Do you ever get professional financial advice? If not, what's stopping you? Many people could be put off by the perceived costs involved while others may simply not know how to access suitable advice, but thanks to a Government review, these kinds of barriers could soon be a thing of the past.
The Financial Advice Market Review has just been launched by the Treasury and Financial Conduct Authority, and has been designed to "radically improve access" to financial advice. It'll examine how the industry could work better for consumers, and will build on the recent pension reforms that have given people real freedom over their savings as well as access to free guidance in the form of Pension Wise.
But, with so many people failing to take advantage of the guidance available – or professional advice elsewhere – there's clearly more that could be done. As such, the review will examine the "advice gap" for those who don't have the wealth available to seek high-level financial advice, and will ensure that advisory firms include the provision of affordable and accessible advice in their business model.
It will also encourage consumers to seek financial advice by, among other things, addressing any barriers that currently deter them from doing so, and reducing those barriers could make all the difference.
"Making sure that our financial services sector supports working people at every stage of their lives is a key part of our long term plan," said Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin. "That's why we've launched a major new review to explore what more can be done to make sure consumers can access high quality and affordable advice so they can make informed decisions with their hard-earned money."
The review will consider all types of retail financial products including pensions, savings, mortgages and insurance, and is expected to report ahead of Budget 2016. It's hoped that it'll make financial advice seem more accessible to regular savers, because after all, it isn't only high net worth individuals that can benefit from tailored advice.
But, that doesn't mean you should wait for any changes to come into being – if you're approaching retirement, need help organising your investments, or simply want to know how you can prepare for later life, seeking advice should be at the top of your list of priorities. The costs don't have to be excessive (you may want to speak to a few advisers to compare prices, for example) and they could be a small price to pay to make sure your money is working as hard as possible, so don't be put off – research an advisory firm or two and see if you can benefit.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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