Planning ahead gives you peace of mind and helps you prepare for the future. So, why should your money be any different?
Money plays a key role in many of our biggest milestones and life events. Whether you’re thinking about retirement or buying a home, money helps you get there. That’s why it makes sense to consider all your options when it comes to your finances.
Financial advice helps you understand how to make the most of your money and make it go further. Getting expert advice from a financial advisor could offer the insight you need to achieve your goals today, and well into the future.
A financial advisor is an expert that can give you professional advice to help you achieve your personal financial goals. In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates all practising financial advisors.
The FCA regulates over 50,000 UK financial markets and firms. Their strict codes help protect consumers, ensuring they get quality financial advice and recommendations.
All advisors must also gain an FCA-approved qualification to practise. Their education can also include extra qualifications depending on what they want to specialise in.
By helping you look at the bigger picture, a financial planner will help you understand where you’d like to be and explain your options in plain English. Their expertise and guidance can help you get the perspective you need to achieve your goals.
Depending on your needs, your financial advisor may charge you a one-off fee or an ongoing fee. Fees will vary from advisor to advisor and they’ll always be upfront about any related costs, with no obligation to take their professional advice or services.
How often you meet with your advisor will depend on what services they’re helping you with - and, of course, how often works best for you and your budget.
At a minimum, financial advisors usually offer annual reviews. These meetings are a good opportunity to discuss your financial goals, budgeting and investments to ensure you’re still on track.
But there are other times when it’s wise to meet your financial advisor more frequently. For example, if you’ve had a sudden life change, had a big pay rise or received an inheritance, it’s wise to speak to an advisor sooner rather than later.
Financial advisors can be either independent or restricted. An independent advisor will recommend products from the whole market. While a restricted advisor will offer specific products or providers. But, if they can’t find something suitable for you, they’ll then search the whole market.
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If you have the time, searching for your own financial advisor can help you ensure you’re getting a good fit. The first step involves a bit of research. A quick Google search can show you a few options in your area, but which advisor should you choose? A good place to start is asking friends and family if they have any recommendations. You can also research telephone directories or your local newspaper.
Once you’re happy with your advisor candidates, check the Financial Services Register to see whether they’re regulated by the FCA and offer the services you’re interested in.
Many financial advisors offer a free no-obligation consultation - which can help you decide whether they're a good fit for you and your needs. Discover more tips in our guide to finding a good financial advisor. Don’t have time to research advisors in your area? Don’t worry - we can do the legwork for you for free.