5 Tips When Looking for Financial Guidance

Every day we are hit with advice from all angles. If it is not friends or family that want to guide you, the advice will come from social media, TV or more generally the news. Here are 5 tips that can be helpful when looking to get any sort of financial guidance.  

Check that the person you are speaking to, asks questions that bring out what is important to you. 

Have you ever been talking to someone and all they want to do is tell you about what they are good at? Or what can be even worse is when you ask someone advice about a particular topic or area of interest and you continually feel like the conversation is being moved to where the so-called expert feels more comfortable, which is not really relevant to your particular need.  

A person that is good at providing the right guidance will make sure that they are asking questions to clarify what information you are seeking, then make sure they deliver answers that actually provide what information you need. If you find yourself not having to explain yourself several times and you are talking to someone that you feel is asking the right questions, then stay where you are, as there is a good chance you are in the right place.  

Make sure you are talking to someone that is experienced AND qualified to guide you. 

These days, it seems everyone is an expert and there is a plethora of people bending over backwards to prove this to you. Whilst there are many good reasons why experience is important, at Vision, what we also believe is that both qualifications and experience is important and here are some reasons why.  

  • Experience helps the person giving the advice to assist you in where mistakes can often happen and how to prevent them.
  • Understanding a person’s qualifications can help you understand where they are covered from an insurance point of view. They will often stick to that area and be wary of providing advice outside of what they are qualified to answer.  

Pick someone that is comfortable with you asking the hard questions. 

Building trust is essential. One of the best ways to build trust is to create an environment where questions, and often the hard ones, are encouraged. If you are looking for advice, a sure way to find a good provider is by the way the professional encourages you to ask the right questions. A really good one may even point you to an independent source that will provide a list of questions you can ask. In financial services we often consider the Money Smart website as a good place for potential clients to research. There are lots of good questions on this site that will help you to find the right people to guide you.  

Ensure the professional explains things in a way you are comfortable with and at your speed. 

Over the years, I have often told clients that when they pick professionals, ensure they listen to what is said and how that professional describes important concepts. 

For example, if you have never purchased a house before and you are looking to engage a lawyer or conveyancer, it is important to pick someone that speaks in a tone and speed that suits you. If they don’t have the time to explain things properly then there is a good chance that you will make mistakes or have the wrong expectations at some point. And as you may or may not already know, when you purchase a house, the numbers are large, and the mistakes can be as well.  

Don’t be afraid to pay and ask upfront what these costs might be. 

Whilst it is important to be careful with your hard earned money, what is also important is to make sure you are seeking advice from people that are good at what they do. Whilst Mortgage Brokers often come without a cost to the client, Accountants, Lawyers, Property advisers, and sometimes Mortgage Brokers will ask for you to pay for their time. If you have followed the above guidelines, are happy with the research you have done so far and are asked to pay a fee, don’t run for the hills. Ask why and consider this carefully. It may be the wisest decision you have made to date.  

At Vision, we have both qualified and experienced people that can guide you with not just Mortgage advice, but Financial Planning as well as Property Investment advice. If you are looking for advice or guidance in any of these areas, please feel free to Contact Us