A third of adults could have benefitted from financial advice in the last year but didn’t access it, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Accessing regulated financial advice can help you make the most of your savings, pension, investments and more.
The FCA report found:
- Only 9% of UK adults received regulated financial advice in the last 12 months
- Of those not taking advice, two-fifths had £10,000 or more in savings and investments
- 37% feel they are better able to decide what to do with their money; however, many then hold the majority of their assets in cash-based savings products
- 15% of those that have not received advice mentioned affordability as the main barrier
The FCA findings suggest that some 36% of the population may have had a need for advice in the last year but didn’t seek it. Many reasons were mentioned when asked why they hadn’t sought advice, including believing they had enough knowledge and confidence to handle their finances themselves. However, many also admitted to avoiding investing, indicating that advice could help finances to grow further.
Even if you’re seeing a financial adviser yourself, you are likely to have friends and family that aren’t but could benefit from doing so. There are signs that finances could be improved be seeking professional, regulated support. Among them are:
1. Your savings are all in cash
It’s understandable why some choose to hold their savings in cash; it’s viewed as safer. After all, so long as you stay within the limits set out by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, you can’t lose that money.
But interest rates are still low. And for many savers that means inflation is outpacing the rate that their money is growing at. So, while you don’t risk losing money, in real terms, you do lose value. For every year that you hold your savings in cash-based assets, you’ll be losing a bit of spending power.
That’s not to say that you should get rid of all cash-based products. They’re useful when you need accessible cash, such as an account for day-to-day expenses or a savings account that acts as an emergency fund. But if all your savings are in cash, you’re likely to be missing out.
2. You’re too scared of risk to invest
Investing can seem scary and complex. But, in most cases, it should make up part of your financial strategy. If you’re putting off investing because you’re worried about risk, we can help put your mind at ease.
The first thing to note is that while stocks and share prices rise and fall, it’s the long-term trend you should be looking at. When you invest you should be doing so with the plan of leaving your money invested for a minimum of five years. This should allow you to weather dips in the market.
Secondly, there are hundreds of different assets to invest in. You don’t have to take huge risks. You can build an investment portfolio that matches your appetite for risk. As a general rule, the more risk you take the larger the potential rewards. But even a cautious approach to investing can beat cash-based savings.
3. Your investments are consistently making a loss
If your investments decrease temporarily in value, you shouldn’t worry. Markets can be volatile, with stocks and shares changing in value continuously.
But, that being said, when you look at the long-term performance of your investments there should be a general upwards trend. If your investments are continuously making a loss over the long-term or failing to keep up with inflation, it’s time to review your portfolio.
If you’re managing your own investments it can be tempting to pull out your money when prices start to fall or try to predict what will happen; this is incredibly difficult to do and not advisable. Speaking to a financial adviser can help alert you to any common but costly mistakes you’ve been making.
4. You’ve experienced a life-changing event
You may have had a good handle on all things finance for years. But a big life event can mean approaches need to be drastically changed to reflect this. Just because something has worked in the past, doesn’t mean it will continue to do so.
Life-changing events that will impact on your finances can include:
- Receiving an inheritance
- Selling a business
- Preparing to retire
- Starting a family
A life-changing event is the perfect time to reassess your finances in relation to your goals and aspirations. To get the most out of your money, that might mean doing something differently.
If you recognise your own situation in any of these signs or have other concerns about your finances, you can contact us today. We can use our expertise to help you get the most out of your money.