In a later interview with Dukascopy TV, the Swiss financial television station, the presenter focused on why people use a financial planner and not go down the DIY route.

I told her that, in my opinion, your money and all the major lifestyle benefits it brings you and your family – such as a good education for your children, a nice home, exciting holidays and most of all retirement, are too important to leave its management to chance.

I suggested that you wouldn’t use the internet, and/or go out of your way to seek advice from a ‘guy in a bar’, on other important life matters such as your health or a legal problem – you would go to a professional, a doctor or a lawyer, so why wouldn’t you seek professional advice from a financial adviser?  Indeed, dabbling in DIY investing could be seen, in some ways, as being akin to a medical self-diagnosis via ‘Dr Google’.  I also flagged-up that, unfortunately, a side effect of the FSA’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR) is that millions have been left in a ‘financial black hole’ as so many independent financial advisers have exited the market so we are likely to see an increase of DIY investors.

Sadly, over my 15 years in the industry I’ve heard of many people who have ‘gone it alone’ and made some big mistakes.  I told Doireann, the interviewer, that in my experience, the most common mistakes to avoid would be not timing the market successfully, failing to adequately diversify, not having a, balanced, workable plan – and sticking to it, and letting your heart rule your head.

Finally, I was asked what’s more important, the adviser or the firm?  I said that both were equally as important.  You should take advice from someone who has the relevant and appropriate qualifications and experience to provide the financial solutions for you to reach your goals.

However, at the same time, the adviser should also be supported by the strength and power of a robust organisation as this will mean they are working within a structured environment with adequate compliance, has access to all the latest product news, product launches, services and technologies such as research and due diligence, and which will probably have strategic alliances with other world-leading firms to give you exclusive ‘vehicles’.

I added that, as a client, you will often know fairly quickly that you have the right one.