When might I need financial advice and how can an adviser help me?

A financial adviser may be able to help you with:

  • investing or saving your money
  • planning for your retirement
  • 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
  • what type of insurance you need
  • significant life changes, for example starting a family, getting divorced
  • improving your tax situation

An adviser can help you to find the most suitable financial product based on your personal circumstances.

Choosing a financial adviser

There are many different terms used to describe financial advisers. Some advisers are independent, meaning they offer advice on all financial products available in the market, while others offer a restricted service, meaning they only offer advice on financial products from a limited number of providers.

The table below explains the different types of financial advisers and what they can do for you.

Types of Financial Advisors
Multi-agency intermediaries: give advice about, and sell products from, a number of financial service providers. They must hold what is known as a letter of appointment from the financial service providers they advise and sell products on behalf of. They are sometimes referred to as ‘restricted intermediaries’.
Authorised advisers: give advice about all financial products right across the market even if they don’t hold a letter of appointment from the financial service provider. They must consider and advise you on the most suitable financial product or products available in the market. They are sometimes called fair analysis advisers.
Tied agents: only advise and sell products from the financial services providers they are tied to. They cannot offer financial products from other financial services providers they are not tied to.
Mixed status advisers: the number of products the adviser can advise on and the number of financial service providers they sell products for varies.
For example, a financial adviser might offer advice on pension products from six financial services providers, but may be tied to one insurance company when advising and selling home insurance, so can only advise and offer products from that insurance company.
Top Tip
A financial adviser can only call themselves independent if they carry out a fair analysis of the market, meaning that they give advice on all financial products, right across the market.
Did you know?
If you are looking for investment advice, a financial adviser has to tell you if the advice is being given on an independent or non-independent basis.

Last updated on 25 May 2021

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