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Questions you should ask when taking financial advice

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you know your income after tax per year and what you spend and save (if anything)?
  2. What is your current net worth (liquid and illiquid assets)?
  3. If you have debts, what are they, what interest rate are you paying and are there ways you can borrow more efficiently?
  4. Is there anything you want to do or accomplish in your life?
  5. Do you have a contingency fund?
  6. If anything happens to you, will your family know what to do and will they be able to locate a copy of your Will? You should make a list of key contacts, list of bank accounts, investments, pensions etc. etc.
  7. Do you have a current Will? Are the people named as beneficiaries in your Will still the ones you want?
  8. If you are under state retirement age, what State Pension will you be entitled to and when? Can you pay extra to top your pension up so you will receive more when you retire and would this be a worthwhile thing to do?
  9. If you have children/grandchildren, would you like to be able to help them with university costs or give them money towards a car or a house deposit in the future? If yes, you could consider a savings plan.
  10. Will you have, or do you have, enough to retire when you want to and at the standard of living you want?
  11. What is your risk tolerance, how much risk are you taking right now? Risk is not necessarily your enemy as it can be beneficial to you, but it needs to be managed as much as possible.
  12. What about IHT in the UK and country you are tax resident in, do you know what you or your beneficiaries are liable to pay in each country? If not, ask your adviser.
  13. If you have investments and or private pensions do you understand them? If not, ask the adviser how they work.

Questions to ask a financial adviser:

  1. What is their experience as a financial adviser?
  2. How long has the company been operating, what is the size of the company, how many offices do they have and where?
  3. How many advisers work for the company in your area?
  4. You should clarify their regulation, compliance and professional indemnity insurance
  5. What is their financial background and qualifications?
  6. Is there a legitimate way to reduce your income tax and/or IHT liabilities?
  7. Can you name beneficiaries under your investments, these can be different to the beneficiaries in your Will?

Information to give your adviser:

  1. Your current asset allocation, with all the things you own.
  2. With regard to investments, be that financial or property, you should show your rate of return over the years. This is likely to be easier for financial investments. For a house you will need to factor in all expenses, including improvements, mortgage repayments, insurance payments, taxes etc. and not simply look at the appreciation of the value of a property.

Some of these questions, and more importantly there answers, will be tricky, but each is worth considering if you are to get the best from your savings, investments and financial advice.

Lastly make sure you enjoy yourself – life is too short, health can be a fragile thing, don’t put off things for the future that you can do now.

This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions.

Other News

Blacktower’s Nexus Funds Show Rapid Acceleration

London – October 2019: Leading wealth management provider, Blacktower Financial Management Group announces milestone growth of over 12% and 18% YTD, of its Nexus Solutions and Dynamic Funds, respectively.

With Nexus Solutions Portfolio currently standing at an outstanding valuation of £105m and Nexus Dynamic Portfolio at a similarly impressive £29.56m, both funds were launched by Blacktower as means to provide its clients with access to award-winning investment DFM solutions.

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New Spanish Will Laws from 17th of August

Blacktower Financial Management

Many of our clients will have beside their property and / or bank accounts here in Spain still assets abroad.  This could be a property in the “home” country, a share portfolio in Luxembourg, an offshore bank account etc.

Most would have a Will covering these assets in their home country and without specific mention of the asset will have laid out their wishes in the form of for example “spouse to spouse on first death and on second death to the children” which would apply to all their assets.  

Should the person have not bothered taking on a Spanish Will then the heirs would have to go through the extra work and costs involved in relying on a UK or foreign will for the disposal of the Spanish assets.  The Will would have to be translated and apostiled adding delays and extra costs at a difficult time for the heirs.

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