In the modern information era we have a multitude of tools, literally at our fingertips, which allow us unlimited access to self proclaimed expert advice. From the PC to the iPhone or iPad we are never more than a click or a swipe away from being able to access this advice.
The difficulty lies in determining the validity of the advice, understanding the legitimacy of the source and the reason a particular view is being promoted. It is crucial that we consider the relevance of any information to our own unique situation.
It’s not just the internet that we need to be conscious of – trusted sources such as family and friends must also be consider in the light of their own financial success and failures.
So whilst there is an abundance of free advice out there, consider the advantages of investing in professional advice:
Five Reasons to seek advice;
1 – Repeating mistakes: Our parents worked hard for all they have. Along the way they made some good decisions and possibly enjoyed a little luck. In other areas they undoubtedly made some mistakes. Put simply, if you turn to your Dad for all of your financial advice you are most likely to end up in the same position that he is. Just consider if that is what you want for your lifestyle and future?
2 – Vested interest: Many available sources of information have a vested interest in the message they put across. Always be mindful of the source of information and think about why it might be advocating a particular product or asset class (such as research bestowing the benefits of a property portfolio that was conducted by a real estate agent!)
3 – A good story: It is universally accepted that bad news sells papers. The media in general enjoy a dramatic story. Consider what truths are beyond the headline and what the complete picture is. At all times remember that your situation is particular to you and a conversation with someone who can take your specific circumstances into consideration is going to get you a better result than simply following the masses.
4 – The band wagon: We have all been to a party or barbeque when an acquaintance loudly informs of us of the money they made on a recent investment deal; they usually let us know that we should get involved too. If we put aside the fact that they likely exaggerate their success (and never tell you about the things they got wrong) you must be mindful of jumping on the band wagon and thinking that you are missing out on some super investment that everyone else is making a killing on. Even if it has worked for your friend it may not be right for you.
5 – Time: You have invested a lot in your career, possibly some prior study and certainly a lot of hours. As you get more specialised in the areas in which you work it makes sense to access the abilities of an adviser who has equally dedicated themselves to their career and specialises in finance.