How you can become financially confident in 4 easy steps
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Why confidence is key to gaining financial peace of mind and what actions you can take to reach it.
“It’s often said that money can’t buy you happiness, which is sage advice, and while we can agree that money isn’t everything, knowing you are financially secure can make your life easier and more enjoyable,” says Simon Martin, branch manager for Charles Stanley Wealth Managers in Leeds.
“Anxiety around finances is one of the top causes of stress in the UK, which is why we’re dedicated to helping people open up about money, get their affairs in order and rest easy.”
Below, Simon shares some of his top tips to help you feel in control and confident about your family’s financial future.
1. Get a financial health check
Much like booking a check-up with your GP, consulting a finance professional to regularly review your assets can be a good way to stay on top of your affairs, avoid complications and make sure your paperwork is up to date and accurate.
“Financial health is a big deal. Not knowing your financial position or worrying about your bank balance can influence your mental and physical wellbeing,” Simon explains.
“By knowing more about your current financial position, this can help you feel in control and by consulting with an investment manager, financial adviser, accountant or solicitor, you can discuss ways to protect and grow your wealth and safeguard your family’s future.”
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2. Futureproof your finances
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, but wealth management can help you navigate your way through it. It’s important to consider your goals for the future, what you want to pass on to your family after you are gone, and establish financial plans to ensure you can live comfortably in later life.
“Thinking about these things now, rather than in a few years, can give you more options of what you can do with your money to help ensure it goes towards the things you want,” Simon says.
You could consider investing some of your wealth to help towards a house deposit, or to provide you with an income during retirement, or to pass on to your children or grandchildren when they come of age. It is important that you have a flexible strategy that can evolve as circumstances change.
“Our investment managers can help you build and manage an investment portfolio designed specifically with you in mind,” Simon shares. “We consider the level of risk you want to take, your earnings, and can even build a portfolio that suits your ethical and moral values.”
You can choose to invest in a variety of investments, including ones that support UK businesses, climate change and ageing healthcare.
“Investing your money can also help you reduce the amount of inheritance tax you may be liable to pay,” Simon adds.
A solicitor, investment manager or financial adviser can offer guidance on what investments or savings products may be best for you and provide insight into risk management, interest rates, ISA allowance and tax-free amounts you're entitled to.
3. Have a frank conversation about finances with your loved ones
Starting up some general discussions about money can benefit your family, ease tension and improve relationships.
“It is never too young to start these discussions. Talking about finances can be uncomfortable, which is often why so many people avoid doing it. They fear being judged or causing upset,” Simon reveals.
“However, discussing your financial decisions can help your children to understand how to manage their money responsibly, and informing them of what inheritance you intend to pass on could help them make their own plans for the future.”
Speaking with other people about money may also offer some new perspectives and helpful strategies that you could use. Whether your experience is good or bad, opening up about it could help you achieve your own goals, solve financial problems, avoid costly mistakes and provide reassurance.
“There’s usually little financial education in schools which can mean people don’t always understand their options and may find coping with money overwhelming and confusing,” Simon says.
“It is important that a strategy is simple and easily understood. All too often people overcomplicate things. Investment does not have to be complicated. Talking about it can simplify the problem, prevent you from worrying and help you move forward.”
4. Consider talking to a finance professional
If you’re not quite ready to chat with your family about your finances or are unsure of where to start, then seeking guidance from a financial professional may help.
“Our wealth management team can put forth some ideas to help you organise your finances, and prepare for the future,” Simon says. “I think Covid-19 has focused many peoples’ minds on money, and made them aware they need to plan more.
“People want to know what will happen in the event of a tragedy and want to ensure that the family they leave behind will not be left picking up the pieces.”
As experts in financial matters and trusted advisers to many families, wealth management from Charles Stanley can assist you in financial planning, offering bespoke investment management, guidance and insight along the way.
“We can help you get conversations started with your loved ones, act as an impartial third party to keep discussions objective and productive and start you on the path towards financial wellness,” Simon reassures.
For more information on how Charles Stanley can help you feel more confident about finances, visit charles-stanley.co.uk/leeds-office.
Contact a member of the Leeds team on 01133 502561.
Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. The value of investments, and any income derived from them, can fall as well as rise. Investors may get back less than originally invested. Charles Stanley & Co. Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.