We believe that you need to do your homework before making any investment decision. That may include reading financial publications, researching online, and discussing options with your friends and family. Many people, however, find the task of selecting investments too daunting to undertake on their own.
To invest responsibly, they do their homework, and they seek the professional guidance and advice of a financial adviser.
Benefit from the experience of a financial adviser
We encourage investors to take a long-term view when they invest. By looking down the road, many people realise that they do not have the experience, time, training or patience to make informed investment decisions alone.
That is where the value of an investment professional really makes a difference.
A qualified financial adviser:
– takes the time to understand your goals and investment needs
– has the experience to help you develop a financial plan designed for your specific situation
– can help you determine the best way to allocate your assets
– can offer guidance during volatile market periods
– will recommend specific investments or investment strategies to meet your goals
– has experience in financial services, securities licenses and specialized training
– has access to specialised research on various types of securities
– spends time tracking potential investments that may fit in your financial plan
What services to expect from your financial adviser
A financial adviser should take the time to get to know you, your financial situation, your financial goals and your risk tolerance. When searching for an adviser, you should expect to receive these services:
Personal attention – Your adviser will take the time to go through a full interview with you, asking questions to get to know your entire financial situation, your risk tolerance and your goals before setting up a customised financial plan.
Help developing an asset allocation strategy – Once you have worked with your adviser to determine your risk tolerance, he or she can help you allocate your money based on a mix of asset classes with varying degrees of risk that fit your time horizon and comfort level.
Advice on specific investments that match your goals – When you are comfortable with your financial plan and have determined an asset allocation strategy, your adviser will then make specific recommendations on the types of funds and securities that will best meet your needs. Your adviser should be able to provide research supporting his or her recommendations.
Answers to your financial questions – If the markets become volatile, your financial adviser should be available to help you understand the reasons behind the instability. If you hear of an interesting investment opportunity or a new stock offering, your adviser has the knowledge to research and investigate these opportunities and to help you decide if they fit into your overall plan.
Proactive management of your account – Your adviser can also bring investment opportunities to your attention, based on detailed knowledge of your financial plan and goals. Your adviser can help you manage your expectations by explaining the rewards and risks of any investment.
Ongoing, regular check-ups – Your adviser should call on a regular basis to see if your financial situation has changed – this should be at once a year unless agreed otherwise. Your adviser should review your account with you and make any adjustments necessary to ensure your plan continues to meet your situation and goals.
Maintaining a strong relationship with your financial adviser
The relationship between you and your adviser is not just one party’s responsibility. It is a two-way street. Keep the lines of communication open and update your adviser when your financial needs or situation changes.
Additional things to consider
It is also imperative to deal with an adviser that forms part of a robust infrastructure; What financial capacity does the company behind the adviser offer, under what Regulatory Body do they sit, what level of Personal Indemnity cover do they have supporting their activities – these are just a few questions you should be considering when selecting YOUR financial adviser.