The rising cost of living is squeezing the
finances of people across the UK (not sure of the relevance of mentioning a
specific area?). In the wake of his 2022 Autumn Statement, chancellor Jeremy
Hunt warned of "real
challenges" yet to come too. But what if you're already struggling to
make ends meet? Or do you have concerns about what increased interest rates may
mean? A financial adviser is someone you can turn to for help and advice.
The different areas you can get advice on
The role of a financial adviser is to provide
support that's unique to your personal situation. A major benefit of talking to
one is that you can get tailored advice on your money matters.
When it comes to choosing a financial adviser,
there are two types to choose from. If you're interested in receiving impartial
expertise, an independent financial adviser (IFA) is the best option for this.
Alternatively, you can also talk to a restricted adviser – someone who
specialises in certain products or select providers.
The products you can get advice on range from
savings accounts to pensions, insurance, or mortgages. They'll also make sure
you're aware of the implications of any decisions you take – like the impact of taking
out a loan or switching from a fixed rate to a variable rate mortgage.
How to find an adviser that's right for you
Your choice of financial adviser is an important
one, so it's wise to take your time when considering which one is best for you.
First and foremost, make sure they're qualified
and registered. All financial advisers in the UK must be Level 4 (or above) in
the Qualifications and Credit Framework. In addition, they need to have a
Statement of Professional Standing. Lastly, advisers must register with the
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can check the Financial Services Register to see if
Here are some questions that are worthwhile considering
when you're seeking the help of an adviser: whether they are qualified in the
area that's relevant to you (e.g., pensions). Do they have positive reviews from
others? And can you afford the solutions they may be recommending?
Getting financial support: Other solutions
Talking to a financial adviser is just one route
you can take to get help with your finances. You don't have to take that option,
nor is it an option that works for everyone.
You might find that it's easier or more helpful
for you to talk to organisations that give free financial guidance such as StepChange or the government-backed
MoneyHelper service. However, there's an important distinction to make when
using one of these organisations.
Unlike financial advisers, these organisations
offer guidance – not advice. This means you can get an overview of all your
options, for example, when you're trying to reduce your debt levels. But they
can't make any suggestions or recommendations.
You also have the option to talk to your bank or
lender to see if they can help when you're struggling, too.
However, the important thing to remember, is
that you're not alone. There are plenty of options available to you if you
need support with your money.
Although, if you're seeking a firm answer or recommendation, it maybe the right for you to find a financial adviser that works for you.