Even for experienced investors or those who are familiar with the world of personal investments or stock markets there can be benefits to seeking professional financial advice. The world of personal financial planning is increasingly complex and the sheer amount of information that is now available can be bewildering. Not only can it be very time consuming, but being an expat can in itself complicate matters further.

What does an adviser do?

The role of an advisor is to offer an objective and unemotional analysis of your financial situation as a third party can view matters without being emotionally involved. They will assist you in achieving your financial goals, whether this is planning for your future, protecting your family or simply prioritising your needs and assisting with debt repayment.

A professional adviser is there to do exactly that – advise – not sell and will want to develop a long-term relationship so they can guide you over many years. They will offer added value as they have access to information, tools and plans that the average person does not. Their experience should lead to greater returns and monetary savings in the long term.  An adviser who is not linked to any particular bank or insurance company is best as their advice should be unbiased and they have a much larger range of products and plans to choose from.

When do I need to talk to an adviser?

If you have never taken independent financial advice, then the answer is probably immediately, so that you can establish if you are taking the right steps. Other life stages that trigger a need for specific financial advice can include:

  • Marriage
  • Buying a house
  • Having a child
  • Moving country
  • Divorce
  • Approaching retirement
  • At retirement

In addition, your financial situation should be reviewed at least once a year, as should any investments. One of the main reasons investment can underperform is that that are not actively managed, so reviews are essential.

What else can they offer help with?

A good adviser will offer assistance with a wide range of issues and these can include:

  • Budgeting
  • Life assurance
  • Medical & health insurance
  • Savings & investments
  • Mortgages
  • Retirement planning
  • School fees planning
  • Arranging wills
  • Inheritance planning
  • Tax issues
  • Currency transfers

How do I find a good adviser?

Word of mouth is a good tool, so ask your friends and colleagues who they use, but also do your own research. Seek out companies or individuals with good local reputations and properly qualified staff, preferably with some experience of advising people in your situation. It is important that any adviser has the right qualifications, understands the local and international market and is focused on advising, rather than just selling policies.

You should not be reluctant to ask advisers questions regarding what they do, how long they have been doing it, about their qualifications or to ask for references.

It is your money and your life, so you need to be happy and comfortable with whom you choose to assist you with planning for your family and your future. Our role is to make your life easier and to give you the peace of mind in the knowledge you are taking the right steps.

Keren Bobker is an Independent Financial Adviser at Holborn Assets and writes at financialuae.me