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Meet your local Financial Adviser
Kwasi Yeboah, Head of Financial Planning at First Thought Financial Services, based in Rickmansworth explains the role of a Financial Adviser and how they can help you achieve your financial goals and keep you on track.
What exactly is the role of a Financial Adviser?
We help clients to manage their money better, in effect, providing a roadmap for how they can achieve their financial objectives. The world of personal finance can seem complex and full of jargon, so a financial adviser helps clients feel confident when it comes to managing their finances in the short, medium and long term.
What sort of services does a Financial Adviser offer?
This will vary based on qualifications and experience, so it does depend on who you are actually working with. A core offering will typically involve cash flow planning, tax planning, savings and investment advice and retirement planning. Additional areas outside of these would be things like estate planning and the use of trusts.
When should I see a Financial Adviser?
Whenever you have a question about your finances that you can’t quite answer yourself, that’s probably a good time to contact a financial adviser. We are more than happy to have an initial chat and if we are not best placed to help you, more often than not we will be able to point you in the right direction.
It is important to not leave things until the last minute when there is less room to come up with a solution. There are some great financial education websites, including The Money and Pension Service, which is provided by the government, but also places like MoneySupermarket, which will get you off to a good start.
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What exactly is the process?
The purpose of your initial call would be to find out if the financial adviser is in a position to help you with a specific issue you might be facing. Maybe you are considering retiring in a couple of years time and need to work out where your income is going to come from. In order to provide you with the best advice, even on that specific point, a financial adviser will need to know your wider circumstances. Things like how you spend money, what you’d like to be able to do in retirement, whether you have any family to leave money to would all be likely questions.
A conversation to discuss your wider circumstances would take place and you would also need to decide whether that financial adviser is in the best position to help you going forward. Following on from that conversation, the real work would begin, which would involve putting together a holistic financial plan for you, complete with recommendations and advice, and a breakdown of any cost and charges. Provided that you were happy with the plan, the implementation of that advice would be put into place.
Do you charge for an initial consultation?
Absolutely not. In the first instance, we are always happy to have a chat. And until it is decided whether we are in a position to help you, there is no charge for anything. All costs and charges will be made clear before they come into force.
You’re based in Rickmansworth, can you help me if I’m based elsewhere?
We are based off Rickmansworth High Street, which is just outside North West London. I think everyone acknowledges that the world has changed dramatically in the last eighteen months, and as a result, we now have the capacity to provide financial advice remotely and nationally.
What we want is to be able to continue providing high quality financial planning advice to those who need it, regardless of where they are. Acknowledging that nothing can fully replace the ability to meet in person, having the capacity to advise clients remotely means that we can help a lot more people.
So much more business that we do now is online, so we’re happy to put solutions in place to benefit those who need availability in non-standard working hours.
How long have you been in your role?
I have been in the industry for about six years now and over that period of time, sat a number of exams to make sure that I am qualified to give the advice that I provide. I became a Chartered Financial Planner in that period of time as well.
One of the challenges of the industry that we have seen over the years is people being reluctant to put themselves forward for an initial conversation either because of fears around costs and charges, or because they do not feel as if they are the right type of clients. One of the things I really wanted to get across to people in general was that there is absolutely no harm in having an initial conversation that won’t cost you anything and you may get to the answer that you need quicker than imagined.
When were First Thought Financial founded?
We are a fairly new company based in Rickmansworth, and we have been operating for about three and a half years. The business started out just as mortgage advice and protection advisers, and has recently moved into the arena of financial advice.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you do have any questions around financial planning or mortgage protection as we cover both of those areas.