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Can you afford not to use an Independent Financial Adviser?

03/08/2017 … Author:

A recent study has found that those who received financial advice were, on average, £40,000 better off than their unadvised peers over the same period, and that applies to both affluent investors and those ‘just getting by’.

One of the reasons that people give for not wanting an Independent Financial Adviser to help with their personal finances is that they do not see the value in paying for the advice. After all, these days you can easily buy savings and investments yourself from websites on the Internet, can’t you?

Yet this recent research – carried out by the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK), one of the leading think-tanks in the country, and supported by life assurer Royal London, as part of ‘the largest representative survey of individual and household assets in Great Britain’ – blows that argument out of the water.

The research examined the impact of financial advice on two groups of people: The ‘affluent’, a wealthier group of people who were more likely to have degrees, be part of a couple, and be homeowners; and those ‘just getting by’, a group formed of the less wealthy who were more likely not to have studied to degree level, be single, divorced or widowed and renting.

This long-term research compared the wealth of these two groups in 2001-2007 and 2012-2014.

The results showed that the ‘affluent but advised’ group accumulated on average £43,245 more in the period because they had sought financial advice, compared to their affluent but non-advised’ counterparts. Similarly, those in the ‘just getting by but advised’ group accumulated on average £39,895 more than those who didn’t seek advice.

One of the reasons for this significant discrepancy was that people who had sought financial advice, first of all, were more likely to save (around 7 to 10% more likely) but secondly, and importantly, their money worked harder for them, being more appropriately invested.

We all know how poorly cash accounts are performing with interest rates at a historic low, and now inflation is ratcheting up – currently 2.6%, meaning long-term savings stand little chance of making real returns if left in the bank.

The research also showed that when it came to pension income, those who had received advice in the 2001-2007 period also had more pension income than their peers by 2012-14. The ‘affluent and advised’ group had 16% more per year than their equivalent non-advised peers, and likewise, the ‘just getting by but advised’ group had 19% more per year than their non-advised counterparts.

Whichever way you look at it, these are striking figures. As Ben Franklin, the Head of Economics of Ageing at the ILC-UK, said: “Our results show that those who take advice are likely to accumulate more financial and pension wealth, supported by increased saving and investing in equity assets, while those in retirement are likely to have more income, particularly at older ages.”

As Independent Financial Advisers with over 45-years’ experience of helping people engage with their finances and build and protect their wealth, we obviously see the value good quality advice can deliver for people on a daily basis. And so do our clients. In our latest biennial client satisfaction survey, carried out in April 2017, 97.2% of our clients stated that they would recommend their friends, family and colleagues seek advice from Lowes.

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