BLOG: ‘Insight’ into our industry, what we do and the importance of professional financial advice

As an industry, we have the ability to help shape people’s futures by delivering independent, qualified and expert advice. Our advice changes lives and lifetime financial planners can have a deep, lasting and positive impact on our clients, how they live and their enjoyment in later life.

Our industry has suffered a reputational crisis in recent years despite the sterling work being carried out by qualified financial advisors across the UK on behalf of their clients. Financial storms have dented the industry and it’s all of our responsibility to set the bar high and ensure our industry’s rigorous standards, and checks and balances, are upheld at all times.

The importance of professional financial advice cannot be understated. With low interest rates, rising inflation and many pension pots coming to fruition, deciding between investment options and policies can be a minefield, especially for first time investors. This is where we can truly demonstrate our value and help clients to navigate the complexities of investment options.

Expert financial advice will fully assess a client’s life, their goals and plan accordingly. That’s why at my company, Insight.Out Financial, we’re referred to as Lifestyle Financial Planners. We provide clients with an understanding of their finances and current position, alongside goals and a plan that will map out for clients the best routes towards reaching their future financial and lifetime goals. To have a plan, that’s continually reviewed, gives our clients peace-of-mind both now and for the future, and to know that we can make a difference to a person’s financial security, is a responsibility that we take very seriously.

We want our clients to have the wherewithal to enjoy the life they want. This includes safeguarding savings, growing income, planning for the future and ensuring a meaningful legacy for loved ones.

It’s our job, and the job of all expert financial planners to understand clients’ unique circumstances and requirements, and to plan and advise accordingly.

Our motto is ‘plans not products’. Our clients have many different requirements and we spend a lot of time getting to know our clients in order to gain a full understanding of their needs and preferences. We create multi-faceted plans that factor in lifestyle, goals, and the unknown with the latest regulatory advice and expertise. This combination is delivering winning financial solutions for our clients and has seen our reputation, and our company, grow immeasurably over the past few years.

Many fellow financial planners in our industry are doing likewise, and it’s this focus on more holistic financial planning, rather than the selling of products, that I believe will change the perception of our industry and how we’re portrayed by the general public.

‘Mighty oaks from small acorns grow’ and this is how we should view all clients. Regardless of their assets, we need to ‘invest’ time in first time investors. This will pay dividends in the long run and is essential in ensuring responsible advice where clients are informed and understand risk.

At Insight.Out Financial, we’re committed to cultivating a general understanding of the financial work for first time investors. It’s our duty not just to explain but to ensure risk is understood as the enormity of financial decisions can have a lasting impact.

For clients seeking pension advice, regardless of the size of the pension fund, we would encourage them to seek professional advice. Currently it’s the legal requirement to receive professional advice if transferring a pension fund worth more than £30,000 but pension transfers should not be taken lightly regardless of the amount. They’re complex schemes with risk and associated costs, and as with all major decisions, are best made with professional, expert and thoughtful advice.

Insight.Out Financial is passionate about Lifestyle Financial Planning and exemplary industry standards. We’re extremely proud to lead by example and have been recognised by our industry and peers at both national and regional awards. We’re committed to providing expert, professional advice each and every day, and to have this cemented by various bodies adds to our credentials and reassures clients that their financial requirements are in the right hands.

In July, I was named as Woman of the Year in Retirement Planning at the Women in Financial Advice Awards UK and highly commended in the 'Financial Adviser of the Year - Scotland and Northern Ireland' category. This year, we’re honoured in be shortlisted at the Money Age Awards in the category of Financial Adviser Award: Micro Firm of the Year and this is in addition to several award shortlisting in our home market of Northern Ireland.

For our industry, the proof is in the pudding. It’s our commitment to delivering professional advice and lifetime financial planning, and upholding our industry’s standards, that will shape our reputation moving forward. We’re collectively part of a progressive and buoyant industry so let’s ensure our future is bright and we’re recognised for the positive impact that we can make to people’s lives.

Insight.Out Financial offers independent financial advice and is committed to upholding high professional standards. We provide lifetime financial planning, and this can include pension transfer advice, investment planning, financial and tax planning, personal protection, and business financial planning. Our aim is to help clients to understand and achieve their financial goals.

Insight.Out can be contacted on 028 9590 2280 or via email: info@insightoutfinancial.com. The company is located at 137 - 141 Holywood Road, Belfast, BT4 3BE and can be found online at www.insightoutfinancial.com.

Insight.Out Financial is a trading style of GWM Solutions Ltd, which is an appointed representative of Network Direct Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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