A financial advisor or financial adviser is a professional that gives professional financial advice to clients depending on their current financial status. These advisors can be found everywhere, from the high street banks to internet based companies. In most countries, financial advisers must first complete certain training and then be registered with a relevant regulatory body in order to give professional advice. The regulatory body will give its opinion as to whether the financial adviser is able to give financial advice in line with his client’s needs and requirements. Regulators will check that the advisor has a proper knowledge of UK legislation and that he acts in accordance with the code of practice laid down by the FSA (Financial Services Authority).
There are different types of financial advisors. One of the main roles of a financial advisor or wealth manager is to help their clients achieve their wealth goals. Some advisors will advise their clients on how to invest their wealth and achieve specific wealth objectives. Others will help their clients organise an investment strategy.
Many financial advisors and wealth managers also offer insurance products such as pensions and life cover. They will help their clients compare insurance products in order to find the best deal. They may also be able to recommend the right products and insurance policies for their clients according to their current needs and circumstances. Some financial advisors and wealth managers also offer investment advice on how to invest their portfolios.
Financial advisors and wealth managers can be found in many places including the Financial Services Authority, British Financial Service Authority and Life Insurance Agents Association of Great Britain. Financial advice is not regulated in the UK and so many advisors offer financial advice that they are not regulated. This means that they may give advice that they are not qualified to give. Financial advisors and wealth managers may also recommend commercial products such as pension and life cover that are not regulated.
Financial advisors and wealth management advisors will also give you advice that contradicts regulatory guidelines. For example some advisors may recommend you buy shares in a company that is currently undergoing a bullish period. The Financial Services Authority has placed a number of limitations on this practice and has stressed that it should not be allowed to happen. If an investment advisor or financial planner refuses to follow the guidelines put forward by the FSA, it is up to you to take action.
You should be asking a number of questions when seeking the services of an advisor. These questions should include how much does a financial advisor cost, what is their remuneration and what is their fiduciary standard. You should also ask about their experience in financial planning and their suitability for your needs. Many advisors have a number of years experience in financial planning and can therefore provide you with professional advice but remember that experience alone is not enough if their advice conflicts with UK law.