I recently went to a backyard party and while mingling, I discovered a financial planner was also in attendance. This perked my interest, because I’ve recently been pondering the benefits of seeking advice from financial planners.
BY VANESSA DE GROOT
Never having been to a financial planner, I’ve been curious as to what it is they actually do and whether their advice is independent.
So, after this particular financial planner tried to convince me to become a bank teller (because apparently there are plenty of these jobs available), he soon started to tell me about his job. It came as no surprise to me to hear him quote property growth figures and advocate that shares were the better way to go when it came to investing.
This whole conversation got me thinking even more – if I believe in investing primarily in property (certainly over shares), then perhaps rather than seeking the advice of a financial planner it would surely be better to see a property strategist, who could tell me the best strategy for my financial situation and could help me go about it the best way possible.
But do I need the help? What are the benefits of seeing a property strategist and even employing the services of a buyers agent? Surely, if an investor has done research and is armed with the knowledge they need they can make the right decisions themselves?
I can definitely see the advantages of using a property strategist or buyers agent. It would give you a little more confidence probably and certainly take the legwork out of investing. They’re experts – they deal with property investing every day and they can give you the best advice, providing they’re completely independent. So for those who can afford it, it’s not a bad way to go.
However, I think I’d prefer to educate myself instead.
I want to have the knowledge to be able to make a good decision when it comes to property investing myself. Investors should be always seeking to educate themselves about the market, as well as what makes for a good investment and what their best strategy should be.
It could even be a good idea, if you’re starting out in investing, to use the services of a property strategist or buyers agent to begin with and once you’ve picked up some knowledge and skill, then try and go it alone. You’ll certainly save yourself some money!
Christmas holidays are just around the corner, providing the perfect opportunity for you to read up on the property market and educate yourself with as much literature as you can get your hands on – of course while you’re sitting by the pool with a cocktail in hand…
What do you think are the benefits or drawbacks of using the services of an expert? Have you used a property strategist before? What about a financial planner? Did you find the experience useful or would you rather go it alone?
Vanessa De Groot is the deputy editor of Australian Property Investor magazine, www.apimagazine.com.au