Financial advisors assess the financial needs of individuals and help them with investments (such as stocks and bonds), tax laws, and insurance decisions. They help clients plan for short-term and long-term goals, such as education expenses and retirement. They recommend investments to match the clients' goals.

What are the duties of a financial advisor?

Financial advisors advise clients on investments, taxes, estate planning, college savings accounts, insurance, mortgages, and retirement. They are also known as a personal financial advisor, financial planner, financial adviser, financial service advisor and investment adviser.

When do I need financial advice?

There will probably be times in your life when you're not sure what to do with your money or what decisions you need to make about your financial future. There are thousands of different financial products on offer and choosing between them can be difficult.

If you have little experience of dealing with finances or you're confused about making a decision, it may be helpful to get professional financial advice.

Are there key decisions a financial adviser can help me with?

A financial adviser can help with things like:

  • planning for your retirement

  • investing or saving money

  • making the most of a lump sum of money such as a redundancy payment or an inheritance

  • buying a property or taking out a mortgage

  • when your life changes for example, you're starting a family, getting divorced or you've been widowed.

What can a financial adviser do for me?

Financial advisers provide guidance and recommendations on complex financial products. These include: Pensions Investments Life and health insurance Tax and inheritance planning Mortgages and equity release Long-term care planning

 Do I really need a financial adviser?

If you're looking for something pretty straightforward, such as a savings account or cash Isa, then you may be able to make an informed decision yourself. But for more complex products, such as pensions and investments, getting expert advice can be crucial, so that you don't end up with something unsuitable. That's where a financial adviser comes in.  A financial adviser can scour the market to find investments and products that are tailored to your circumstances, and help you personally plan for the things you want to do with your money in the future. Financial advisers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and have a strict code of conduct and rules to stick to. Once you've decided you need the help of a financial adviser, the next step is selecting one. 

Are there different types of financial adviser?

Financial advisers look at your personal circumstances and your financial plans and recommend products to help you meet your needs.

There are two types of financial advisers:

  • independent financial advisers (IFAs) give unbiased advice about the whole range of financial products from all the different companies available

  • restricted advisers give advice on a limited range of products. They may specialise in one area, for example pensions, or they may only offer advice on products offered by a limited number of companies.

It's usually best to get independent financial advice so that you can look at the widest range of advice and products available.

How do I check if I’m getting the right advice?

When you see an adviser they should give you the right kind of advice for your financial needs. 

The financial products that an adviser recommends should:

  • be affordable for you

  • take account of whether you want to save for the long or short term

  • be suitable for the amount of risk you want to take

  • take account of whether you pay tax.

Are there limits on what a financial adviser can do?

An adviser only has to give you the right kind of advice within the limits of what they are qualified to do. For example, if you see a restricted adviser, they will only recommend a suitable product for you from the range of products they sell. A restricted adviser doesn't have to tell you that you could buy a similar product from another company at a cheaper price. If you later find this out, you would not be able to complain.

For this reason, it might be better to go to an independent financial adviser who will be able to look at products from the whole of the market.

Who regulates financial advisors in UK?

The FCA is the UK's financial regulator and sets rules that firms employing financial advisers must follow when providing advice and selling financial products.

What is an independent financial advisor?

If an adviser says they are independent, their advice must be: based on a comprehensive analysis of the market unbiased, with no influence from product providers

What qualifications does a financial advisor have to have?

 All advisers now have to meet QCF level 4 – the equivalent of the first year of a degree. The Financial Services Skills Partnership has also created new Appropriate Exam Standards (AES), which awarding bodies use to develop new qualifications. Under QCF level 4, the subject areas IFAs must be qualified in are: regulation and ethics investment principles and risk personal taxation pensions and retirement planning financial protection (Level 3)  financial planning practice

Are there other valid financial advisor qualifications?

Chartered financial planner (as held by Chris Riley, Founder and CEO Of Seventy Financial Planning) – to achieve chartered status, and adviser must pass at least four specialist exams, be a member of the Personal Finance Society (PFS), and have evidence of at least five years of financial planning experience.

Being a member of the PFS means they must adhere to a code of professional ethics and demonstrate continued professional development each year.

The chartered seal is a well-respected quality mark in financial advice and other professions.


Start planning your future. Speak to us today.

Contact Us

Seventy Financial Planning
The Apple Store, Haggs Farm,
Haggs Road, Follifoot, Harrogate,

01423 611004

[email protected]

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