In this post we breakdown some of the major questions you may have about financial planning to help you make a decision that’s right for you.

What does a financial planner actually do?

They listen.

Then they help you make better financial decisions.

The role of a financial planner is, of course, more complex than that; understanding your situation, recommending a course of action tailored to you, and working with you to develop a working financial plan is at the core of the financial planner’s role.

Initially, however, your financial planner will listen to you and find out what matters to you.   In fact, throughout your relationship, your financial planner will take the time to talk with you, and thoroughly get to know and understand your dreams and goals. In turn, your initial meeting gives you the opportunity to learn about your financial planner and how they can help you reach your goals.

Once you’ve shared some key numbers, and your financial planner understands you and your financial situation they will ask you about what you want to achieve in the future. Only with a clear picture of your current position, future goals, and desired lifestyle can a planner really get to work!

Your financial planner should also be able to adopt the role of financial adviser and discuss investment opportunities open to you, market performance, and investment vehicles most suited to you.  This discussion will cover things like assessing your attitude to risk, designing a portfolio that relates to any investment needs identified in your financial plan, and advising you about the best course to follow to achieve your goals.

Contrary to popular belief, the advice provided is more complex than “save more” and “invest”. Not everyone needs to save more, and some clients actually need to spend more or work less!

Why pay a financial planner?

So, you’ve spent time gathering and providing details about your expenditure and investments, why bother paying someone else to develop a financial plan?

You could use Google, YouTube, or Facebook to try and find the answers and information you need. But, there is as much misinformation on the web as there is good information and you may well reach the wrong conclusion or miss out a key step, or vital information. All this could put you on the wrong path and result in some very costly mistakes down the road.

Financial planners are experts, and when you have a problem the most reliable way of ensuring you have the right solution is generally to go and see an expert about it, the same as you would if you need the services of a doctor, a lawyer, a plumber, or an architect. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Creating and maintaining a useful personal financial plan takes time, expertise, emotional intelligence, and collaboration and, in our experience, most people need some degree of professional help with their financial planning.

How does the relationship with a financial planner actually work?

Like any relationship, it differs slightly for everyone depending on your specific requirements but there are some cornerstones you can expect:

  • Comprehensive analysis using sophisticated software
  • A financial planner who is available when you need them
  • Annual review of your financial plan
  • An update on your situation when changes happen outside of your annual review
  • Someone who understands your situation and has worked with clients like you
  • Upfront fees and transparency about how the service works

Financial Planning in action

How can a financial planner help you?

A good financial planner can help you answer some of life’s big questions:

  • Will I have enough money?
  • Could I retire early?
  • How much is enough for me and my family?
  • Are my loved ones adequately protected?
  • How much time can I afford to take off for maternity?
  • Can I afford my dream holiday home?
  • How much should I sell my business for to retire now?

How much can you expect to pay a financial planner?

Generally speaking, fees associated with financial planning vary depending on the complexity of your situation and where you live.  You can, however, expect them to be in line with other professional services you would employ.

One of the most important things to check with your financial planner is the transparency of their service fees. They should be able to tell you what the fees are in advance and after your initial meeting when your financial planner should have a reasonable understanding of the complexities of your financial situation.

At United Advisers Group our fees are published in our Financial Planning & Investment Consulting guide available for download on our website within our resources section.