In a financial muddle? Seek professional advice

Money is a complicated topic. Those who have it struggle to keep it. Those who don’t, strive to get it. It has been this way for years, and the story isn’t likely to change any time soon. As such, everybody needs help with their finances at some point in their lives.

Mellony Ramalho, African Bank’s Group Executive: Sales, Branch Network, says that if you are in a financial muddle and don’t really know where to start it may be worth considering getting some advice from a financial advisor or financial advisor.

A financial advisor, also known as a financial planner, is an expert who helps you with the organisation of your finances and forecasts the outcomes of your investments and savings to help you understand if you have enough money for your retirement or a negative change in your life position.

Ramalho says that while there is nothing wrong with doing your own financial planning, seeking professional assistance can elevate your monetary strategy to a whole different level and help you get the best return on your investment. “This is somebody who has received years of training, education, and experience in everything finance-related and could make a significant difference in the quality of the financial choices you make,” she says.

To help with your budgetary needs, a financial advisor should collect personal and financial information about you and use this data to assist you to better plan for your present and future needs. Your financial planner should take the time to understand your goals and would have formulated a long-term monetary plan for you before they make any recommendations.

Anyone who starts to talk about a financial product before asking about your own situation or financial goals is more likely a salesperson or an investment advisor. This is a more concentrated category. A financial planner is also an investment advisor but not vice versa.

To understand the different ways a financial advisor can help you, you must become aware of what they do and what topics they’re likely to advise you on.

What does a financial advisor do?

  • Evaluates the state of your finances and develops a risk aware strategy to help you meet your goals
  • In a world filled with salespeople and product pushers, it helps to have an objective and independent voice that is genuinely interested in your financial well-being
  • Financial uncertainty triggers a lot of fears and questions, and a financial advisor should be able to provide long-term practical answers
  • Gets you started on your strategy by educating you about risk and return, asset allocation, the merit of discipline, and diversification, showing you where to invest your money
  • Builds a deep-rooted wealth management strategy to match your risk appetites and long-term goals
  • The advisor turns into a coach during hard times, strengthening your first principles while keeping you on track
  • Scans the horizon for problems likely to affect you and keeps you informed

Additionally, a financial advisor will give advice on: the best ways to save money, mortgage, all types of insurance, emergency fund, your tax situation, seeking out the best investment interest rate, etc.

When is a good time to seek out the help of a financial planner?

  • When undergoing personal changes. Financial needs change as your life circumstances change and it’s a good idea to commence appointments with a financial advisor when getting married or having a child. 
  • When undergoing wealth changes. You get that promotion you’ve been working towards or you inherit a large sum of money. A financial advisor will help you avoid misspending the extra cash.
  • When you’re uncertain of yourself and your future. It’s important to be honest with yourself about your financial situation. Consider seeing a financial planner to push you to be more candid with your finances should you find yourself in such a type of situation.

“Despite all our best efforts to stay informed it is often impossible to know and listen to everything so using a professional is a great benefit. They are objective and have the knowledge and research capacity to take the guess work out of tough financial planning decisions. Generally if you visit the website of any reputable insurer or a general site like will find a list of advisors who will provide you with a complementary consultation, so no cost incurred.

The takeaway in all this is, a financial advisor is here to make your life better. They are not here to get you to buy anything and they sure as rain are not only for the wealthy. This professional is dedicated to working with you whether you have notable sums to invest or not. May be worth a thought for 2019,” concludes Ramalho.

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