Independent Financial Advice – Consumer Guide

Where to find Independent Financial Advice

If you choose to seek Independent Financial Advice, don’t just go to the first IFA you stumble across in a telephone directory. It is crucial to take more control of the process right from the start to be sure you end up with the right IFA for you. If you don’t already have an IFA, you can search online at for IFAs that most closely match your location and specific requirements.

The ‘Find an IFA‘ search now allows you to select an IFA based on a number of criteria, to ensure you are matched with the best IFA to suit your needs. There are a number of factors you should consider when selecting an IFA…

  1. Location: is it important to have your IFA’s office near your home or your place of work?

  2. Areas of Expertise: some advisers focus on particular product areas so take care to choose the right one for your specific needs. Some solicitors offer independent financial advice, as do stockbrokers and accountants, but you should realise that accountants, for instance, will probably be strongest on tax issues. If you know what sort of advice you require, then select an adviser who specialises in this area. If you want advice across a range of products then select one who has strengths across the board.

  3. Qualifications: You can select an IFA based on their advanced qualifications across a range of products or across a particular product area. Information on IFA qualifications is available for consumers on which will help you with the selection process.

  4. Online presence: Consider if it is important for your IFA to have a website or is able to communicate via email.

  5. Philosophy: You may want to deal with an IFA who focuses on ethical investments.

  6. Type of IFA: would you prefer a male or female IFA? Many men as well as women feel more comfortable seeking money advice from a woman or vice versa, and you can select an IFA on this basis.

  7. Recommendation: if a friend or relative has had a good experience with a particular adviser, that can often be a great route and be highly reassuring – but be aware that your financial circumstances and needs may be different to theirs. Alternatively, if an IFA catches your eye that you know nothing about, ask them to provide the details of customers who are happy to talk to you.

Just like any other product or service you buy, shopping around for advice is crucial. It is important for you to get on with your IFA, especially since you will need to share a certain amount of personal information with the adviser.

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