free investment advice logo

Here's the deal: You may read the information on the site for free. As and when I have the time I'll add new articles, taking into account any questions which have been asked. For legal reasons, please do not consider anything on this site to be advice - the only free investment advice is to apply your own mind. If you want to request that an article be written, then email me. I have limited time available, and will prioritise the work accordingly, so please be patient. Email me at

Independent Financial Advisors in the UK

leave a comment

There are many different types of financial products in the UK market, ranging from mortgages and insurance to savings and investments. Knowing which product is right for you can be difficult. In order to choose the most appropriate products, you either need to equip yourself with the skills to do the job or suck up the expense of a independent financial advisor (IFA) - at the minimum you should educate yourself enough to know how to choose a good IPFA.

Many consumers still go to their own bank or building society for financial products, but there may be alternatives on the market that are better suited to them. Whilst some financial advisors only offer advice on services and products from one company or a panel of providers, an independent financial advisor is able to offer from the products available across the whole market (although this is by no means a guarantee that he does consider them all).

Some independent financial advisors specialise in a particular field, for example, mortgages or insurance, whilst others are able to offer advice across several fields, for example, savings, investments and pensions. An independent financial advisor should look at your circumstances and then give advice on the products that best meet your needs.


Independent financial advisors need to pass exams on a range of regulatory and financial subjects and also have to ensure that they keep up to date with any changes. In addition, independent financial advisors must be registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which means that they must comply with certain rules and meet specified standards. If you receive advice that it not suitable, then there is a formal complaints and resolution process in place.

Choosing an independent financial advisor

There are a number of ways in which to choose an independent financial advisor. The phone book, the internet, or personal recommendations from friends and family are all ways of finding an IFA. It's a good idea to contact several different independent financial advisors before deciding which to use. This way you will get a feel for how you will get on with them, which is particularly important if you will be seeking advice in relation to large sums of money or for products with a long life span.

There are a number of questions that you can ask to help choose the right advisor for you. Check that the advisor is independent and not tied and ask what qualifications they hold. It is always worth double checking that the firm or individual is authorised to provide advice by the Financial Services Authority. The FSA has an online register of authorised parties, so this is straightforward to do.

You should ask about how the independent financial advisor is paid. Some will give you free initial advice and then charge an hourly fee, some get commission on the products that they sell and some use a combination of fees and commission. Your IFA should give you details of their charges and services and talk these through with you.

You should also ask the IFA questions to test their technical knowledge, but that is beyond the scope of this article.

Obtaining independent financial advice is a way of increasing the chances that the financial products that you have are appropriate for your needs. Whether you have calculated how much you can borrow using a mortgage calculator; and need advice on the best mortgage product for you, or are looking for advice on long term investments and pensions, an IFA can assess your needs and your attitude to risk in order to recommend suitable products.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Due to regulations, our emails and this entire website should be considered as having been set up for entertainment purposes alone. Expect errors and omissions. Investment in shares and other financial instruments should be conducted by professional investment experts only. Any use of the information on my websites, emails and newsletters is at your own risk, and by using it you agree that the owners of our websites, authors and associated parties wont be held liable for any losses suffered as a result of using the information. None of the information should be construed as being advice. Our newsletters, articles, discussions and website are not an offering for any investment. It represents only our and others' opinions. Any views expressed are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as an offer, an endorsement, or inducement to invest. Illustrations, forecasts or hypothetical data are not guaranteed and are provided for illustrative purposes only. There are risks involved in buying or selling a financial product. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Any investment values given are not guaranteed. Investment returns can be volatile. When investing there is always the risk of losing all or a substantial amount of your investment, as well as the risk of illiquidity. There may be advertisements on some pages on this website, and we may earn income from these advertisements. We may earn commission on products invested in or annuities purchased. We cannot attest to the accuracy of the material presented here, and opinions expressed may be changed without prior notice. In any event our liability will be limited to R1, and any court cases must take place in Cape Town. You may contact us at