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Financial advisors - are they useful? Ours seems to be clueless!(7 Posts)
I'd never had a financial advisor until DH and I got married. I generally just have a look at advice online and make my own decisions. However, DH had always had a financial advisor (same one his dad used, all his siblings use), and won't decisions without consulting him. To be honest, I'm not really convinced the guy is worth the money. When we go, he gets out lots of bits of paper, draws diagrams etc, which DH thinks is brilliant; I kind of feel I could figure it out myself.
Last time we saw him was about our mortgage. First of all, he was trying to get us a deal on a mortgage that we didn't qualify for. I explained why we wouldn't qualify and he said "Oh, Right, we'll leave that then". Then he told us how we can transfer our mortgage from one house to another (basically he said not to do anything until they contact us once the house is sold). However, our solicitor has told us that the sale can't go through until we contact the mortgage company, which to me makes sense.
When we talked about the mortgage, we got pretty far through before he said "Of course, this is an interest-only mortgage"... I'd have thought a repayment mortgage would have been the standard, or that he'd have asked us first what we wanted.
I kind of suspect that he normally deals with much bigger financial dealings than us, and maybe he's not so familiar with smaller-scale stuff.
Does anyone else have a financial advisor, and find them really useful? Or am i just being really picky?
For mortgages it's worth considering London and Country. They don't charge, are really helpful with the paperwork, have come up with good suggestions (I've needed btl morgages).and have been good at chasing mortgage companies.
Beyond mortgages we have never had enough money to worry about till I started looking after my mums affairs. Even then standard low risk products from Hargreaves Lansdown works fine coupled with a sensible accountant.
Speaking as a financial adviser, I would say that as with any other profession some practitioners are distinctly better at the job than others!
Our best clients value the difference that we can make to them by being involved rather than them managing (or failing to manage) things on their own.
But it's not rocket science and many people will do just fine on their own if they have their wits about them, which from the sounds of it you do.
I'm an accountant and the same applies. Some people are more than competent working things out for themselves and looking after their own affairs. That's fine.
Many a time I've turned away potential clients and even suggested that existing clients can do it themselves if they've got a bit of common sense, know what google is and have relatively straight forward affairs.
However, there are plenty of people who basically can't tie their own shoelaces. Even though their affairs are simple, they are incapable of doing any research, incapable of remembering deadlines etc. And I'm not talking about any particular type of people. My worst client for this is a dentist - she needs her "hand-holding" to pay a bill - seriously she does - she gets the practice manager at work to handle her household finances. It's nothing to do with being busy - she really just doesn't have a clue about money and administration.
To the OP, if you're confident about finances, then do it yourself - act as the IFA for your OH - do the research, show him your findings etc. You may have to prove yourself, so next time, do your own research, show him the results and then go along to see whether the IFA can come up with something better. If not, that will give your OH the confidence that you know what you're doing.
I think a mortgage broker can be very helpful if your situation is remotely atypical.
Do financial advisers work on commission these days?
It's like any service provider. Some are good, some not so good. Some cheap, some expensive. Someone may think their IFA or gardener or solicitor or garage is good, others may think they're useless.
Sometimes we do our own decorating, sometimes we use a decorator - sometimes we're happy with the decorator and use them again, sometimes we're not and we don't.
There are lots of things in life we "can" do ourselves. Sometimes we choose to get someone else to do it. Only you can decide whether you want to pay for someone else to do it - it may be due to lack of confidence, lack of time, lack of knowledge, etc. It's a very personal thing and each person should make their own decision as to whether they'd benefit from someone else doing something they "could" do, and if so, then it's up to them to choose the right person.
Thanks, everyone. I'm definitely not some kind of financial whizz, but I guess I've just been waiting for the point when the advisor pulls out something that I couldn't have figured out myself online. I guess I'm more used to doing that than DH is, though; he likes someone to basically give him 2 options to choose from, whereas I like to see lots of options and take it from there.
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