Can I see a financial adviser FREE of charge?

The simple answer is Yes.

Sometimes all you need is an assurance that you are doing the right thing. If it is that simple, not many advisers will charge for that. Sometimes you can do a straightforward piece of work yourself – when you know what you need to do. Again, few will charge for pointing you in the right direction.

Be aware that there are two basic types of adviser, one is tied to a product provider, and the other is fully independent. The independent adviser draws on the entire marketplace when providing solutions for you. A tied adviser offers solutions from a restricted range of one or more providers.

At an initial meeting (sometimes referred to as a fact-finding meeting) – you should challenge the adviser about their qualifications and experience before providing any information. The adviser will set out their suitability, what they do, the timescale and how they charge for the work you engage them to provide.

It is best to have a holistic review (looking at you and your needs, hopes and objectives as a whole) rather than restricting the conversation to one area or priority. Sometimes one aspect of your circumstances, experience or views can have a profound impact on other matters. Understanding how one subject can impact another needs skill and expertise and will affect the outcome.

If the initial meeting gets to this level of detail, the adviser will invite you to engage their services and set out what costs are likely to be involved. Sometimes payment of professional advice is made from the solution. For example, when moving old pensions into a modern set-up, the adviser can take the fee from transfer value if you authorise it. 

Most professional services are paid for by one of three main charging structures:

  • A fixed fee
  • A percentage of assets
  • An hourly rate.

Sometimes there could be a combination of charges.

The advisor will explain all of this in an engagement letter, so you will know what costs are involved based on what you want to do.

Ongoing Service

Some financial advice and solutions may require very little ongoing advice or administration. Other matters such as investments and pensions really ought to be reviewed regularly – for which there is usually a modest fee paid from the plan. 

The COVID – 19 pandemic has been a game-changer in investment portfolios. If your investments have not had a recent review, I recommend that you do this to ensure your circumstances and investments match perfectly. 

Always ask if there are any ongoing costs and what you will get for your money. You should be satisfied that the review process will meet your needs and be value for money.

Eamonn Dorling Dip PFS, Senior Independent Financial Adviser

For help with Money Management, PensionsInvestment and Savings and Financial Planning, please call us on 01733 314553 or email us at