2015 is set to be a liberating and empowering year for consumers, but with increased choice and flexibility comes a greater level of responsibility for consumers – the responsibility to actively make choices and decisions within their financial and retirement planning.
With this in mind, Karen Barrett and the unbiased.co.uk advisers have revealed their top advice tips for consumers in 2015.
Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk:
Do not disregard the benefits of financial advice for 2015. Even if you think you’re capable of making these important financial decisions alone, a professional can give you peace of mind that the decisions you make are best for your financial future. Advice can also help you to feel confident you’re making your money work as hard as possible.Our Find an Adviser Checklist can help you identify the best adviser to help with your financial planning.
Mike Horseman, Cockburn Lucus:
Ask yourself what your three year spending budget looks like. Asses how much cash you need in your portfolio to meet this need to ensure you have enough liquidity.
Rowena Griffiths APFS, Female Financial Management:
Build up a cash reserve for planned expenditure and emergencies. This should be at least 3 to 6 months usual spending. Once this is in place, you can look at longer term savings such as pensions and ISAs.
Tony Larkins, Beacon Wealth Management Ltd
Review your investment portfolios to see if they are still on track to meet your goals and have the correct allocation.
Colin Low, Kingsfleet Wealth Limited
My top tip is to budget, something that is often non-existent in families. Simple solution - two current accounts. One to deal with all the direct debits each month and be funded accordingly. The other account can then be for 'spending'.
Jason Hollands, Tilney Bestinvest
It's vital to check how your individual investments are performing and consider whether you should hold or switch these, but also to rebalance your portfolio so that it continues to match your risk and goal profile. Weightings to different asset classes will drift over time.
Danny Cox, Hargreaves Lansdown
Only borrow for what you need not for what you want.
Everyone at some stage needs to borrow, it’s perfectly natural and in some cases, such as a mortgage, it’s a necessity. However when you borrow you end up paying more for the goods and services you receive because of the interest, and the more interest you pay the less of your money you have for yourself. Your money will go further the less you have to borrow.
Alistair Cunningham, Wingate Financial Planning:
Take advice before “unlocking” your pension under the new freedoms announced in April. Beware of an increased level of scams in the light of the new pension freedoms; if it looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
Jason Witcombe, Evolve Financial Planning
Use Auto-pilot - It’s often easy to put off taking financial decisions as generally there is something simpler or more instantly rewarding to do with our spare time. However, many aspects of personal finance can be put on “auto-pilot”, saving monthly into an ISA being an obvious example. That way, your only decisions are whether to increase your direct debit each April and, every now and again, to check your fund choice and rebalance the portfolio.
Daniel Bailey, Middleton Finance
If you are looking to buy your first home in 2015, preparation is the key. Firstly check your credit file online which will give you an indication of whether lenders will consider you for a mortgage. Then speak to a mortgage broker who can advise you of how much you can borrow and how much it is going to cost you a month.
For a free and confidential search for a whole of market financial adviser, visit www.unbiased.co.uk
For more information contact:
Anna Schirmer/ Sarah Tye/Calum MacDougall, Lansons: 020 7294 3682
For expert commentary or case studies from over 200 media-friendly advisers, journalists should visitunbiased.co.uk Bluebook - The Media IFA Network
About unbiased.co.uk, the professional advice website
The unbiased.co.uk website launched in 1998 and rapidly became the UK’s leading online destination for consumers and businesses looking to find an adviser. Now attracting over one million visitors a year, unbiased.co.uk is the default adviser directory for consumer websites recommending their audience to ‘find an adviser’.
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