This blog focuses on financial services. Having spoken to a number of Mummies Club members over the past few days we came to the conclusion that we are all a little confused. What financial services do we need? Where should we go? How can we choose the right person to help us? At what age should we be thinking about this? So many questions!
For those of you who are also confused we have called in our resident financial expert Giles Garlick to give us a low down of all things financial. Giles runs a Camberley based business, First Tier Financial Solutions Ltd and has over 20 years of experience in the Financial Services industry.
Giles tells us there are three areas we should be looking at when it comes to financial planning. These are Protection (life and business insurance if you run your own business), Pensions and Savings/Investments. It’s easy to remember I promise just think PPS (like writing a letter). So let’s take a closer look at PPS in more detail.
We all do it, we tell ourselves we should be taking care of our loved ones for the future but we put it off, as life seems so busy. We adopt that “I’ll do it tomorrow” attitude for far too long. The thing is, you never know what’s round the corner. Giles tells us we can protect three things, our families, our income and our homes and although the plethora of products out there can seem daunting Giles assures us that this is a good thing as it means there is usually an appropriate policy for most circumstances, and most budgets.
Pensions can be confusing. What exactly are they? Which one should you choose? When should you start paying into one? Giles reassures us that although “pensions can appear baffling” getting professional help can really help. A good financial advisor will help explain, recommend and monitor pensions for you. Which pension you need will depend on a number of factors so matching a person to the right pension should be done professionally.
Savings and Investments
Savings and Investments are much more interesting, everyone likes to have a bit of money set aside. But what’s a saving and what’s an investment? Giles advises us on the difference between the two:
“Savings are generally funds that you set aside, but can be accessed relatively quickly. These savings are often for a specific need or purchase, like a holiday or a new car. The most common way of ‘saving’ is into a bank account (‘deposit’ account) where the money can be accessed in an emergency, and for every £1 you put in, you will get £1 back and possibly some interest.”
“Investments are designed to be held for a longer term, usually at least 5 years. You need to be comfortable with tying up this money for a period of time, and should not consider investments unless you have some savings in place. Most investments are not guaranteed to return your money in full, although do offer the prospect of potentially higher returns than deposit accounts. Returns, risk and volatility are the factors that will determine a suitable place for your savings. “
Both are accessible ways to save for the future and unexpected expenses and depending on your situation there are a lot of options to choose from.
So in summary we should all be thinking of PPS! Protection, Pensions and Savings/Investments and the best course of action is to contact an experienced financial advisor that offers impartial advice and can look at your individual circumstances and advise you accordingly.