Whilst many who haven’t used the services of a financial advisor before might assume that all they do is tell you where and when to put your money, their job is far more complex than that. A decent advisor from a respected firm such as Downing will be able to sit down with you, assess your current situation and where you want to be in the short and long-term future and then provide guidance on the best course of action to make those financial goals a reality.

But when should we start looking to expert third parties for guidance? Below, we’ll focus on a few situations that might call for the particular talents of a keen financial advisor

When to Hire a Financial Advisor

You’re Going Through a Change – Whether you’ve just got engaged or married (or even divorced), or your first baby is on the way – any major change in your life will always bring with it certain financial obstacles. These are obstacles that can be more comfortably overcome with the help of a financial advisor, who can instigate important conversations and make sure you and your partner are on the same page.

You’ve Had a Windfall – If you’ve had a promotion at work that comes with a notable pay increase or you’ve won the lottery, you’ll need someone who knows where to spend (or save) all that extra money so you don’t end up squandering it. Whether that’s knowing what saving accounts to put your money into, what to invest in (and how much to invest) or what debts to pay off first, a financial advisor will take care of all the difficult questions for you.

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You’re Starting a Business – If you’re starting a business, or taking a small business to the next level, it’s vital that you have some form of verifiable advice on hand. A financial advisor can guide you through the initial financial stages of settling up shop, hiring employees and sorting how your business is going to navigate those crucial first few years. The same is also true if you’re getting a mortgage or taking out insurance, as a financial

You’re Getting a Mortgage – If you’re getting a mortgage, taking out insurance or arranging a pension, a financial advisor will be able to talk you through the options available to you and sort the good offers from the bad, depending on your individual situation. An experienced financial advisor will also have access to products that won’t be available to just anyone and will make sure those products gel perfectly with your needs and goals.

Finding the Right Financial Advisor

Before signing an agreement, make sure you’ve had at least one initial meeting, which will often be free of charge. You have no way of knowing you’ve made the right choice if you haven’t met them face-to-face. During the meeting, be sure to quiz them on their qualifications and experience, asking also for any verifiable credentials. Finally, inquire about their fees and make sure you can afford them before pulling the trigger.