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New Year's resolutions to change your financial life

We look at some resolutions to help you make your savings, investments and tax shelters work harder for you in 2020.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

This article is more than 6 months old

It was correct at the time of publishing. Our views and any references to tax, investment and pension rules may have changed since then.

1. Review what you've got

Now could be the time to review your plans – for example, are you on track to retire when you want? If you aren’t sure, you should consider taking advice.

A shift in your circumstances or financial goals could mean it’s time to think about the balance of your portfolio. You might need to rethink the level of risk you are taking and make sure your investments are still aligned to your goals.

To avoid nasty surprises we think that you should review your portfolio at least once a year. There’s a chance some investments might carry emotional ties, so make sure you take an objective view. We also need to bear in mind that all investments fall as well as rise in value, so you could get back less than you invest.

Our financial advisers are experts in helping you stay on track to meet your goals. They can review your portfolio as one off advice and make sure it has the balance you need. We always provide initial consultations about our advisory service without fee or obligation to see if we can help.

Find out if an adviser can help you

2. Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth

Too many people get tied in and pay for ongoing advice they don’t need. 1% each year may not sound like much. But over time that could cost you thousands. You can see the impact of annual advice charges on your investment returns on the chart below.

It’s based on £100,000 invested over ten years, assumed growth at 5% each year and only takes into account ongoing advice costs. In reality, you’ll also have other costs to consider, such as initial advice charges, platform, dealing and fund management charges.

We do it differently.

The cost of one-off financial advice usually pays for itself many times over. You can choose to use our review service. But we’ll never automatically tie you in.

Find out more about one-off advice

3. Don’t let choppy markets put you off

In the last few years, the UK voted to leave the EU, the FTSE hit an all-time high, while the pound hit new lows. And now we’re dealing with the drama surrounding Brexit on a daily basis.

With the mayhem and mess-ups, you might be putting off decisions or wondering whether there is something you can do now to weather the storm.

But there are two key things to remember:

  1. With any long-term investment strategy having a mix of investments is key. At any point, there’ll be certain sectors or regions that are doing better than others. A portfolio moving in different directions is actually a good thing. It shows that you aren’t exposed to all the same risks.
  2. Keep in mind the long term time frame. We think UK companies will navigate Brexit and continue to look for ways to make money. This isn’t new, over the long term the stock market has grown even with short-term setbacks – though there are never any guarantees and past performance is not a guide to the future.

If the uncertainty is leading to you putting off decisions, now could be the perfect time to talk to a friendly expert. In times like these it can be hard to know what strategy is right for your goals.

Book your call back

4. Reduce your paperwork

There are plenty of savers and investors who still run their portfolio from an overstuffed drawer full of paper. Why not get rid of the paper and go electronic?

Consider getting all your investments under one roof as this will make them easier to look after. We can help with this once you have decided to do this. Transferring your pensions, ISAs and investments to HL means they’re all in one place – saving you time, effort and paperwork. Once you’ve transferred you can look over your savings at the click of a button.

Before transferring, please check you won’t lose any valuable benefits or incur big transfer fees. Many investments can be transferred as is, so you won’t be out of the market, but you won’t usually be able to sell them during the transfer. Pensions are usually transferred as cash, so you would miss out on any market rises or falls for a period.

Find out more about transferring

5. Make sure you have a strategy and stick to it

Setting goals is the first step in any financial plan, but surprisingly it’s often overlooked.

If you don’t set clear, achievable targets, how do you know what you’re aiming for? It’s more than likely your strategy will end up disjointed, time-consuming and ineffective.

Once you’ve worked out what you’re aiming for, you need to understand where you are now. This means you can break down the actions you need to take.

Our advisers can help you with this. We can help you work out your current position and a plan to get you to where you want to be. We’ll get you started so you can manage your financial position going forwards. You won’t need to lean on an adviser but of course we are always here if and when you need us.

Talk to an adviser about your goals

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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