A financial consultant or financial adviser is someone that gives financial advice to customers according to their individual financial circumstances. The basic function of financial advisers is to help people achieve their financial goals by providing advice on saving and spending, as well as general investing. In the UK, a Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulates the financial industry, ensuring that the highest standards of practice are maintained.
In the United Kingdom, there are two regulatory bodies that provide oversight and regulation for the financial industry. The Financial Services Authority, or FSA, is the independent regulator of financial advisors and investment companies. The FSA checks that financial advisors and investment companies have the correct business values, are operating in an appropriate way, and are following good customer care principles. The Financial Services Authority also enforces rules against inappropriate trading and practices, as well as for fraud and corruption. Financial advisers must also undergo certain regulated training and take an exam that proves they understand the products they are offering.
There are many services that financial advisors offer their customers. These include retirement and pension plans, asset protection planning, estate planning, and financial investment advice. They can also assist with setting up savings and investment portfolios, as well as advice on tax planning. They can also help their clients manage their money and assets. Financial advisers can also help people with their mortgages and borrowing, such as setting up a loan package and payment plan, and negotiating the best deal possible on mortgage payments. Financial advice is also often sought after by individuals when it comes to purchasing a home or making improvements to their current home.
While most financial advisors work independently, there are also independent brokers that trade on behalf of financial institutions. Most of the time, investment advisors are registered brokers, working for one particular firm or another. Brokers sometimes consult with individual clients, but generally work on their own accounts. The main advantage of having a broker is that he or she has access to various investment products and helps in managing those products.
Other types of financial advisors focus on providing advice directly to their clients. Some focus solely on stock market investing, others may have specific areas of the market that they specialize in. Still others may work exclusively with clients who have complex financial portfolios, such as pension funds, asset protection, real estate, and the money market. Many financial planners also act as advisers to groups of people, usually corporate clients. These planners can meet individually with clients or as representatives for several companies.
After determining what type of financial advisors you need, you will need to determine what qualifications your potential advisors should have. Before you do that, you should determine if you want to work with full-time or part-time employees. Full-time workers typically command higher salaries and are more committed to the job. Part-time workers tend to earn less but are better compensated in other ways. You should also take the time to evaluate the education and experience of your potential financial advisor. You will likely be hiring someone with significant experience in the field, so it is crucial that you choose an advisor with ample knowledge and experience for your type of business.