Q Does it pay to use a financial adviser?
AIt can be hard to trust someone with your finances and the costs might seem off-putting, but the benefits are clear – people who take advice on pensions, for instance, have £48,279 more, on average, in their pot than those who don’t, according to research by unbiased.co.uk. Women are less likely than men to seek professional financial advice. Here are three tips to get you started…
WORK OUT WHAT TYPE OF ADVICE YOU NEED Are you looking for advice on a mortgage? Or are you coming up to retirement and not sure what to do? Maybe you’re even interested in investing in stocks and shares. The type of advice you need will determine which adviser is right for you. Some are specialists, such as mortgage advisers, while others will be able to look at your entire finances.
GO INDEPENDENT Financial advisers will provide either ‘independent’ or ‘restricted’ advice. While a restricted adviser can be very helpful on specific products or providers, they will not be able to give whole of market advice. Independent financial advisers or IFAS can recommend all types of products that might meet your needs. They will also consider products from all firms across the market, and have to give unbiased and unrestricted advice.
Financial advisers have to make it clear on their websites whether they provide independent or restricted advice and what this means. Ask for further information if you are not sure.
Independent financial advice will have a fee attached. Hourly charges can be anything from £50 to £250. Some restricted advisers will also charge – so check the cost with the firm you are planning to use before you set up a meeting.
MAKE USE OF FREE RESOURCES There are a lot of free resources available that can help you find the right financial adviser. Many IFAS advertise in local newspapers and you will also find listings in the phone book. And, of course, you can also search for an adviser online.
Websites such as unbiased.co.uk and vouchedfor.co.uk let you search for a local financial adviser and will tell you what services they offer. Unbiased will let you search for both independent and restricted advisers, while Vouchedfor only lets you look for IFAS.
Once you have chosen your financial adviser, check the Financial Conduct Authority’s IFA register (register.fca.org.uk) to make sure your chosen provider is regulated and approved. Take all your up-to-date financial statements and relevant information to ensure that you get the most out of your appointment.
Contact a financial adviser to help you make the most of your money