‘Demand’ For Generic Financial Advice

There is a great need for a generic financial advisory service to be rolled out across Britain.

So claims Citizens Advice, following analysis of a pilot project it carried out with a number of independent financial advisers (IFAs) and the Personal Finance Society. Funded by Barclays and Aegon, the Moneyplan scheme saw some 30 IFAs offer face-to-face monetary advice at Citizens Advice branches throughout the country for free.

Following on from such guidance, it is possible that consumers will be able to secure access to cheap loans and other competitively-priced financial products, so helping them to get back on to their fiscal feet.

Overall, pensions, mortgages and investments were among the main areas consumers were looking for advice on. Insurance and understanding documents from money providers, which may include loan lenders, were also sources of requests for help with money.

With owner-occupiers, aged 50 years or above and who are on a relatively low income, making up the majority of clients using the Moneyplan service, the company advised that “the trigger” for causing people to seek out help with their finances often follows on from retirement, illness, bereavement or becoming redundant.

For those people concerned about handling their finances should they be affected by any of the above life-changing circumstances, a low-rate personal loan could be a means of financial assistance.

Findings from the initiative also revealed that more than half (55 per cent) of those seeking guidance were on a low income, earning less than 1,000 pounds per month. Meanwhile, 71 per cent of such people were shown to be over the age of 50, with 46 per cent reported to be living alone or in a couple who do not have any dependent children. In addition, just less than half (48 per cent) have a mortgage, with 31 per cent of those who go to Citizens Advice for help own their home outright.

Currently, the provision of generic fiscal advisory service is the subject of an independent review, headed by Otto Thoresen. Citizens Advice went on to report that there is “significant demand” for such assistance. However, the guidance institution suggested that many people often do not think about getting help from an IFA or believe that they may be unable to afford such advice.

Jackie Nowell, head of partnership development for Citizens Advice, said: “The results so far of partnering Citizens Advice Bureaux with IFAs in the Moneyplan project indicate both that there is a need for a national generic financial advice service and that this is an effective model for delivering it. The range of issues presented to the IFAs is broad, but it appears that there is particular demand from those who may own their own homes, but have low incomes. This evidence emphasises that there is a gap in provision which needs to be addressed.”

From receiving comprehensive financial guidance, it is possible that people might be able to seek out competitively-priced personal loans, savings accounts, credit cards and other financial products with greater ease. Following on from advice on loans and other areas, people may find that they are able to get to grips with money more effectively. However it may be advisable to stick to the professionals when seeking help. A recent study by Birmingham Midshires indicated that 16 per cent of consumers have been given poor monetary advice from either a friend or family member, which has seen eight out of ten people suffer financially.

Financial Advice From 1796

As leader of the Constitutional Convention, commander of the Continental Army and first American president, George Washington is considered by many to be one of our nation’s greatest heroes, renowned for his character and leadership. In his 1796 farewell address, Washington masterfully articulated his reasons for not seeking a third term of the presidency, and offered an eloquent argument for the importance of patriotism and protecting liberty. He also offered some prudent financial advice in a portion of the speech penned as “Warnings of a Parting Friend.” I believe these points still hold true today.

Quote #1: “And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force… to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.”

Washington seems to be speaking about the danger of political parties, departments within the government, and individuals who try to seek more power and riches for themselves. He indicates that the spirit of always wanting more is good to a certain extent (a fire not to be quenched); however, if not vigilantly watched or kept in check and balanced, it could destroy (consume). This lesson can still apply to both personal and government spending and the importance of living within our means.

Quote #2: “As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it… “

Washington appears to be emphasizing how important having good credit is. He was advising the nation and its citizens to be careful how often they use credit and for what purpose. Washington also seems to acknowledge that for a prudent purpose, credit could and maybe even should be used if the benefit ensures stability and offers a hedge against potential risks. These important financial lessons should jump out of history books and into our personal and government spending habits!

Quote #3: “… avoid likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear… You should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue… “

Washington warns against going into debt unless the expense is absolutely necessary. In today’s times, many people incur debt to go to school, purchase a car or buy a home; but that does not mean you should necessarily go into debt if you don’t have to. Washington also points out that debt incurred during hard times should be repaid during times of peace and prosperity; if not, the debt will likely not get paid off. (He has definitely been right about that on a national level!) On an individual level, the takeaway is to consider paying off debt when you have extra cash available, and ideally to pay it off sooner rather than later.

Washington was a truly legendary leader, and in his Farewell Address I believe he was speaking to the nation as a whole and to its people as individuals. I also believe Washington’s advice is as timely and true in 2012 as it was in 1796. With such powerful and still-applicable words, it’s no wonder that reading Washington’s Farewell Address has been an annual tradition in the U.S. Senate since 1896. And remember, we know Washington’s words must be true because he could not tell a lie!

Take Heed of Sound Financial Advice For A Gratifying Retirement

We are aware that the economy worldwide is struggling to maintain its stability. People around the globe are having a hard time coping and surviving to maintain its own personal economic finances. Choosing your destiny is not an option, but deciding your future is the best opportunity that you can offer to yourself and your family. We fully understand that everything we do involves monetary value. That is why we should prepare ourselves to have extra funds for emergency purposes and for future reasons. We can acquire this through saving our money, economising our resources, and protecting our assets. Employing a person or a company to handle and manage your finances and giving you financial advice on how to economise and save money is the ideal thing to do.

One of the soundest advices a professional planner can tell you is to invest in health and life insurance while you are young and fit. The reason behind this financial advice is that with youth comes vigour and wellness. A person has a very low risk of dying at a young age. Although it is not impossible, the probability of it happening is very minute. Health wise, a middle aged person’s physical condition gradually starts to deteriorate while a twenty something individual is more or less at the prime of his life. In the insurance company’s point of view, older individuals are more likely to make a claim than younger individuals. Therefore, it would be a wise move to start working through your contributions at a young age while the premiums are still cheap.

Another good thing about this scenario is that you will be able to pay off your premiums earlier thus allowing you to reap whatever benefits it has in store for you. This means that you won’t have to wait until you are too old to be able to enjoy the rewards of your investment. If you play your cards right, you might be able to live a comfortable life in your late fifties even before your retirement age. Imagine the things you could do by then. You could travel the world, explore the cultures of other countries, go on a cruise, or purchase things you’ve only dreamed about before. Apart from that, you will be able to secure your family’s future.

Some people may not agree, but there are parents who worry about the inheritance they want to leave to their children. As a parent, there is that part of you that wants to make sure your children, no matter how old, will not be left empty-handed. Others would want to make sure that everything is in place, from their retirement to their funeral arrangements so that they would not be a burden to the loved ones they would leave behind. With that said, it is indeed a wise effort to perform wealth management, be it by yourself or with professional help.

Best Financial Advice – Stay Debt Free

In this modern day and age, money has become as essential as having clothes on your back and a roof over your head at night. There is no workaround; everything practically revolves around money these days. If you run out of money, you won’t be able to buy food to eat, water to drink and pay for all the other things that people need in their everyday lives. With the way things are going on today, those who do not have money to spend are in deep trouble.

Ironically, even wealthy individuals somehow end up bankrupt because they have mismanaged the money they have. You could have all the riches in the world at one point but if you do not control your urge to splurge all of your accumulated wealth you could very well be on your way to living a life as a hobo on the streets.

The best financial advice one can offer these days is to stay debt free. Even if you do have a stable source of income, there should always be a limit to the amount of cash you spend. There are certain things that people with ordinary jobs cannot afford initially like fancy cars, shiny watches and big houses but these will all come in time if you save money diligently. But with the help of third-party financers like banks which offer loans, you could purchase all of your dream items without actually paying for them right away.

The downside is that a lot of people fail to pay off their debts and end up broke and in trouble with the law. So before you decide to get a loan either to buy a house or a car or practically anything, think of your financial capability to generate the funds necessary to settle your debts first.

The only reason people get into debt is because they do not have it in them to delay their wants. The sad reality is that humans are never satisfied with what they have. There will always be something bigger, better and nicer at the store and people strive and work hard to attain these material things which they believe will make them happy.

Imagine living a life being thankful for everything that you have instead of being resentful that you are unable to buy this or that. You would be able to lead a better lifestyle wherein you could just live within your means and not have to worry about getting into debt.

No matter which book or financial expert you consult, you will most probably get the same answer. Stay debt free and live your life to the fullest.

Financial Advice on the Web

The Internet may be the best thing to happen since sliced bread, but it comes with its share of drawbacks. One of these is that every shyster in the world can get online and try to make a quick buck convincing you that they’re qualified to give financial advice or guidance. The best thing you can do when seeking for information online is to be wary. Use this as a quick briefing of how to stay safe when looking for reliable info.

Consider the source. The biggest banks and financial institutions in the world can make the nicest, coolest-looking websites, and pay the most to have them ranked highly in the search engines. On top of that they can spend the most money on advertising and get you to take a look at what they are offering. Any big bank is only going to lead you to as many different products that they can. They give you information on getting a mortgage for your home, as well as an auto loan, and a credit card. This is not an institution that has your long term financial goals in mind. They want you to have it all now so you can be under their thumb for 20 years or more.

Watch out for sponsored content. Sponsored content presents itself as real information, but instead is nothing more than a cleverly crafted sales pitch. In today’s world, you want to be savvy enough to know that what you are reading was written by a real human or is just rehashed information designed to fool the search engines. Many websites offering free financial information are full of financial keywords so that you will be looking at financial advertisements while you read the information. If you feel that an article you are making is confusing or has lots of the same words repeated over and over, you’ll want to click the back button and move on.

Stay clear of biased tips. If a company has a financial product they are trying to sell you, then the advice they will offer will be geared towards getting you to purchase the product, not with your needs in mind.

Avoid a short-term mind set. Look out for sites that reel you in with stock updates that are up-to-the-minute. You don’t want to be a day trader and this type of short sighted thinking is never good for a long term investment strategy.

The old adage that you get what you pay for applies really well online. Be careful of free advice you receive on the net and always double check that info. Paying for advice is no guarantee that you will get better advice, but it does weed out a lot of bad information.