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Sound financial advice is an investment for the future
A new era in financial advice has arrived delivering greater transparency for consumers and higher professional standards. It enables people to be better informed about the products and services available to achieve their financial goals and objectives.
Here we demonstrate what the new approach means to you and how to get the most out of financial planning.
From 1st January 2013, the way consumers benefit from financial advice for investments has changed to deliver greater transparency and peace of mind. The regulations have been introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority and include three main features: clearer fees and charges from financial planners, distinction between types of advice offered, and higher professional standards.
The changes have been welcomed by leading bodies and organisations. At Questa, we believe the new measures will help more people benefit from strategic financial advice whether that's building a pension pot, saving for university fees or ensuring a strong financial future for beneficiaries.
Facts and Figures
The new era in financial advice and planning has been introduced as a result of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR). The new rules affect the way advice is delivered and how it's paid for.
Paying for advice
Consumers have always paid for financial advice either in the form of fees or through commission from a product provider. From now on, consumers pay a fee for the financial advice they receive which can be paid directly or taken out of money accrued in investments. The changes do not affect existing commission that an adviser receives on products bought before 31st December 2012.
The type of advice offered
Advisers will either be independent or restricted depending on the nature of the advice they provide.
Independent: Advice on all the financial products available in the marketplace without any restrictions or bias towards a particular product provider.
Restricted: An adviser may specialise in a specific area of investment such as pensions and work with a selected number of product providers.
All financial planners are now required to hold a higher minimum qualification which is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree covering a broad range of advice areas including investments, investment risk, pension regulation and tax. They will also have to spend at least 35 hours each year studying as part of continuing professional development.
Accredited financial planners will hold a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) which demonstrates that they meet these new professional standards.
At Questa we also have Chartered status demonstrating that we are regulated by a strict code of ethics and the highest standards of professional competence.
Questa is one of only a small number of financial planners in the North West to hold Chartered status, awarded by the Chartered Institute of Insurance.
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