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What is financial advice?

You might have come to this website because you have a financial question that needs answering. You may have come here because you need financial advice on a wide range of topics.
We talk about it a lot, but what actually is financial advice?
If you are making a life changing decision, it’s always best to get help, especially if you are not sure of the options available to you.

What is financial advice?

Financial advice is provided to you by a qualified individual after careful consideration of your personal circumstances and objectives. This individual should be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and subject to rigorous on-going testing and scrutiny.
If you are not sure what to do with your money or need guidance on what decisions to make about your financial future, seeking financial advice may be the right thing for you to do.

What is a Financial Adviser?

A financial adviser can discuss a variety of topics, including:
• Planning for retirement
• Investing or saving money
• Making the most from a lump sum of money
• Buying a property or finding the right mortgage
• Life changes, such as starting a family, getting a divorce or the loss of someone close.

There are two different types of adviser:
• Independent advisers – These advisers are able to consider and recommend all types of financial products that might meet your needs and expectations. They can consider products from all firms across the market, and have to give unbiased and unrestricted advice. They are sometimes referred to as IFA’s (Independent Financial Advisers)
• Restricted advisers- Restricted advisers are only able to recommend a certain product or product providers - but they must clearly explain the nature of their restriction to you before they you begin your conversation. Restricted advisers and firms cannot describe the advice they offer as 'independent'.

Who is the FCA?

The FCA, or the Financial Conduct Authority, regulates all financial firms that provide services to consumers and tries to keep them sound, stable and resilient.
They are accountable to the Treasury and parliament, but do not receive any government funding.
The FCA supervises the conduct of over 50,000 firms and helps them keep to the rules and maintain high conduct standards.

Is there any way I can get free advice?

You will usually have to pay for “regulated” financial advice. This means that there will always be a charge for advice from a financial adviser who is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Here at we can offer a “no obligation” question answering service, where our fully regulated financial advisers will try to answer your financial question as clearly as possible. We can also offer all our visitors a free 30 minute health check, where we can look at your finances and point you in the right direction if you have a subject you need help on.

How much does financial advice cost?
Financial advice can be charged in three ways:
• Via an hourly rate,
• Through a percentage fee,
• By a fixed fee per service charge
How you pay will depend on the adviser you choose, the products you are talking about and the amount of money you have. Always make sure you speak to an adviser about how they charge and how much it will cost before you start talking about anything financial.

Do I actually need financial advice?

Not always, but if you are unsure about a financial topic or you don’t know much about the subject you need advice on it’s always advisable to seek financial advice from a qualified professional. Purchasing financial products on your own is possible; however it can be very complicated and you may end up paying a lot more for it overall through fees or interest rates, or you may even end up buying the completely wrong product. For example, pensions and mortgages can be particularly complex, so it is recommended that when applying for these financial products you use a financial adviser for financial advice.
What can I do if I am unhappy with the financial advice I have been provided with?
If you are sold a financial product without understanding the risks involved or charges applied you have the right to complain to your financial adviser, and then if you are still not happy with the outcome you have the right to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

So remember, if you’re unsure, have a question or you’re looking into buying a complex financial product such as a mortgage, you will probably need financial advice. If you have just had a big life change, which could affect your finances, financial advice may point you in the right direction, reassure you that everything will be okay, or even sort out some things you would not have been able to do on your own.
Here at we offer a service where you can ask a financial question and one of our advisers will answer it as best as possible. We also offer a free, 30 minute financial health check, where we can go through your finances with you and help point you in the right direction.

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