The days of a Financial Broker only carrying out the role of an “insurance salesman” belong in the dim and distant past. Of course, identifying the needs of clients, recommending product solutions, and finding the best product to meet their specific needs is still a very important role that Financial Brokers carry out.
Every day Financial Brokers work with clients on the important tasks of developing financial plans, financially protecting families, building suitable investment portfolios that reflect clients' desire for risk, and helping them to plan for their retirement.
But Financial Brokers' expertise and capability go a long way past this narrow service alone. They may play an equally valuable role as your financial guardian, the person who will help you to manage your financial life and to avoid making financial mistakes.
Advice Is About A Lot More Than Just Products
Your Financial Brokers role is the " expert in your corner” who is watching your back, helping to remove financial worries through careful planning, and helping you to make the most of your financial life. Sometimes this role is simply about listening and offering a second opinion.
Your broker can guide you in relation to many of your “big” financial questions changing jobs, significant purchases, inheriting, or indeed transferring your own wealth. Financial Brokers are not experts in every area, but where they can’t help you, they can usually put you in touch with someone who can.
We all know that if we just spend money our money simply doesn’t last as long. Having a budget and spending plan helps our money to go further each month. If you are diligent about recording your spending (even just for a period of a month or two each year), you quickly identify areas of waste.
Do you need to buy that second coffee each day?
Are you paying more for your utility bills than you should?
Are you actually watching all those Sports Channels that you’re paying for?
Lots of small savings add up to big amounts. While we can’t do the budgeting for you, we can question you on your own budget and help you to make those savings!
While most business owners have an accountant, many PAYE workers don’t.
So what do you do when you need tax advice? While Financial Brokers don’t hold themselves out to be experts in every area of tax, they modestly claim a good general knowledge of personal taxation, particularly when it impacts your personal finances.
At best they may answer your questions or at least give you a second opinion. At worst, your Financial Broker will usually know an expert whom they can refer you to, for a more complete answer to a complex tax question that you might have. It’s worth a phone call!
Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney
A good Financial Broker can help you plan your financial future for the whole of your life and indeed for the end of your life.
Wealth transfer and passing money to the next generation is a key element of financial planning.
You want to make sure your wealth is transferred as tax efficiently as possible. You also want to ensure your wishes as to what is done with your money are respected fully, should you become incapacitated and unable to manage your own affairs, or when you die.
Financial Brokers are not legal experts and will not be able to help you in actually putting the required legal frameworks in place, but they can talk you through the risks of not acting in these areas and what the process will entail. They can also point you in the direction of someone who can help you in this area.
While most people are aware that a will sets out your wishes in relation to your affairs after you die, there tends to be less known about an Enduring Power of Attorney.
This is a legal document that can be set up during your life when in good mental health.
It allows another specially appointed person to take actions on your behalf should you become incapacitated through illness in the future. This prevents assets from being frozen and going under the control of the courts and allows the person acting on your behalf to make a range of personal care decisions on your behalf.
As mentioned at the top of this article, you should use your Financial Broker as your financial guide.