When you go to a lawyer or accountant for advice about your divorce you will get a bill based on the length of time they spend with you. Advice from an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) can be paid for in two different ways,
Fee or commission, get the best divorce advice and the best value
If you seek advice about your divorce finances from an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) it is quite likely they will receive their remuneration in the form of a commission payment from the provider of the product they recommend to you. Thus it could seem that the IFA's advice comes with no charge, it dosen't.
The another way to pay for your IFA's time and talent and that is a fee based system just like lawyers and accountants. This payment is for a defined amount of time/advice set against your specific investment objectives. IFA hourly rates are usually a great deal less than lawyers or accountants and often return a great deal more real value than their more expensive brethren.
Reconciling fees and commission
However, who would pay an adviser for the time it takes to prepare a recommendation when his rival round the corner is offering the same product and appears not to charge anything.
The way that this makes sense is for the commission received by the IFA to be returned to you and offset against the fee they charge. That way the cost of the advice is pretty much the same whichever way you pay for it. The advantage of this method of payment is the IFA will not be tempted to recommend a product with a higher commission rather than one which meets your needs more effectively .
Agree the payment method before the work begins
It is absolutely key that you discuss with the IFA the method of payment they propose for their advice. The fee based system will give you peace of mind that you know the costs involved right from the start and that the advice you receive will not be in any way affected by the IFA's need to sell you a particular product or indeed any product at all.
Get your first meeting free
Most IFAs will make the first meeting free. If they don't offer the first meeting free then ask for it. There is nothing wrong in getting the best from your IFA, after all it's your money and your future.
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