It’s important for potential clients to clearly understand the financial advice process and how that works.
Financial advice is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Financial Advisers must be qualified in order to provide advice. Financial advice can only be given if the Financial Adviser has taken the time to gather all the relevant information about your circumstances and your requirements. You can’t simply say “what’s the best pension”, or “I’m thinking of investing in XYZ – is that OK” the answer will always be “I’m not sure, it will depend on your current circumstances and your requirements”.
In order to receive advice, you will need to provide all the necessary information to your financial adviser and they will then assess your individual circumstances and requirements and then make recommendations (in writing), about what’s best for you. To provide advice and recommendations, your Financial Adviser will charge you for the work they do. So, financial advice is not free, there will always be a charge.
However, in the first instance most Financial Advisers will offer a free initial meeting, usually face to face, but it could be over the telephone if you prefer. At that meeting, your adviser will explain how the advice process works as well as their charges, but they will also have an initial discussion about your circumstances and requirements. It may be, after having that initial discussion that your adviser will tell you that actually, you don’t need advice and there’s no need to pay anything. If that’s the case, then that “advice” would be free of charge.
Some Financial Advisers (including Christina Clegg Financial Planning Services), might also offer a Free Pension or Free Mortgage Review. This type of Free Review, involves obtaining details about your current pension or mortgage and then providing you with a summary of that information. That summary along with the initial information you’ve also provided about your circumstances and requirements can be useful in helping you to understand whether you should pay for advice or not. The summary of information is not advice, its simply information, but it is given free of charge.
So, in summary, the answer is -no – we don’t provide any financial advice free of charge. But, we do provide an initial meeting free of charge and a pension or mortgage review and summary, free of charge. It makes sense to take advantage of this free review offer, because research has shown that clients who use financial advisers will be significantly better off in the longer term.
Finally, just to re-iterate, you can’t ask us to confirm whether the arrangements you currently have, or are considering, are right for you, without paying for that advice.