The pandemic has driven up demand for financial advice, according to new research, and has prompted many people to think more about their priorities.
Just over a year since lockdown measures started, more than half (53%) of UK adults say the financial crisis caused by the pandemic has prompted them to seek advice, according to Prudential UK’s ‘Family Wealth Unlocked’ report. Of these, a third have already sought advice and one in five are planning to. Investments losing money, having a reduced income, being made redundant and getting into debt are among the list of financial worries that people are looking for help with.
A separate report from Aegon and Next Wealth found that four out of 10 advisers had seen demand for retirement advice increase alongside the pandemic.
The cost of financial advice
The amount you’ll pay for financial advice can vary considerably and will depend on a range of different factors, including how complex your financial affairs are, how well-qualified your adviser is, whether you want one-off or ongoing advice, and the way you pay.
For example, some advisers might charge a percentage of the amount you want to invest, whilst others might charge a set fee for the work, or they may charge you an hourly rate. According to the Money Advice Service, hourly rates can vary from around £75 to £350 an hour, although the average rate in the UK is about £150 an hour.
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There will be additional charges if you want your adviser to manage your finances on an ongoing basis. According to Unbiased.co.uk, a typical independent financial advisor fee might be between 0.25% and 1%, although if your circumstances are particularly complicated you may be charged more than this.
Unbiased has a useful cost of advice tool which enables you to calculate how much you might expect to pay in various different financial advice scenarios.
Where to go for guidance
There are plenty of free sources of help if you need guidance on financial issues.
For example, if you’re looking for pensions help, are aged 50 or over and have a defined contribution pension, you can get free guidance available on the options available to at retirement you from the Government’s Pension Wise service (telephone 0800 138 3944).
The Pensions Advisory Service (telephone 0800 011 3797) can also provide guidance on pensions and has online planning tools to help you make sure your pension is working for you.
Money Advice Service (telephone 0800 138 7777)
Bear in mind that none of these services can provide you with personal recommendations based on your individual circumstances, so if you want someone to help manage your money on your behalf, you’ll need to use the services of a financial adviser.
You can find a regulated financial adviser via the website Vouchedfor.co.uk. You put in your postcode and which type of adviser you’re looking for and the site will come up with professionals in your area, along with reviews for each of them. You can also search for an adviser online on the website Unbiased.co.uk. Both sites are free to use.