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What’s a financial adviser, how do I get one and why should I?

Updated: Feb 17

Getting a financial adviser means getting guidance on financial matters, from mortgages to investments – whatever you need to help you manage your money.




You might have heard your parents, friends or colleagues use the term “financial adviser” – and you might have thought “oh sounds like only someone with loads of money would ever use a financial adviser – right?”


Wrong!


Anyone can get guidance from a financial adviser. In fact, the best person to help you manage your money and hit your financial goals is a financial adviser – they’re the experts. And you definitely don’t need to be a Boomer with £££ investments, assets and all that shebang to get one.


You may be thinking of getting a financial adviser, maybe you’re not sure if you need one or how to get one, or maybe you’re against the whole idea – wherever you are, I’m giving you the lowdown on financial advice here - explaining how a financial adviser can help you and why you should consider getting in touch with one!


What’s a financial adviser?

Financial advisers provide clients (which could be you!) with specialist advice on how to manage their money. They’ll chat to you about how you want to grow and use your money, and then research products and services available on the market that could work for you.


There are two types of adviser: restricted or tied and independent advisers. Restricted advisers only offer advice on a particular range of products or from particular companies. And independent advisers consider all products and providers available for you (we’ll let you make the decision yourself on which one you want to go for eh?).


When do I need to get a financial adviser?

Usually, most people tend to get a financial adviser when they buy their first home – after all, houses are a pretty significant investment!


But as Squigglers, money is just a means to many ends – not just the traditional settling down in a family home and having kids (good on you for committing to that path, I know Zayne definitely couldn’t, what with all his commitment issues).


You could also consider getting a financial adviser when you decide to start contributing to your pension pot (for those who think wayyyy into the future – in a good way!), making investments and growing your money (for those who want to bring in that passive income) or even if you’d like to manage your debts better.


What are the benefits of getting a financial adviser?

Ok, I think the best way to explain this in Squiggler terms is using a social media manager as an example.


Yes, most companies or small businesses can manage their own social media – after all it’s just posting something that engages your audience, right? While that is true, there’s so much more in social media management and engagement like paid promotions, influencer strategies, algorithms, etc that only an expert (like someone trained in social media management) would be aware of and have the tools to use them to their advantage.


In the same way – yes, you can get money guidance online or from friends and family (which is fantastic) but the real experts are financial advisers. You get access to their full knowledge of the market, how various products work and they will recommend the best financial


products for you (some which you might never have thought of - like income protection insurance or life insurance).


Plus, financial advice can often be free, so you don’t have to worry about the “you’ve gotta spend money to make money” mantra in this case.


Busting the myths about financial advice

So, here’s what I overheard in the flat while the others have been chatting about financial advice:


Jo: I don’t need advice I’m great with money

That’s great, Jo. But it’s important to remember that just because we’re good at saving and budgeting doesn’t make you a financial expert.


Anna: Advice is complicated and takes too much time

Anna, advisers will be flexible and book appointments to suit clients. And a good financial adviser makes things simple, by helping you understand the products and why they’re recommending them – you’re not going into it blind! And they’ll be able to explain all that jargon floating around in the financial world.


Zayne: They’re just trying to sell me something to make money

Well, definitely, there’s no denying that. While many financial advisers receive commission for products that you buy, it may not cost anything to get the advice. Advisers can recommend the best products on the market, but it’s still your choice to take the advice (your money, your choice).


Jo: I will never hear from them again! Really, they shouldn’t be trusted.

Ok, this has got more to do with your trust issues than financial advisers, Jo. Good financial advice is about building long-term relationships with clients based on trust – and that takes time.


Also, anyone providing financial advice in the UK needs to meet strict qualification requirements and will be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Always check their credentials and research if you want to be fully confident of the adviser you are dealing with. You can check the financial services register too to make sure your adviser is on there and legit!


How do I get a financial adviser?

Ah, now we’ve got to the real question.


You can go the traditional route and ask for recommendations from family and friends. That way, you know you can trust the financial adviser you’re dealing with because your family or friends do (sometimes, word of mouth is the best advertisement).


Or you can go the more modern way of Googling (although definitely do some deep digging like we mentioned before on the financial advisers you find before you decide on going with one). There are also a few trusted websites like unbiased.co.uk or vouchedfor.co.uk that you can have a look on too.


Conclusion

We have to acknowledge the fact that times are changing, and the wealth gap between generations isn’t something you can just ignore – so no you may not have hundreds of thousands of pounds to your name, but you’ve still got finances to manage!


Whilst taking that into consideration, anyone can benefit from a financial adviser, no matter what you want to do with your money or how much you want to make your money grow. And I get it, it can be intimidating to get a financial adviser or think of yourself saying I’ve got an appointment with my financial adviser – but also think of how much of a boss you’ll feel like being responsible and making your money work for you!