How to find a financial adviser in 2016

Regular saving is important to ensure a secure financial future. Investing offers the chance to beat the interest rates paid on high street bank accounts - whether you're cautious or adventurous with your money. There are a number of ways to get involved in stock market investing, which can generate better returns then straightforward savings accounts.

Some people choose to enlist the help of a financial adviser to take control of their money. While a financial adviser can charge hundreds or even thousands of pounds for their services, depending on the size of your investment, they can help you decipher which product is better suited to your needs. Independent financial advisers (IFAs) can help with broad financial planning as well as more specific projects, such as how to invest an inheritance, pay school fees or plan for retirement. They cover all the major categories including budgeting, savings, investments, pensions and tax.

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Here's what you need to know about taking professional advice:

When do you need advice?

Getting financial advice is not a one-time event - and it's certainly not a case of one-size-fits-all. Financial planning should start early and be reviewed regularly. As your circumstances change, so will your financial needs. There are a number of trigger points during your lifetime that will invite the need to do some financial planning.

Buying a house, getting married, starting a family, moving up the career ladder, retirement are the main things that will warrant a rethink of your finances.

Parents looking to build a nest egg for their children's future as well as those building a savings pot for a larger family home, or simply for just saving for a secure financial future, can benefit from financial planning.


Online searches for financial advice have increased by 35% in the past year, according to search data from This has been driven by enquiries about pension freedoms, the rule changes that allow people to access the cash saved in their pension pots directly.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of, says: "Pension freedom has clearly been a big driver for people to seek advice in the past year, with more retirement options available than ever before. For example, income drawdown was a restricted and therefore less popular option before April - when the freedoms were introduced - but has seen a huge spike in interest in the past year, with over three times as many searches the site."

However, new research from reveals that just one in five over-55s that are making a withdrawals under pensions freedom are willing to pay for financial advice. When asked why, 59% don't feel they need it, 28% think it's a waste of money, 27% can't afford it and 15% want their money quickly without any hassle.

How much does it cost?

Costs vary largely between firms and the kind of advice you need. According to website, advice on a £200 per month pension contribution would cost on average £500. Converting a £100,000 pension fund into a lump sum and annuity would cost around £1,500. A more involved scenario would be more expensive again. Advisers would typically charge £3,500 for advising a client (including estate planning) with a £200,000 self-invested personal pension (Sipp), £100,000 of investments, income from a defined benefit pension scheme and a buy to let property with a value of £250,000.

While the fees may look steep, it can be worth every penny spent if it means your money is working hard for you. Research conducted by found that those who had taken advice receive an additional income of £3,654 every year of their retirement, based upon a pension pot of £100,000 - a clear demonstration of the benefit of taking professional advice.

Where to find advice

If you don't already have an adviser you can trust, you can find local independent advisers at, or call on 0800 085 3250. Here you will also find a full list of the different qualifications an adviser can have as well as the professional bodies that represent them. You can also visit, which allows consumers to rate and review advisers they have used. Financial advisers have to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Not all advisers are classed as independent, so it is important to know what the adviser you have chosen is able to offer at the outset.

Advisers who are tied to product providers aren't IFAs but "restricted advisers".

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