Financial Planning Services – For Reliable Financial Assistance

You can use your finances in better ways but you are not using it in that way. And the reason for this may be lack of proper knowledge about various investment and savings options. Your money needs a good assistance so that it can provide you long-term and short-term profits. Financial planning services firms strive to do the same and all you need to do is to choose a reliable and genuine firm.

This is true that you can use your finance for various options like mortgage and commercial loans, general insurance, pension and investment, protection, tax-planning and for several other options. If planned properly, your finance can make you more affluent and also it can make your future safe and secure. But you need friendly advices for different investment and savings options which a professional financial planning services firm can provide. By utilizing them you can make pension and long term wealth building strategies for yourself and for your company as you can get authoritative guidance on corporate pension schemes.

Also, you can seek advice regarding private and commercial building and contents cover, private medical cover, accident, sickness and unemployment cover and finance for the purchase of residential or commercial property, bridging, buy-outs and more. A financial planning services firm may take care of your protection by providing advices regarding life cover, critical illness and permanent health insurance for private individuals as well as for companies seeking to protect key employees.

Therefore, whether you are an individual seeking advice regarding your financial benefit or a company seeking advice about some good employee benefits, a financial planning services firms can provide great help to you. These days many of the reputed firms have online presence so you can inquire about them easily. You can check about their services, process of work, past experiences, cost etc. then opt for one.

Getting Financial Advice – How to Make Sure You Get the Right Advice For Your Personal Finances

Once you have identified your goals, it is time to find out how to best go about achieving those goals. The financial services industry is a complex business, and there are few of us who could be expected to navigate its murky waters without help.

Perhaps the most important decision you can make when considering buying any financial product or service is the decision on the kind of advice you will seek out.

This is an area where some care is required. As complex as the financial services industry is, so too are the relationships of those who work within it, and you must be sure you understand the relationship between the person giving you advice and the product they are advising you on.

Always remember that the primary purpose of such advice is to help identify what your needs are, not to encourage you to purchase specific products. It may be that the best advice is to do nothing. Sometimes, an adviser will appear to go to a great deal of trouble on your behalf, in the hopes of encouraging you to feel obliged to stick with them – always remember you can say NO.

The rights you are entitled to in receiving advice vary according to the type of product. Check with the appropriate independent authority (as defined in various places in this guide, and in the Useful Information section) as to what your rights are with regard to a given product.

If you choose to buy a product without seeking advice, your rights are often less than they might be otherwise. In some cases, the attitude is ‘you didn’t seek advice, so it’s your own fault’. While it may be appropriate in some cases to go it alone, getting good advice is always worth the investment.

What may seem like advice may not be – do not mistake information for advice! If you buy from a direct mail shot, through a website or from a ‘direct’ company, you may be considered to have not taken advice, as far as your rights go. Marketing material is not objective and impartial – an obvious point, but worth restating.

Broadly, the kind of advice you can get falls into two categories: independent and tied. Both have their advantages and potential pitfalls.

Tied Agents

Tied advisers generally sell and advise on the products of just one company. They may or may not work directly for that company – sometimes they simply have strong ties and a good working knowledge of that company’s products. They may be able to get access to a good deal because of their exclusive relationship with the provider.

They can tell you which of the company’s products suits your needs. They have a responsibility to advise you honestly, and if none of the company’s products suit your needs they should tell you so. But always be aware that they are not necessarily trying to advise you on the best over-all product for you, but rather the best product that the company itself has to offer you. They should not tell you a product is appropriate for you if it is not, but sometimes what is ‘appropriate’ can be a slippery concept.

Tied agents almost always work on commission, though there is some movement towards having advisers tied to specific companies working for a flat fee. You may find it more comfortable to seek out one of these companies.

Citizen’s Advice Bureau

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau (Website: http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk) is an independent charitable organisation that focuses on giving advice on a whole range of subjects.

They are able to offer help in regards to issues such as debt, your rights, and general consumer issues. However, certain bureaux can offer specialist advice, often in conjunction with professional partners such as solicitors.

If things go awry, the CAB can help you to determine a way forward. They will help identify what your rights are, how to move forward with the issues, what kind of back up you can expect from various bodies etc.

The Financial Services Authority

The FSA is an independent non-governmental body that has statutory powers to regulate the financial services industry. Their funding comes from the industry itself, but the Treasury appoints the board. The FSA is guided by the Financial Service And Markets Act (Website: http://www.fsa.gov.uk), which came into force in June 2000.

One of their primary purposes is to secure the appropriate degree of protection for consumers. With this in mind they provide an excellent consumers guide that provides information on such things as consumer alerts, what to do if you have a complaint, a suite of comparative tables of similar financial services and even a firm check tool to find out if a company you are considering using are reputable and accredited.

Independant Financial Services

An independent advisor can nominally give you advice without you having to worry that they are pushing you towards a product that isn’t right for you. If they are not tied to using products from a particular company, they are free to look at the various products on offer, and make suggestions based on what is best for your particular circumstances.

They can give advice on a variety of products. If they give advice on investments such as pensions, life insurance, unit trusts and shares, then they and the company they work for must be authorised by the Financial Services Authority, and must abide by their code of conduct. Those advising on loans, most mortgages, non-investment (‘general’) insurance, term insurance or bank and building society accounts need not currently be authorised, though from 31st October 2004 all mortgage advisors will have to register and be authorised by the FSA. From early 2005, general and term insurance advisors will also have to be authorised.

If you want to check to see whether a person or firm is authorised by the FSA, you can use their Firm Check Service.

Some care has to be taken when taking such advice. While an advisor may not work directly for a particular company, they do often have relationships with companies (sometimes with a suite of companies). Often companies will offer bigger commissions or other such inducements to advisors in the hope that that will encourage them to promote their product.

The only truly independent financial advice you can get is when the advisor has no stake in your final choice of product. This can only come about if you get advice from one source, and buy your product or service from another with no connection between the two.

However, financial services often will prefer one product over another because those products genuinely are better than their competitors – the advisor’s reputations is founded on giving the right advice and achieving good results over time. In a sense, the advisor acts as a filter, discarding poorly performing or sub-standard products and focusing on the products that do perform.

When considering what advice to take, always establish what the point-of-view of your advisor is, and how that will affect the kind of advice they give.

You pay advisors in one of three ways: a one-off fee, a commission on any products bought, or a combination of the two. Always establish from the start what the deal is. The Financial Services Authority has decreed that from late 2003 all independent financial services must let you pay them with a flat fee if you wish to. This removes the temptation to recommend a product that pays them better commission.

Finally, it is always worth asking whether the advisor will be prepared to take a cut in their commission in order to give you a better deal (called a ‘commission sacrifice’). They won’t always agree, but if you don’t ask you certainly won’t get. Sometimes they will consider it worthwhile in order to get your custom.

Get Financial Advice With Money Advice Trust

MAT or the Money Advice Trust is a charitable organization that was formed back in 1991. The organization’s President Baroness Jean Coussins and a board of Trustees govern the operations of the whole company. This company was created with the aim to increase the quality and the availability of free and independent financial advice across the UK.

Money Advice Trust is working with various government and private sectors, together with the top advice agencies in the UK to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of advice of financial matter. Improve its overall quality and availability to as many people as possible. They work under their vision to help people across the UK to deal with their debts and learn how to manage their finances wisely. Their mission is to give support to micro-businesses and individuals across the UK to be free from their debts and into achieving a healthy financial future. Through the delivery of advice to the public, giving out free financial advice, supporting their advisers, sharing their information and research to influence general policies and coordination initiatives to improve the quality of advice, Money Advice Trust ensures that all people across the UK can benefit from their free independent advice.

The Money Advice Trust, as part of their national strategy for advice services also offers debt advice to the general public as well as provides money advisers professional quality training. The company also raises funds through their various sponsors to guarantee a long term and secured funding for their professional financial advice services.

As part of their free financial services, other key activities of Money Advice Trust also include giving support to various debt advice agencies by providing high-quality training, policy, research, specialist support, fundraising, quality assurance developments, strategy development, facilitation and direct service provision, using their partner programs like the Business Debtline, My Money Steps and National Debtline.

To further improve the quality and reach of their financial services, the Money Advice Trust created a joined up strategy with other financial agencies to expand the availability of their financial advice across the whole UK.

Over the past few years, the financial advice industry has always been highly divided. But by working together with the other top agencies in the advice sector, the Money Advice Trust can further increase the availability of advice in the most economical and efficient way, making it a lot easier for the public to get access to advice. This partnership can also enhance the effectiveness of the advice given and promote the importance and value of professional advice.