Why Do I Need a Financial Adviser?

General advice 18 March 2016

The internet has given us access to a wealth of information directly at our fingertips; if there’s a question you want an answer to, or a gap in your knowledge, chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for. So surely if we need advice on investments, wealth management or retirement planning, we can just load up our laptops and start learning?

But it’s not as simple as that.

Choosing simple financial products, such as an Individual Savings Account (ISA) or a credit card, probably won’t need the input of a financial adviser. But the risks associated with bigger financial transactions often mean the expert knowledge held by an adviser is worth paying for.

Why it’s worth seeking professional advice

Seeking professional financial advice may seem daunting. But managing your own money can take a lot of time and not fully understanding your options could put you at risk.

Seeking regulated advice from a professional, qualified adviser takes the job out of your hands. Your adviser will also help you get to grips with complex financial topics, offer advice and recommendations. You’re also protected if you’re misadvised or something goes drastically wrong.


When you take up the services of a financial adviser you’re getting their experience and expertise. Your adviser’s fee will reflect their experience, qualifications and knowledge they’ve developed through their time working in the industry.

Return on investment

It’s good to think of financial advice not as a cost, but as an investment; both you and your adviser will want to ensure a return is generated.

As a general rule, financial management on assets worth £30,000 or more delivers the best value. A financial adviser understands the financial markets and can advise you accordingly. They’ll look at your assets and work with you to set financial goals. If these means heading down the investment route, they’ll find out how open or adverse you are to riskier opportunities, generating what’s known as a ‘Risk Profile’ – allowing you to invest your money in a way you’re comfortable with.

While adviser fees vary, average charges are explained further in our recent blog, ‘How much do financial advisers charge?’.


If you take formal advice from a financial adviser, you’re protected by the Financial Ombudsman and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

All financial advisers are regulated by the FCA, a regulatory body for the financial industry, to ensure consumers can trust the industry, and firms will only provide consumers with appropriate products and services. You can check if an adviser you’re in contact with is registered by checking the FCA’s public register.

The FCA strives to ensure customers get quality advice. But, if you feel you have been misadvised, you can submit a formal complaint to the Financial Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s service is free and undertakes an impartial review of the situation to check whether rules were broken, or you were misadvised.

If you don’t take formal advice (taking free guidance from Pension Wise, for example), the responsibility lies with you if something goes wrong.


Using an adviser’s services makes managing your money easier. Effectively managing investments is a big time commitment, as is developing the knowledge required for best results and keeping up with any major developments and hoping nothing goes wrong.

Financial advisers are experts in the financial markets, and can use their expertise to help you manage your assets. They keep up with the latest trends and key developments to generate the best returns wherever possible.

If you think you could benefit from the services of an expert, our simple form will directly connect you to an FCA-regulated adviser.

How an adviser can help

It’s important to know what services an adviser provides, before deciding if advice is right for you. The type of advice you need will depend on your personal circumstances and assets, and the financial goals you want to achieve.

  • Investing – Investing in stocks and shares could help generate additional income. It comes with high risk, and while some investors may choose to invest without advice, it could help them avoid losing money.
  • Retirement planning – Planning which income route to take during retirement is a complicated process, due to the recent changes to pension rules. Choosing between flexible drawdown, an annuity or taking a lump sum can be a huge decision, with major implications on your future. A retirement planning expert could help you determine what the right choice is for your future.
  • Starting a business – A financial adviser can help you avoid the numerous financial pitfalls when starting a business. They can work alongside other professional service individuals such as a solicitor and an accountant.
  • Life insurance – Life insurance is an essential product for those with dependents, providing peace of mind should you fall seriously ill, be incapacitated or die. Taking out a policy can be complicated, and can result in lack of cover if incorrect information is provided through any misunderstanding.

Whether you choose to get a financial adviser to help you with your financial management depends entirely on your personal circumstances. While you can learn a lot online, and even start basic investments, you’re going to be spending a lot of time and potentially risking a lot of money if proceeding without the help of an adviser.

Financial advisers work in your best interest. With regulation via the FCA, you can be sure any information you’re given will be good advice with the intention of generating a healthy return on your investment.

Many advisers will specialise in different areas of expertise; whatever you need assistance with, Local Financial Advice can connect you directly with an adviser who can meet your specific needs.

Find me an adviser