In last month’s newsletter, I promised you some insights of the wisdom of using financial advisors – in our case, Mortgage and Protection advisors. Here are my best seven tips for going down the professional, regulated advised path.
1. Setting you Free
With the help of the internet theoretically you have an ocean of information to empower you to be your own advisor, but all this research takes time. Time is a precious, and frequently undervalued resource, a resource that is ultimately limited for all of us. Is spending your valuable spare moments researching financial products on the internet really the best use of your time?
2. Cutting Through the Noise
OK, you decide for self-empowerment, and make the time to spend on researching a mortgage (for example). How do you gauge the accuracy, veracity and integrity of what you are looking at? Let me give one tiny, but oh so important example. You find (or calculate) a list of mortgage products. How up to date are they? You don’t know and neither do I; but I do know when our products lists were last updated. This morning. Before we used the software. Same every day. It’s regulated you see.
3. The Benefits of Boring Repetition
Let’s say you go through your entire life researching your own financial products, how many will you complete in a lifetime, five, ten, sometimes twenty? Our team will research that many in a week…you see where I’m going with that? (if you don’t…hint, practice makes perfect!)
4. Talking to the Head, not the Heart
Evolution has not wired human beings to make good financial decisions. We are emotional, irrational beasts and the more emotional the subject (new home, illness, death etc) the more irrational we become. A professional advisor will talk to your head and keep your heart in check. It’s our job.
5. Telling it to You Straight
Your advisor has a regulated requirement to get to know your financial circumstances in great detail. Then they have a regulated requirement to match your needs and wants to the most suitable products. And that’s it. No other “influences” are allowed. Period.
Note: “Regulated” is not some sort of buzzword. The FCA regulates and directs us through directives called Mortgage Conduct of Business (MCOBs) and Insurance Conduct of Business (ICOBs). Every step of the process is checked through compliance software with a myriad of uploaded cross-checked documents: disclosures, fact finds, illustrations, comparisons, demands and needs, “reasons why” letter…the list goes on…and on, and compliance never ends.
6. The Monkey on your Back
Have you followed through and completed that life protection application we advised and sourced for you? Have you completed the Trust Forms we sent you? Have you remembered to add your new bouncing baby to your critical illness policy? Have you checked the rebuild cost for building cover as we advised, have you renewed your mortgage now your fixed rate has ended? The list is pretty endless, and we are the monkey on your back to help make sure you don’t drop the ball. Again, it’s how we roll.
7. The Buck Stops Here.
My personal favourite.
Applying for financial products is a complicated intricate process and in almost every case a completely unique set of circumstances. Shoe-horning these down a standard set of questions and buttons on a given price comparison site is fraught with risk – worst case you get the buttons all wrong and your insurance is invalid or limited, or your mortgage is not the most suitable for your needs. And where does the buck stop when this happens?
Answer, with you.
Buy your financial products through a regulated advisor, and where does the buck stop (and redress begin).
Answer, with us, and our compliance network.
Until next month,
All the best Alan.