There will always be a cost for your adviser's service, however, how this is paid for
differs in a numbers of ways which can be chosen to best suit your needs. Customers pay for
advice in three main ways...
By paying the adviser a fee, either at an hourly rate or through a fee for the whole
job. This is known as 'fees only' advice. Fees vary, typically from £50 to
£200 an hour. Often the first half hour is free at the initial meeting, or in
some cases the whole meeting is without charge, where you can get to know each other.
Some advisers will offer the opportunity to pay for on-going servicing, such as regular
valuations, via a retainer fee.
By paying indirectly through commission, which is deducted by the product provider from
the products you may take out. Often there is not only a commission charged for setting
up a plan but there may also be annual commissions on top, known as trail commission.
By paying a combination of fees and commission. The adviser could rebate commission
back into the financial products and/or offset it against the fee.
Everyone can choose to pay their IFA by a fee rather than commission, if they want to. In
the past the majority of consumers tended to opt for commission. In the future there may
well be a shift towards more people paying fees and this will be explained under the 'menu'
of adviser charging arrangements which your adviser is now required to give to you. Most
importantly only an IFA has to offer a choice of payment options i.e. paying by fee or
commission or a combination of the two.