Do I really need an adviser? I think I’d sooner manage my own finances

It can be tempting to think that it’s easy to manage your own finances but here are a few examples of things that can go wrong.

I think I can pick my own investment funds

Perhaps you can. But don’t be tempted to pick a fund just because it has decent past performance. Turn back the clock three years and imagine investing using past investment performance as your guide. If you picked yesterday’s winners, in three years you would find that only 26% of equity funds and 32% of fixed interest funds continued to outperform their benchmarks. Past performance should be only one factor you should consider.

I don’t want to pay and adviser

On average, people who receive financial advice, are £40,000 better off at retirement than people who do not receive advice. Saving on adviser fees is a false economy and we are confident we can add significant value. Amongst other things, we can build you a portfolio of leading funds with lower than average fund charges.

I understand risk

Risk is an increasingly complex area. It is unrealistic to expect a layman to have any understanding of what is ‘under the bonnet’ of a fund. Remember Neil Woodford? It is important to know whether a fund is investing in complex assets that can be difficult to sell when things go wrong

I understand tax

Using your ISA allowance is a relatively straightforward decision. But after that, what type of investment is most suited to you, both now and in the future. But do you know the tax difference between a bond and an OEIC? When is a pension scheme the best option? And are there any Inheritance Tax implications?

I understand how changes in legislation affect my finances

This is a minefield. The laws that impact the financial services industry are constantly changing. Financial Advisers encourage their clients to take advantage of tax incentives offered by the government and avoid the expensive pitfalls of getting it wrong.

Why would Intelligent Financial Advice do a better job than I could?

How do you pick investment funds?

We invest heavily in research technology. There are many thousands of investment funds and we use the software to filter out funds that are poor performers or carry too much risk. Our investment process is forward looking. We try to identify the fund managers that are best positioned to take advantage of the big global trends.’

What are your adviser charges?

One of Warren Buffett’s most famous quotes is – ‘price is what you pay; value is what you get’ – More than anything, our fees are ‘fair’ and we are confident we will add value through a combination of excellent fund research and technical expertise.

What happens if I want to become a client of Intelligent Financial Advice?

Step 1 – Free initial appraisal

We start by listening to what you want to achieve. On the surface this might appear a relatively straightforward exercise. For example, you might tell us that you want to plan for your retirement. However, we also need to understand what factors will influence how we help you achieve that objective including your attitude to investment risk, your tax rate and a range or other variables. Every client’s circumstances are slightly different and every plan has to be tailor made.

Step 2 – Detailed initial report

Once we’ve understood exactly what you are trying to achieve, we produce a detailed report for you. In most cases we do not charge for this initial report and you are free to consider the recommendation and either walk away with no obligation, or instruct us to proceed and act on your behalf. The report will confirm all fees.

Step 3 – Monitor and Review

We often say to clients that once we’ve set up your investment or pension, the real work begins. The initial advice is simply part of a long term plan and it is important that your plan is regularly reviewed to make sure you remain on target to achieve your objectives and, where necessary, adapt it to your changing circumstances. In some instances we may recommend an additional fee based lifetime cash flow analysis. This is a detailed report that works out what is likely to happen to your money throughout your life taking into account anticipated spending events (new cars, children going to university etc) and then stress testing it to reduce the risk of you ever running out of money.