Getting financial advice:
There will probably be times in your life when you’re not sure what to do with your money or what decisions you need to make about your financial future. There are thousands of different financial products on offer and choosing between them can be difficult.
If you have little experience of dealing with finances or you’re confused about making a decision, it may be helpful to get professional financial advice.
A financial adviser can help with things like:
- planning for your retirement
- investing or saving money
- making the most of a lump sum of money such as a redundancy payment or an inheritance
- buying a property or taking out a mortgage
- when your life changes for example, you’re starting a family, getting divorced or you’ve been widowed.
Types of financial adviser:
Financial advisers look at your personal circumstances and your financial plans and recommend products to help you meet your needs.
There are two types of financial advisers:
- independent financial advisers (IFAs) give unbiased advice about the whole range of financial products from all the different companies available
- restricted advisers give advice on a limited range of products. They may specialise in one area, for example pensions, or they may only offer advice on products offered by a limited number of companies.
It’s usually best to get independent financial advice so that you can look at the widest range of advice and products available.
How to find a financial adviser:
To get advice on the widest range of products and compare costs, you should look for an independent financial adviser. The following organisations can put you in touch with a qualified adviser in your area:
Unbiased at www.unbiased.co.uk. You can find independent and restricted ‘whole of market’ advisers on their website. Restricted ‘whole of market’ means advisers who can offer available products from all companies, but who may specialise in a particular area, such as pensions.
Personal Finance Society at www.findanadviser.org. You can find independent and restricted advisers on their website.
VouchedFor at www.vouchedfor.co.uk. You can find independent advisers only on this website.
Ethical Investment Research Service www.eiris.org.
You may already have financial links with a bank or building society and trust their products, so feel more comfortable about seeking their advice. This is called taking restricted advice.
If you decide to do this you need to be aware that there may be other financial products from other companies that are cheaper or better suited to your needs.
All financial advisers should be registered with the FCA. Don’t be afraid to ask an adviser about their qualifications and Statement of Professional Standing.
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