What is a financial adviser?
A financial adviser (FA) is someone who can help you make the right decision for different financial products whether it’s a mortgage, a pension, tax planning, your savings and investments, or making the most of a lump sum.
There are two types of financial advisers:
- Independent Financial Adviser
They are completely impartial and should give you advice on any product available in the market. Thus you are more likely to get advice that considers all options from all the different companies available.
- Tied Adviser
These advisers are tied to a bank or building society and therefore can only advise on certain products.
Whichever option you decide, make sure the adviser is properly qualified so that you can be confident that the advice you’re getting is correct. Our search tool above only includes advisers who are properly qualified.
Five steps to finding a good independent financial adviser
- Be clear on what you're looking for. For example, is it specialist investment advice or a mortgage?
- Look for advisers using search engines; you can use the tool above. You can search for an adviser based on qualifications, specialist areas, locality, or payment type. Also ask friends and family for their recommendations.
- Make sure the firms are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and, perhaps even more importantly, check they don't feature on the unauthorised list.
- Find out what type of adviser they are, how they are remunerated, what qualifications they hold, how much they may charge and how you will receive your advice.
- Finally, ensure you like and trust them. IFAs can help you through some difficult life stages like bereavement or divorce, so it's essential you get along.
How much will it cost?
Make sure you’re completely clear on how much the advice is costing you and what the charges are on the products you are recommended. As a guide, an average hourly charge in 2013 was £175 and advice on converting a £100,000 pension into a lump sum and an income might cost you around £1,350. Click here to see costs for some common advice needs.