Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to Get Some Free Financial Advice

Our world is changing every day. A few years ago people would always make financial choices on their own. However, due to the global economic crisis, the recession and the inflation people have become more cautious and no longer take the important decisions alone. Instead, they use professional help provided by people that have studied the matter not for months but for years as this is what they do.

Where Can We Be Advised Financially?

If we have decided that we need some financial advice there are some options for us. There is a huge variety of companies and individuals offering this service. Unfortunately, the prices are not low at all and if we want to invest just a little sum of money then a huge part of our finances may end as a payment for the service. Another disadvantage is that not only you pay a huge amount of money but also there is no guarantee for your money. That's why many people are looking for free financial advice.

What Options Do We Have?

If we are looking for some free financial advice there are quite a few options for us. Firstly, there are some individuals that are relatively new and have little experience. They offer their services for free in order to get more clients. Secondly, some companies offer the first piece of advice for free in order to recruit you as a permanent client. Thirdly, there are also freelancers offering financial advice, not for free, but for really small fees. No matter which of these three options we choose we should always be cautious as we are talking about our own money that we've worked hard to earn.

Is It Worth Asking for Free Financial Advice?

Although we would save up some money with the free financial advice there comes a question - is it worth it? If someone offers something for free then we should really check whether its quality is high enough for us to trust our money to this person. It is highly likely that the advice we are given is not good at all. We may end up saving one hundred dollars but we may lose all of our finances. So, it is advisable to think twice before deciding to follow somebody's advice, especially if it is offered for free. Finally, the best advice is not to look at the price but at what's being offered to you because you may get a high quality piece of advice in no money or a low quality piece of advice for a huge fee.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Importance of Financial Advice in Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy is a serious decision and needs careful and thoughtful steps to be taken. You should not take it lightly and better approach is to seek financial advice from a certified financial planner before finalizing your decision about bankruptcy. Bankruptcy would draw long lasting impacts on your credit report and it will be attached with your credit report for a long time. Usually it will stick to your credit report for ten years and during this period you will face lot of hurdles on your ways whenever you apply for any loans or credit cards. Creditors will not consider your application and will refuse without any delay. Your credit score will remain in the dark with bunch of negative marks. Bankruptcy can be very damaging to your positive credit worthiness. It can spoil your credit score to take it to awful possible levels. Better approach is to avoid bankruptcy at first place and never file it on your own, without consultation with a financial advisor.

Bankruptcy is not the end of life, you should not be disappointed instead gather all tools to fight against it in an effective manner. Learn the steps of managing your finances accurately such as always pay your bills on time, spend in limits according to your earnings and never take loans if you cannot payback on time. Adopt and train yourself with the basics of effective personal financial planning in your day to day financial life. It is important that you consult certified financial planner to obtain financial advice in the process of personal financial planning right after bankruptcy. Adopting proactive and positive approach will help in facing the circumstances. You will have to restart from scratch to build your credit worthiness. Financial advice plays imperative role in the process of regaining your credit worthiness therefore it is important that you take financial advice from financial planner who is reliable and carries experience in the filed of bankruptcy.

You can bring internet facility into action to discover certified financial planners according to your needs and requirements. Online financial advice is easy and quick but you need to be vigilant about some fraud folks disguised as financial advisors. You should try to evaluate financial planner on the basis of integrity before choosing him or her to get financial advice. Remember, a wrong chosen financial planner will be of no help instead he makes conditions worst with his inexperienced and wrong financial advice.

What Kind of Financial Advice Do I Need?

There are three main channels through which you can seek financial advice, and trying to work out how to get the best advice for your specific needs can be daunting. However, if you understand the difference between the three different types, then making the right choice can be much easier. If you are in need of advice on products such as pensions, savings or life assurance then the three main channels open to you are independent financial advisors, multi-tied agents and tied agents. But what is the difference between them?

Firstly, tied agents are only able to advise on the products of one provider, and are acting on behalf of the company that they are employed by or have a tied relationship with. A large number of people buy products in this manner, often as they believe that buying from a well-known organisation is a safer bet or, rightly or wrongly, that they are bound to get a good deal from these companies. Multi-tied agents operate in much the same way as tied agents, except these are financial advisers who are allowed to recommend the products of a limited number of providers - as opposed to just one. Sales staff that work at a bank or building society usually fall into this category, and many people find that it's very simple to pop into their local branch and accept what is on offer. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that in these circumstances what you are often getting is a limited amount of financial advice based on a small selection of products.

That is not the case, however, when you go to an independent financial adviser. IFAs offer unbiased financial advice to their clients and recommend the most appropriate products for you as an individual based on research of the whole market. The key here is that they are acting on your behalf - rather than observing a legal requirement to act on behalf of a product provider. You will be able to pay a fee for their advice and service or you can allow the product provider to pay the IFA by commission taken from your product. The big advantage here is that you have access to all the financial products on the market through a qualified practitioner, and you know that you are receiving the gold standard of financial advice. Only an IFA can advise on the whole of the market and act on your behalf.

As previously mentioned, many people go to tied or multi-tied agents simply because it's easy just to go to their local bank or building society branch and speak to someone that they know works for a well-known organisation; they wouldn't know where to start when looking for an IFA. The good news is that organisations such as Unbiased.co.uk have simplified this process by providing a search function allowing you to find an IFA based on location, area of expertise, gender and qualifications. Whatever kind of financial advice you are looking for, it is worth shopping around, don't just take the first option you see, take control of the process and make the right choice for you.

Financial Advice Services

People often need professional financial advice and modern computer technologies and the Internet help them to find financial planning assistance quickly and easy sitting in front of their home computers.

You can surf the internet and any search engine will give you multiple financial advice services and their descriptions. You may start with free government financial advice service as it offers a telephone helpline, has its own web site and contacts with independent financial experts. Whether you want to clarify mortgage questions, or open a saving account for your kids, or want some help with your repayments and debts, you can ask for help free government financial advice service and get their useful recommendations.

But except government services there are numerous financial advice services offering their professional help for some fee. Financial advisors can provide a lot of different services, such as insurance, retirement planning, estate planning, investment planning, cash management and budgeting, tax-effective investing, planning for business owners and so on.

It would be wise to try the help of financial advice services in your burning questions. If you are not satisfied with growth on your investments, the service will evaluate your investment and educate you about your investments as well as the funds where your money is held. Thus you will have enough knowledge and confidence to get better return of your money.

You will get qualified answers and clear recommendations to your mortgage and tax questions. It will give your peace of mind. You will know how to minimize your risks and maximize your profits while saving for retirement. Adequate income in retirement is quite possible as well as the right mortgage with the lowest interest rate that suits you. Family insurance and income protection will be guarantee to you by the best financial services.

In any situation you can get a qualified advice from financial services.

Online Financial Advice Which Isn't a Dime a Dozen

Numerous financial websites exist to provide online financial advice to individuals as well as commercial establishments. Normally there isn't much of a difference between offline and online financial sites other than convenience in not requiring physical presence as well as availability of advisors day and night.

When selecting potential online sites to cater to your requirements, check that they are backed by reputable financial organizations. Some of the less honorable institutions focus more on selling financial products as compared to providing good financial advice. In order to achieve their objectives, they may customize their advice to veer towards the direction of pushing a certain line of products. They are driven by the incentive of commissions tagged with sale of products. Be aware of these sites, their terms and conditions.

If you have a specific area to seek online financial advice, check with friends and associates for recommended sites and suggestions. Unless you are seeking financial advice of a general nature, it's advisable to review sites relevant to areas of your interest as they engage consultants who specialize in those areas. Although most sites provide advice on financial planning, mortgage, debt, taxes, insurance and many more, you may require counsel on more niche areas or advice more specific to your needs.

Most, if not all, online financial sites are laden with various bits of advice on the what, how, why, when and which to do with your financial concerns. They are also well-equipped with financial calculators to give you a starting point in figuring out how to pay off existing and soon-to-be-occurred debts, select appropriate mortgages, make worthy investments, etc. To obtain more personalized advice, select a topic to best identify with your need.

The site then matches you with one or more potential financial advisors of which you conduct your own interview to separate the sheep from the goats, so to say. Once you've picked a consultant you feel comfortable with, a quote with proposal is submitted for your approval. Upon ironing out the details, you then set sail on your financial tugboat towards achieving fiscal security, hopefully in the not too distant future

Great Tips on Getting the Best Independent Financial Advice For Every Occasion in Life

Chartered financial advice is a specialised knowledge area. Often you will find that a qualified independent financial adviser will be approved to offer financial advice to businesses, individuals and in fact most people with a need for sound financial advice.

Getting the right advice for making a will can be difficult but as with taxes it is one of the few certainties in life that you will need one. Of course you could leave it to change but it is a sensible option to take and invest in the time for getting a professional will made.

Business investment advice should be sought before you make any type of business investment. Whether small or large the advantages and risks should always be weighed up before any business investment decision is made.

Career financial advice is something of a debate in each field. There is lots of career financial advice is out there but it is getting the best nuggets if information that will invaluable to you in the long run, with that said any financial advice is better than none.

Child savings and investment are a popular topic in the news, with the introduction of the government child savings and investment voucher they encourage families to bank this voucher and start a fund for your child in the future and encourage friends and family to pay additional money into this but you should ideally find an independent finance adviser to consult about the best place to put your children's future.

Comprehensive life insurance for families should be looked at from many different angles. Most importantly if you are in the market for comprehensive life cover then you should set out a list of all the essentials of the policy and how much weighting each has and then look for the cover based on these preferences.

Health insurance for the self employed is something that all self employed people have, if they are key to the business and the business wouldn't be able to generate income while you are on the sick means it is vital that you take the self employed health insurance uk route, as you can't guarantee any income due to there being none in the business.

For many years younger generations it is a given that they would have had problems getting onto the property ladder. This is due to a range of factors including taxes, the high cost of living and also the higher cost of property. One thing that young people who are looking for get onto the property market should do is contact a mortgage advisor and request they take a look at all of your options, or look at this online.

You may want to start your search for a financial advice online. Most will offer top tips on advice in the UK and as a whole the internet provides a great deal of resources and comparison websites to help you save money and get you the best deals that are most suited to you.

Finding the Safest and Best Financial Advice

Financial advice is available from a whole range of sources, but not all of them are working for your best interests to recommend financial products that suit your circumstances.

A professional advisor should review your financial affairs by taking details of your current situation, objectives and attitude to risk and then return a written report recommending products that meet your needs and explaining why they are recommended.

Who can give financial advice?

Different advisors are qualified to give different levels of advice.

Independent financial advisors can select the right product for you from across the whole market and should have no loyalty to any particular provider, although they may specialise in certain areas, like mortgages, pensions or investments.

Banks, building societies and insurance companies have staff or agents who can give information about the products their companies sell. Some of them are financial advisors, but they are restricted to giving advice about their company's products.

How can you tell advice from information?

The advisor should tell you their status and the type of advice they are allowed to give at the beginning of your interview.

Some firms may ask you questions to guide you towards the sort of product you need, but don't confuse this with a financial review.

Why you should deal with a regulated financial advisor

Financial advisors must have FSA authorisation before they can trade in the UK by law.

Regulation is important because it means the firm will have professional indemnity insurance, a complaints procedure and a compensation scheme.

If you make a complaint but fail to reach as satisfactory agreement with the firm, then the complaint can go to the Financial Ombudsman Service for adjudication.

If you are awarded compensation against a regulated firm, you may be able to get compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This depends on the type of complaint and whether compensation limits are capped.

Firms based in Europe operating in the UK may be regulated by the FSA if they have a UK office. If not, they should be regulated in the country where they are based. These firms may have different rules about handling complaints and compensation.

Ask for details of their complaints and compensation procedures and how to contact their regulator to check them out.

Watch out for scams

Don't sign any contracts or hand over any money before you are completely satisfied you are dealing with a regulated financial advisor offering you a bona fide product.

Even some unscrupulous regulated advisors cannot resist the temptations of fraud, but if they are regulated, the FSCS should protect most if not all your money.

You can check whether an advisor is regulated on the FSA web site.

If the company is based elsewhere in Europe, ask for details of their regulator and check them out before doing business.

If you receive offers on the internet, by telephone or in the post, always check out the firm before parting with any cash or personal information.

Which advisor is best for me?

This depends on your financial knowledge and the complexity of the financial services product you are dealing with.

Regardless of your personal financial knowledge, always deal with a regulated advisor to protect your own interests.

Shop around for advice - some advisors charge a fee and some earn their money as commission on sales.

Overall, it's generally best to deal with an independent financial advisor as they have a broader base of financial products to recommend and are more likely to recommend a policy or product that closer meets your needs than anyone else.

What financial products are regulated?

Most mortgages except commercial mortgages, buy-to-lets and second-charge loans
Investments like endowments policies, pensions, collective investments like unit trusts, shares and some high-income products
Most life insurances like critical illness, term or whole of life cover.


Questions to ask your financial advisor

Why does this product meet your needs?
What are the potential gains and risks?
What are the charges and how are they paid?
How do the charges compare with those for similar products?
Is this the best available deal?
Are there tie-ins and penalties involved from ending the contract early?
What happens if you can't keep up any regular contributions?
If you take out an investment, what happens if you need your money back?
What is the tax position?
How often are your financial affairs reviewed to make sure any product is still the best solution for your financial needs?