When providing financial advice there are two types, Independent Financial Advice (IFA) and Restricted Advice. But what are the differences and how does this affect the advice you receive?

Independent Financial Advice

As the name suggests, if an adviser or company is advertised as an independent financial adviser, they should consider all types of retail investment products for clients from all firms across the market. A retail investment product refers to all packaged, publicly marketed financial products that have exposure to underlying assets such as stocks and bonds that provide a return over time, and have an element of risk.

Whilst this does mean that an independent financial adviser should research all providers and their products for each individual they advise, as you can imagine, due to the vast number of providers and products available, if an adviser is to consider all of them, the focus on your objectives could be reduced in place of a focus on the multitude of providers and policies.

Restricted Advice

A restricted adviser can only recommend certain products or providers however, this may not mean that they are tied in with these providers. As is the case with Howard Wright, these restrictions could have been self-imposed following whole of market research, to remove certain products or providers that do not allow delivery of the advice proposition.

What are these restrictions for Howard Wright?

For certain investment products, Howard Wright maintain a provider panel for use by our clients. The panel has been compiled from undertaking whole of market research and is reviewed on a regular basis. Investment products where a panel is provided are as follows:

  • Life policies with an investment element
  • Personal Pensions and Self Invested Personal Pensions
  • ISAs and Collective Investment Arrangements
  • Unit Trust and OEIC Funds
  • Investment Linked and Drawdown Pension arrangements
  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

For other investment products, Howard Wright will employ the use of external research tools to assess a ‘range of providers’ for each individual client. These products are as follows:

  • Pension Annuities (non-investment linked)
  • Structured Deposit Arrangements and other Cash based investments

Both independent financial advisers (IFA) and restricted advisers must have the same minimum level of qualifications to be able to advise in these areas. At Howard Wright we have gone beyond the minimum to achieve the CII title of chartered financial planners. This is the gold standard of the industry and an assurance that we operate to the highest standards within the industry.

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