Independent Financial Advisers or IFAs provide the most comprehensive financial advice in the UK. They are well trained and experienced advisers who understand very complex financial and taxation issues. Whatever type of financial advice you require, we will always recommend you seek advice from an IFA. BUt just what can you expect, what do Independent Financial Advisers actually do?
The amount of work an IFA needs to do on your behalf very much depends on your own financial position and what you have asked the IFA to advise on. The main aspects of a IFA’s role in providing sound financial advice are:
Getting to know you
Once the IFA has explained what their company does, they should explain their fee structure and provide you with some standard disclosure documents and terms of business. These outline how the IFA works and how they will be paid. Before any advice can be given the IFA needs to find out about you. Generally they will complete a fact find document which will ask about your employment, finances, investments, debts, attitude to risk and future goals to name just a few. This helps the IFA build up a picture of where you are at the moment and where you want to be later in life. It is important to be open and honest in providing this information.
What you want
The adviser can now talk more specifically about why you need financial advice. Do you want help with pensions, an inheritance or perhaps a mortgage or commercial loan? Now your own circumstances are much clearer, the IFA can start to form a view on how best to proceed with your needs. The IFA will discuss various options to seek your opinion and will mention different ways of achieving the same goal as many people will want different things. They may begin to recommend different ways forward to check they are accommodating your wishes correctly.
At the first meeting the IFA found out lots of information about you and what advice you would like. The adviser now needs to research all the options open to you to seek the best one. This is a complex task which depending on the type of advice you require can take many hours. Some of the aspects researched will include:
- Charges and fees in relation to any insurance, investment or pension plans
- Investment risk and past investment performance
- Flexibility of any plans
- Financial stability of provider companies
- Taxation issues
- Government legislation
Once the IFA has conducted their research they will formulate a view on what actions you need to take to achieve your goals.
After selecting the best option for you the IFA will present their findings and explain why they have chosen a particular product or service for you. Depending on the type of advice you have requested, this may be sufficient for your needs. If you also want the IFA to arrange any recommended products then they will be happy to provide extensive, personalised illustrations and will of course help with the paperwork etc.
All recommendations will be provided to you in writing.
Independent Financial Advisers are in the business of building long term client relationships. The IFA will offer to review your circumstances at regular intervals to ensure all is progressing smoothly.