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Institutions ‘obfuscate finance for the public’

The certified financial planner of Essex-based Woodruff Financial Planning argued people are easily put off by the complex veneer of the financial sector, but that the fundamental principles of financial planning were not beyond their understanding.

He said other factors that deter people from seeking financial advice include the lack of “quick results” for financial problems, and he stressed it was not possible for people to place too much responsibility on advisers.

Writing on his blog on 23 September, Mr Woodruff said: “They [clients] prefer to pay us to ensure they remain secure and they avoid any costly mistakes. The reality is even our clients cannot abdicate responsibility for understanding how their future is going to be.

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Commenting on how the media “hoodwinks” people into believing success can be quickly gained, he said: “I am sorry to tell you that you are not going to get lucky and you are not going to win the lottery. If you want results, they are going to have to come slowly, and over time.”

Mr Woodruff’s guide, The 12 Financial Planning Rules All the Experts Follow, is designed to give readers an insight into common financial mistakes and provide advice on how to avoid them.

SEVEN REASONS WHY PEOPLE PUT OFF FINANCIAL PLANNING:

- I don’t know where to look for information

- It is too complicated

- I just want quick results

- I just want someone to tell me what to do

- I cannot afford it

- I cannot see past the short term

- I cannot trust financial institutions

ADVISER COMMENT

David Crozier, director of Northern Ireland-based Navigator Financial Planning, said: “Clients sometimes have unrealistic expectations and they make decisions with their hearts rather than their heads. A big aspect of our job is to keep clients on track, and that really adds value to our service.”