Send in the pros!

Phil Hendry23/09/2021

Time to seek professional help?

DIY. We love it as a nation.

Sewing a button on a shirt? Easy…
Cooking Xmas dinner for a party of ten? No problem…
Rewiring a fusebox? Lockdown gave me the time to learn this…

There are some things that we have done having learnt them over the years that now seem second nature or are just things we can do without thinking too much.

If at first you don’t succeed…

During Lockdown 1.0, some of us found ourselves with a lot of time to do DIY, which was both a good and bad thing. My wife decided she wanted to “renovate” a bedside cabinet by sanding and repainting it. I decided I’d rather not be involved.

I did do some rewiring in our flat. For this, I consulted an old family friend, the Readers Digest Repair Manual. Got an old cathode ray TV? A typewriter? Boom – this is the book is for you.

My very own ‘moment of clarity’ came with me removing and installing a new kitchen spotlight. Turns out the flat still had the original pre-60s’ wiring system (black & red, for anyone who’s interested) which meant that what I thought was a simple task had suddenly escalated.

We’ve mentioned previously how overconfidence can work both ways – flush from rewiring some of the old ceramic fuses in the fusebox, I thought a kitchen light should have been easy. But it was at an awkward angle and despite me being confident I could fix it, my wife didn’t want me killing myself for no good reason, so called in a professional. Who installed it within an hour.

Now, with your money, imagine there’s two pathways leading to an unknown future. Both are unmarked. Both with different journeys. There’s no way of knowing where you’ll end up until you pick one. How does making a guess make you feel right now?

forest path with two branches

DIY Investing & Saving

Ever thought to yourself “That looks easy – I could do that!”
Well, you can with saving and investing your money. Products such as JISAs or ISAs you may be okay with. But Bonds? Gilts? Annuities? If in doubt about these, get help!

Time

You might be money-savvy but the big question is are you going to do it?
Are you going to be diligent enough to, for example, complete your business tax returns, research and pick the best employee benefit package or pension plan for them?

Then the next question should be do you enjoy it?
By this I mean – do you actually enjoy personal finance to the degree that the thought of reading company’s annual or quarterly reports excites you?

If you’re organised enough and have the time then yes – otherwise it may be best to consider a financial adviser.

Big Money Milestones

We’ll be talking about these in more depth in a later article but for any big decisions you’re thinking of making, it may be sensible to get a second opinion.
Moving house. Having children. Saving for school fees. Selling your business. Before you commit to something which is potentially life-changing, don’t just Google it(!)

Qualified?

We might be annoyed that it takes a locksmith less than five minutes to get through a lock, and then charge us. But don’t forget that with anyone who’s learnt a skilled trade or has come from a specialised industry, they have trained for this.

Now some people might query the cost of seeing a financial adviser, particularly if they’re feeling confident with their money. It’s not an easy career path – sitting the R0 exams, and then some of the more deluded ones decide to do more exams to become a Chartered member takes time. Time spent studying as well as working.

Risk v Luck

We all have a different approach to risk. Risk equals reward. The greater the risk, the greater the reward in theory. That’s why products such as premium bonds prove to be so popular – there is a lower risk but then there is the chance that they may pay out.

Everyone will have their own definition of risk and their own set limit of how much they are willing to risk – that’s why someone just finishing higher education or starting out on their career will have different goals and aspirations to a young couple with children. And even more so to anyone who is due to retire in the next five years.

However, putting that money to use in another investment product could potentially provide more. Now, you may not even be aware of what options there are but a good financial adviser should know, and should be able to advise you on these.
Similarly, you may consider to be a lucky person but if your investing strategy has been ‘Luck plus asking Alexa’ then who knows when your luck will run out. Do you really want to be winging it when you’re approaching retirement?

 

sketch to graph

Financial advisers could make sketches come to life…

More money saved. Potentially

A report from Royal London in 2019*  found that on average, people who consulted a financial adviser were £47,000 better off than those who didn’t and sorted out their own finances. That’s an incredible amount of money, which could be the difference between getting by and having a decent lifestyle.

  • Ask for it in writing. If unsure, get it explained in clear terms, with minimal jargon
  • Check to see they are FCA recognised

I’m guilty of becoming over-confident.

There. I said it.

If I see something that needs fixing, my first reaction is to assess if I can and if so, how long it’ll take me. Then factoring in the cost (usually time I could have spent sitting down or putting it off until nagged)

Unless it’s minor electrical stuff, in which case let me at it!

 

Sources:
* Royal London press release