The value of financial advice

There are many reasons why you might choose to seek financial advice.

An independent financial adviser can help:

  • Understand your needs - before they make a recommendation they’ll build up a picture of your overall personal financial circumstances and agree with you the areas you should prioritise.

  • Discuss potential solutions - help to consider what products best suit you and your family and help calculate any cover you may need.

  • Draw up a short list - they'll look at the different insurance and pensions providers available and take into account their investment options and claims track record, among other things.

  • Highlight the pros and cons – they'll make you aware of how the products differ because they're not all the same.

  • Make a recommendation - this will be tailored to your needs, making sure you get the right balance between what you can afford and the quality of products you need.

Find out more about our insurance products and pensions products available through an independent financial adviser.

Where to look for an adviser

Financial advisers can offer either ‘independent’ or ‘restricted’ advice.

Independent advisers (also known as independent financial advisers or IFAs) are able to consider all types of products from firms across the whole market when making their recommendations.

Restricted advisers are limited to certain types of products or the providers they can choose from. For example, a restricted adviser may only recommend products from a limited number of providers. But a financial adviser who only offers advice about pensions would also be restricted, even though he or she can recommend products from across the market.

You can find more hints and tips on how to choose the right adviser.

There’s a number of directories that you can use to search for financial advisers in your area and according to what services they offer.

 

  • The Personal Finance Society provides details of financial advisers who provide a wide range of services including pension and retirement planning. The full range of services are detailed on their website.

 

  • The Society for Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) provides details of financial advisers who are experienced in:
    • pension and retirement planning
    • long term care planning
    • equity release
    • inheritance tax planning or wills and probate.

 

  • vouchedfor provides details and customer reviews of:
    • financial advisers
    • mortgage advisers
    • solicitors
    • accountants.

 

  • Unbiased.co.uk provides details of:
    • financial advisers
    • mortgage advisers
    • accountants.

Some questions worth asking

 

What do you charge and how much am I likely to pay?

Reason: An independent financial adviser must tell you how much they charge before you’re taken on as a client (it’s part of the rules that all advisers have to stick to). The adviser might not be able to tell you exactly what you’ll pay, but they should be able to give you an indication and perhaps even an upper limit.

Do you have many clients who are in a similar position to me?

Reason: It’s always worth finding out if an adviser has a lot of experience advising clients in a similar position to yours.

How risky are the investments you’re suggesting for me?

Reason: You want to understand how much risk you're taking with your retirement savings. You need to ask yourself whether you're comfortable to take this risk or not.