What is a financial advisor, and what do they do?

1 min readLast updated November 3, 2023by Rachel Carey

Financial advisors can help you save for your goals and help improve your financial circumstances. Find out more.

Financial advisors can help you manage your money and achieve your financial goals. This article closely examines what financial advisors are and what they do.  

What is a financial advisor? 

Managing your finances can be tricky. There are many specialist terms to get to grips with, and with so many different ways of saving, budgeting and investing, it’s hard to know how best to plan for your future.  

Financial advisors are independent specialists who are experienced and knowledgeable in managing money. They are well-qualified and can help you do everything from saving money for retirement to making investments.  

A financial advisor offers you impartial advice on a range of different topics. Some of the most common areas in which people need help from a financial advisor include: 

  • Investment advice 

  • Retirement planning 

  • Estate planning 

  • Tax planning 

  • Savings and budgeting 

  • Financial planning  

What services does a financial advisor offer? 

Even people who are well-experienced when it comes to money management sometimes seek out the advice of a financial advisor.  

This is because when it comes to retirement, saving and mortgages, it’s hard to know how best to plan and how these changes will impact your finances.  

Financial advisors can do more than recommend policies and plans. A good advisor will also help educate you about how best to manage money. Managing money can be complex, but with the right advisor, you can start to understand some of the complex aspects of your finances.   

What are financial advisor fees? 

Financial advisors usually charge for their services in one of three ways: an hourly, flat or commission-based fee. Usually, your first consultation is free, as this is where you and your advisor will ask each other questions, and the advisor will determine how they can help. If you decide to move forward with an advisor, this is where you agree on a price.  

If an advisor charges an hourly fee, ensure you’re asking for a breakdown of all the work done and how long it took. Advisors charging a flat fee usually do so to help you carry out a one-time project. This could be investing, which won’t need long-term support.  

Some advisors may instead prefer a percentage-based fee. This is usually based on a percentage of the money you ask for advice.  

Are there scenarios where I legally need a financial advisor? 

There are no situations where having a financial advisor is a legal requirement. Instead, it’s good practice – especially when making big life decisions that will impact your financial future. After a long time spent saving and managing your money, the last thing you want is to accidentally incur taxes and fees that might affect your plans.  

What questions should I ask myself when seeking financial advice? 

If you’re searching for an advisor, it’s worth asking yourself a few questions: 

  • Are you planning for a specific goal? Whether you’re looking to save for a mortgage or plan your retirement, deciding on a fixed goal can help you focus your efforts. 

  • How much risk are you willing to take on? When making investments, you will need to determine how much risk you are willing to take in pursuit of your goals.  

  • Are you looking for advice or information? Some advisors will offer you both – but not all. Make sure to ask any prospective advisor about the different ways that they can help. 

  • Are you looking for one-off advice or ongoing support? Many financial advisors work with clients over a long period of time – however, this can be a more expensive option.  

How can I find the right advisor for me? 

Finding the right advisor can be tricky. How do you find the right person to meet your needs? Before engaging anyone’s services, make sure to find out their areas of expertise and whether they align with your goals.  

With the help of Unbiased, finding the right advisor can be even easier. Simply answer a few questions, and we will find your next advisor. Get started now.

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.