Rush for advice expected as consumers seek financial help
More enquires for financial advice are expected to be made today (Monday 9 January) than any other day this year, as people look to get their finances in order for 2017.
A new year generally sees people looking at the health of their finances and the second Monday in January typically sees more enquiries than any other day, according to adviser platform Unbiased.
Today has been dubbed ‘advice day’ by the firm as more people than ever are expected to try to organise their finances against a backdrop of economic uncertainty.
Pensions, investments, and first-buyer mortgages are projected to receive the most searches across the day.
Rising inflation and poor savings rates are expected to tempt more savers towards investments, while the final waves of employees will be enrolled in workplace pensions. Demand for housing also continues to increase, while mortgage rates remain at historically low levels.
Boost your finances in 2017
“Don't forget to maximise your saving into a pension,” says Mark Brooke of Pensionexpert4u. “The government provides you with tax relief on contributions of up to 45% (and at least 20%) which is the ultimate ‘free lunch’.”
Jeremy Askew of Town Close Financial Planning adds that investors must be smart with their cash: “Never invest in illiquid and/or unregulated investments. Keeping costs down, tax to a minimum and avoiding stupid mistakes will tend to produce much better returns than the latest ‘hot’ investment. The returns are also far easier to capture.”
For those looking to get onto the property ladder for the first time, Daniel Bailey of Middleton Finance says that people should get all the information they need before they start looking at properties.
“Seek advice from a mortgage adviser before you even start house hunting,” he says. “Once you have seen an adviser you’ll be armed with all the information you need: the purchase price you can afford, how much you can borrow, the size of your deposit and monthly payments, the deals available and all the associated costs in buying a property.”
An increase in the general level of prices that persists over a period of time. The inflation rate is a measure of the average change over a period, usually 12 months. If inflation is up 4%, this means the price of products and services is 4% higher than a year earlier, requiring we spend and extra 4% to buy the same things we bought 12 months ago and that any savings and investments must generate 4% (after any taxes) to keep pace with inflation. Since 2003, the Bank of England has used the consumer prices index (CPI) as its official measure of inflation (see also retail prices index).