Whether you are beginning the journey into investing or looking for guidance as you reach your golden years, the logical step is to find a financial adviser. Your adviser can help you make decisions regarding everything from pensions to ISAs. Decisions about your financial future may be some of the most important choices you make in your life, so having a knowledgeable and experienced adviser can help you to make more educated choices. There are different types of financial adviser though, so make sure you know them apart.
Broadly speaking, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) currently authorises three types of financial adviser. Consider your needs and each type of adviser before building any relationships. There are independent financial advisers, multi-tied advisers and single-tied agents.
Independent financial advisers: If you are looking for completely unbiased advice, an independent financial adviser may be the ideal solution for you. As they have no contractual ties to insurance companies or other providers, the recommendations they make will be solely based around your needs.
Multi-tied advisers: You may find a multi-tied adviser in a UK high street bank or building society. Unlike independent financial advisers, they do have contractual obligations. This isn’t a negative aspect though; a multi-tied adviser should have lots of knowledge about the limited range of providers and products they deal with.
Single-tied agent: Single-tied agents work for the company to which they are tied, meaning that any advice offered to you is going to be directly associated to that company. If you know that you would like a product by this particular company, gaining insight into the different types can be extremely useful.
Once you have found a suitable financial adviser, you can create a plan based on knowledge and expertise. If you were to do this alone you would need to be extremely confident in your knowledge, and would have to keep up to date with all and every change in the market. A financial adviser can guide your decisions to ensure they are realistic and achievable rather than simple hopes and hunches.