Financial advice can be offered on an independent basis or is restricted or tied to a specific set of products or providers only. An independent financial adviser can access any products across all providers, whether this be a mortgage, investment, pension or insurance policy. A tied financial adviser will only be able to select from the providers they represent.
All of us will face important financial decisions in our life. A financial adviser can help you to financially plan for these events and help you to implement financial choices. A financial adviser could help you decide how to invest in a pension, what to do with an inheritance, planning pension drawdown for income for retirement or how to protect your finances and loved ones in case of illness or death. A financial adviser can also help to navigate you through the different approaches and products as well guiding (or referring to colleagues) on the tax and legal implications of the decisions you make. A financial adviser can also help you to manage a portfolio of investments.
Investment platforms allow self-investors to evaluate and place their own investments directly. This is a low cost and quick way to invest in the stock market and other investment funds. However the risks and consequences of these investment decisions remains directly with you and you are responsible for monitoring the performance of the fund.
A financial adviser will conduct the research on your behalf, matching your investment goals and risk appetite with the investments available and then monitoring these to make sure your money works as hard as possible. The financial adviser is accountable for their advice allowing you to complain to them and the firm if you later believe this to have been incorrect. You can also complain to the Financial Ombudsmen if your complaint is not answered to your satisfaction.
How you choose to manage your investments will depend on your own knowledge, confidence, and time available to research and monitor your portfolio. A financial adviser can ease the pressure by bringing their knowledge and experience of different investment vehicles, funds, and companies straight to you.
Financial advice may be charged as a one-off fee, on an hourly rate or as a percentage of the value of your assets being managed. The cost of fees can be wide ranging across different advice firms and can also vary based on the seniority of the adviser used and the type of advice or support being given. For example, an administrator may only charge £30 per hour while a fully qualified and experienced adviser could charge up to £250 per hour. Percentage fees can start from 0.5% up to 2.% and in some cases you will be charged a higher percentage fee as a one off charge, followed by a lower fee for the duration of the agreement.
Some banks employ people to specifically offer financial advice to their clients. This will usually come with a minimum fee so be sure to check this with your bank before going ahead.
Yes, this is possible but should be directly related to a legal matter. However, a solicitor cannot provide regulated financial services unless they are authorised with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can check the FCA register here.
Accountants can only give financial advice if they are regulated by the FCA to do so. They can introduce clients to a financial adviser but will still have a duty of care for their client, so should make sure any referral company is FCA authorised and independent.
Citizen’s Advice Bureau can provide advice about your finances for free. However, this is focussed on helping people struggling with debt or managing their money and claiming benefits. It is not designed for those looking to maximise their income or plan how to use pension drawdown in retirement.
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Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.