When it comes to seeking financial advice, many people feel intimidated – after all, aren't financial advisers for individuals who are particularly wealthy?
This is a common misconception. In fact, people of all walks of life can benefit from the guidance of a financial adviser.
A better question than wondering if you can afford financial advice is to query whether you can afford not to? A good financial adviser will help you to work toward your long-term goals, regardless of what they are and your current situation.
Best of all, the right financial advice can help you find legal avenues to save on tax, increase your potential to make as much money as possible and develop long-term strategies to grow and safeguard your financial future.
Enlisting the help of a professional gives you time to focus on your own strengths, and you'll find that if you're weighing up a major financial decision – such as a transition to retirement – insight from the experts could be exactly what you need.
DIY finance is not for everyone
Just like you'd leave a complex home renovation involving plumbing or electrical work to the pros, the same could be said of your personal finances.
Day in and day out, financial advisers are responsible for looking after other people's monetary situations – and as people who live and breath personal finance, they are well-positioned to make educated decisions about your money matters.
And with useful contacts including fund managers, other advice professionals and researchers, they'll have access to plenty of insight to assist in making sound investments.
Look for transparency
A good financial adviser likely won't charge you for your initial consultation – and will also be upfront about any fees and charges that will then be involved if you choose to go ahead and set up a long-term financial plan.
Fees will largely depend on how complex your plan is to draw up and implement, but your adviser should be able to give you a full estimate of the costs before you choose whether or not you want to proceed.
Seek out a recommendation
Finding a good financial adviser is a lot like the process involved with finding a good doctor or lawyer – at the end of the day, you'll want someone who comes highly recommended.
Family members and friends are often well-positioned to offer this type of recommendation, but you can also turn to the web for additional resources. Online testimonials from clients can be a great way of seeing what kind of results have been achieved by a particular adviser, and can help you to find the perfect one to help you reach your financial goals.
ipac is one of Australia's largest financial advisory firms and has offices based across the country. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the AMP Group, ipac specialises in research and financial advice that helps clients lead happier, more fulfilling lives.