Financial advice is key to achieving your investment goals. Choosing the right adviser could have a marked impact on the returns you enjoy over years of meticulous saving. A study by US financial services provider Vanguard found that advised clients earn returns of about 1.5 percentage points a year more than non-advised clients. "Good advice does cost money, but the opportunity cost of not having a good professional, independent adviser is very expensive and is rarely calculated," says Barry O'Mahoney, a financial adviser at Veritas Wealth. O'Mahoney is a certified financial planner (CFP), an internationally recognised qualification for financial planners. The Financial Planning Institute (FPI) is a professional body for financial planners in SA, and the only institution in the country to offer the CFP certification. Every year the FPI awards a professional with the accolade of Financial Planner of the Year, which the FPI says is the highest award a financial planner can achieve. O...

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