There are four main areas that an independent financial advisor can help you with.
Savings and Investments
If you have spare money it will probably work harder for you if you invest it rather than let it sit in a savings account.
You could buy into something like shares, invest in a scheme such as a Unit Trust, or even an Individual Savings Account (ISA).
When choosing an investment you should consider the following:
What degree of risk are you willing to take on?
How much income or growth do you want to gain?
When would you need to release cash from your investment?
What rate of tax do you pay or might be paying in the future?
Depending upon how you answer these questions the IFA will search the markets to find the best investments according to the risk, income and time limits that suit your needs. The complex and fast moving nature of investment markets mean that expert advice is essential to making informed decisions.
Pensions have seen significant changes in recent years, which is why it’s a good idea to review your retirement planning every few years to see if you’re still getting the most out of your investments. Do you know how much income your current portfolio will generate when you retire? Should you consider making property part of your pension? Are you making the most of the available tax breaks? An IFA will be able to assess all these factors and change your investments accordingly.
Tax and Trust management
When it comes to paying tax some people will be paying too much, unaware of the various forms of tax relief that is available to them. A qualified IFA can provide tax advice and identify ways of reducing your tax bill, such as:
- Make full use of tax free savings allowances
- Redistribute assets to reduce tax burden
- Utilize Capital Gains Tax allowances
- Maximize tax relief
- Reduce Inheritance Tax
- Help with Self Assessment
- Reduce Capital Gains Tax
- Establish trusts allowing for tax reduction
Insurance and protection policies
An IFA will also be able to advise you on life insurance to help your family and dependent’s in the event of your death. For instance a life insurance policy can cover a specified period of time or the whole of the insured person’s life, guaranteeing a death benefit in the event of the policyholder’s death.
Other forms of protection cover several other life changing events that can impact you and your family. Including serious or critical illness, permanent disablement, accidental injury or loss of income through redundancy.
When deciding on what cover to get many variables can come in to play, such as the age of your children, how long the benefits will need to be paid for etc. An IFA will help you assess these, then search the market to find a scheme that provides the right level of cover for the best value for money.