I have recently answered this question for a client and thought I would share my answer with you all as I think this is a question that will come up a lot.
Answering this question depends on the amount of money you are looking to utilize to make your initial investment and if you are looking to make regular investments along the way, and how much these investments will be.
Suppose you are starting with a minimal amount for the initial investment and looking to make small regular deposits. It may be more beneficial to look at a Smart Tool as these can give you exposure to well-diversified Exchange Traded Funds (ETF's) with no brokerage fees and only charge a small account keeping fee.
The Smart Tools such as Acorns, Spaceship and Commsec Pocket have a few different investment options that match your investment risk profile ranging from defensive to aggressive. Some now even offer you Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments option.
These tools have come quite a long way in recent years and can even link with your spending account. By linking with your spending account, they offer you the opportunity to "round up" your purchases to the nearest whole dollar figure and invest the difference every time you make a purchase.
With no brokerage fee and easy investment selection, these Smart Tools offer small investors something that they did not have access to in the past. You can start small and make regular deposits which helps you to develop fantastic behaviors.
If you only have a small amount to invest and want to setup a regular investment then a Smart Tool may be the right fit for you. You could certainly then grow these funds until a point in time that you want to expand your investment options and get professional advice.
Of course, a financial advisor would be able to recommend a platform and investment option that would be appropriate to whatever your circumstances are. However, if you are starting small, then the cost may outweigh the benefit you get if the only area of advice you get from that particular advisor is investment advice.
Have you considered where your superannuation is and how that is invested? Do you have a safety net in place if anything happens to you? Are you a high-income earner looking to minimise the amount of tax you pay? Do you know where your assets will go if you pass away? These are the kind of additional areas of advice that a financial advisor can help you.
A financial advisor will look at your entire picture and advise on a wide range of areas that you may not have even considered. By looking at the entire picture, they can ensure every element is working towards your defined goals.
By starting now and regularly contributing towards the investment, history shows us that the benefit of compound growth will significantly help grow your funds, and the sooner you start, the better. Deciding on the avenue to start will depend on your individual circumstances and what you want to achieve.
Terrell Hyman the Director and Principal Advisor at Trl Financial Solutions.