Have you ever known that you weren’t getting the best deal but just stuck with what you had?

A savvy mate was recently telling me how he has insurance to protect his income (a good idea), the same policy for years. Yet he has this sinking feeling it’s not the best out there.

Trouble is, he doesn’t know where to turn for good, independent financial advice and information. Where do you find advice that doesn’t just funnel you into something worse?

So he stays put.

Getting advice can be fraught. First, there are not enough advisers to go around. Second, most people can’t get independent advice because they don’t have enough funds to manage. Yet they still need financial advice.

Financial advice is particularly complicated because of the different types of financial advisers and the many ways they earn their money. Many financial advisers only get paid if you buy, sell or change something, since they’re paid for transactions or on commission.

The good news is the government is reviewing the financial advice regime, aiming to make advice more available to us all. But they need to hear your views to make things better: this short online survey will be open until 22 July. 

When you’re looking for a financial adviser, ideally the best ones:

  • Do what’s right for you, not for them. Sure, financial advisers need to make a living like the rest of us, but you as the client need to stay front and centre.
  • Advise you, not sell you. That way the financial adviser does not have any conflict of interest, no reason to steer you into a product that’s not right for your situation.

To find the best financial advisers, it’s worth asking them sharp questions. “How do you get paid?” is one of the best. Here are some more.

It can be expensive to hire financial advisers. It can also be costly to try to go it alone and not take advice.

But poor advice? That can cost you the most. 

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