What does a financial adviser actually do?
What do IFAs actually do?
Financial advisers help people with their long-term financial planning, including investments, pensions and annuities. Some will also help people with life assurance and mortgages. They may also help in specialist areas like inheritance tax planning, estate planning or ethical investing.
People will often go to an adviser either with a specific need (e.g., “I want to consolidate my pensions”) or a broader goal (e.g., “I want to review all my finances and make sure I’m well set up for retirement”).
People approach advisers at all stages of life – young families, mid-life, pre-retirement, post-retirement, later life, marriage, death and divorce.
An adviser will start by building up a full picture of your situation – your finances, your future plans (and what they’ll cost), and how cautious or adventurous you wish to be with your money. They will then present back a high level plan, or set of options, outlining the implications and choices. This might cover how much you save for the short-term vs. invest for the long-term, or whether to invest through an ISA and/or a pension.
Once you have agreed a plan, they will then go on to hunt out the very best accounts, funds or products for you.
With your permission they will then complete the necessary administrative work to execute the various transactions.
Finally, an adviser will be able to regularly update you on how your finances are performing, and periodically review your situation with you.
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