What is an IFA?
Independent financial advisers (IFAs) offer unbiased financial advice to their clients and recommend the most suitable products, after researching the whole market. The key differentiator is that they act on your behalf and can consider any solution or provider in the whole market.
OTHER TYPES OF FINANCIAL ADVISER
Many people buy financial products through restricted agents who can only advise on the products of a limited selection of providers and are restricted in the choice of solutions they can offer their clients, such as the sales staff who work at their bank or building society. When they want a pension or investment product they often find it easier just to nip into their bank and accept what is sold through that organisation's relationship with one or a few financial product providers. The person providing you with product information are acting on behalf of the company they are employed by or have a tied relationship with. Many people buy products this way, usually because they feel more comfortable buying from a big name organisation and assuming, sometimes incorrectly, that they are bound to get a good deal. What they are actually getting is limited information from a small selection of products.
THE ADVANTAGES OF USING AN INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVISER
The big advantage of independent financial advice is that you have access to all the products on the market through a qualified practitioner. An IFAs job is to research and recommend the most appropriate financial solutions after asking their clients a whole range of detailed questions about their circumstances, their financial goals and their attitudes to risk. IFAs are answerable to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that they keep to the rules. As they act on your behalf they provide personalised written reasons why they have recommended particular products or a course of action.
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