Why employ an IFA? When organising your personal finances online, unless you are an expert it can be difficult to know what products are the best, and how to make your money go further and work hard for you in the UK. Because of this, many people find it easier and in the long-run much less costly to seek financial advice from IFA's.
If you require financial advice, you can make an appointment with your bank or building society, pension provider or other financial institution, and they should have an advisor on hand to help you with your queries. However, because these advisers are paid to talk about their own company's products, they cannot give you advice about other companies' products. In other words, if one of their employer's competitors was offering a better mortgage deal than them, they would be unable to tell you about it.
Therefore if you want neutral and independent advice regarding any area of your finances, you should seek out an independent financial adviser (an IFA). A qualified IFA will be able to advise you on all aspects of your personal finances, from getting the best savings account and mortgage rates, to ways of cutting your tax bill, completing your tax return or saving money on any debt that you might have accumulated, whether through credit cards or personal loans, or even bank overdrafts and store cards.
An IFA will also be able to help you arrange a pension, something that many of us find one of the more complicated areas of our personal finances. If you have not already set up a pension, the Independent Financial Advisor will not only be able to give you information about the various products that are available on the market, but he or she will also be able to give you some idea about how much you should be paying into a scheme to secure your required standard of living when you retire. And if you are already paying into a pension fund, the IFA will be able to bring your attention to alternative and potentially superior pension schemes, as well as advising about the kind of retirement income you can expect to receive based on your current contributions.
Who regulates IFAs?
All IFAs are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The FSA is an independent non-governmental organisation and was awarded statutory authority in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.