We all need a little extra help when it comes to our finances. Whether you need to save for a house, buy a new car or pay off your debts, these are the money professionals you need to consult to reach your financial goals.
Drowning in debt? Find a debt counsellor.
A debt counsellor is someone who offers professional advice on methods of debt repayment. In most cases, a debt counsellor acts as an intermediary between you and your creditors and makes sure your repayments are met and settled. A reputable debt counsellor must be registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and may not work with organisations that provide credit, a debt collection agency or a credit bureau. If you're ready to speak to a debt counsellor, here are vital questions you have to ask:
- What's your registration number? To verify a deb counsellor's registration, call the NCR call centre on 0860 627 627 or head to the NCR website.
- How will the debt review process work? You have to establish how you and your debt counsellor will work together. Remember, your debt is still your responsibility, so it's vital to stay involved in the process.
- How much will the counselling process cost? Yes, there are costs involved in debt counselling, but make sure that the debt counsellor sticks to the fee structure of the process. Read about them here.
You want to understand your financial future? Consult a financial planner.
A financial planner helps people meet long-term financial goals by analysing their financial status and setting a programme to meet those goals. A planner isn't just someone who sells you investment and insurance products – they're someone who helps you understand your financial future, so it has to be someone you trust. Visit the Financial Planning Institute and Financial Services Board to find professionally certified advisers. Ask your potential financial adviser the following questions:
- What are your qualifications? Make sure the person you're trusting with your money matters is a certified financial planner.
- Can I have contactable references? No, it isn't bad manners to ask. Find out from other clients how they have experienced the financial planner's services.
- How do you prefer to work? Find out how often you'll meet with the adviser and how they will refer different products and investment vehicles. Make sure you understand how the financial planner gets paid and what their commission is structured.
Ready to be savvy with your savings? Speak to an investment broker.
So you're fairly financially shrewd – you've been saving for a while, and want to take your money matters to the next level. An investment broker can trade stocks, bonds and Forex on your behalf on the stock exchange. If you want to find a reputable broker, visit the JSE or South African Institute of Stockbrokers. When first meeting your stockbroker, here are the key questions to ask:
- How much do you charge? You should decide what you need and how much you're willing to pay for the service. Some brokers work off a flat fee or on a sliding scale, depending on the amount being invested.
- Which are the best platforms to trade? Based on your needs an investment broker should be able to advise you the right investments and trade for you.
Are you ready to speak to a financial expert? Take the #MySavingsPledge and visit a Nedbank branch today.