Advisers

'Advice' must be unbiased and independent. Otherwise it's not advice - it's selling


Financial management is difficult and you will almost certainly benefit from advice.

Until you become a net saver, and therefore an investor, you should be able to obtain all the advice you need from free sources.

Once you start to save good advice is almost certainly worth 1/2% of your first £10,000, and the advice will be just as applicable for your first million.

You are going to live 40 years from your first £10,000 aren't you? 1/2% for 40 years is £2,000 (roughly). So why don't you spend half of that at the beginning of your financial life to set you on the right path for the rest of it? If you are saving for the long term it's what you have at the end that matters, not what you have at the beginning. Start with £9,000 instead of £10,000.

An adviser should charge you a fee, not a commission. More, he must charge all his clients fees and he must not take commissions from anybody. Otherwise he is not unbiased.

There is no single qualification or designation that guarantees you are getting real advice. The advice industry before the regulatory changes of 2014 was taking £6 billion per year off the consumer in return for acting as the sales channel of a financial products industry. Things are different now, but it's still a big industry and it only has one source of profit and that is you.

Advisers don't need to be clever - just honest. (Simple Investing only needs simple advice). Try a local accountant (making sure that is all he is) or a solicitor. And for anything more serious be ruthless in understanding your adviser's source of income.