Shabab’s Column: Do you use an adviser?

shababfinacecolumnDo you use an adviser?
Let’s face it there are many of us out there, who do not trust others to look after their financial affairs. This could be because we have had bad experiences in the past. It could also be because you may not know who to go to.
I have recently come across people that have been dubious about using a Financial adviser to look after their affairs, and when the conversation came to how well they have done the answer was, either very well or not so well at all!
Those that have done very well cannot explain why they have done well. As a novice person at the age of 18 I remember losing several hundred pounds on shares a long time ago, why because I thought I knew what I was doing, clearly this was not the case and looking back it was more of a gamble than an informed decision. So why would you not want to use someone? The only reason I can think of is fees because let’s face it most of us would want the certainty of knowing our affairs are in order.
This is especially the case if we knew we did not have a big cost to pay for the advice. However there are certain ways of ensuring fees are minimised for certain services i.e. legal protection on your home insurance will give access to a wealth of legal professionals for free initial advice. This is without having to pay a fee and does not count as a claim on most policies either.
It is also a good idea to shop around. I know I am stating the obvious, but you would be surprised how many people immediately decide to use someone for their professional services without asking about fees, their expertise and if the person is the right person to provide them with advice.
So why would you want to use someone to look after your affairs? Well the answer is because you may have little knowledge of how the markets work and what is appropriate, or not appropriate for you. The second reason is we cannot be jack-of-all-trades. I am an ex lawyer, but after leaving the industry some eight years ago, and with so many legal changes since my time, I always take legal advice.
This is because I would rather someone who is a specialist telling me something is correct, and works in his or her field on a daily basis.
It would be interesting to get some feedback on the opinion of our readers. Have you had any bad experience you want to share, whilst at the same time have you had good experiences also that you may want to share.

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