September 25th, 2023

The number of financial planners is increasing. Here’s how your clients can choose wisely

In the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’s 2022 retail intermediary market data report, it is revealed that the number of staff advising on investment products has increased for the third year in a row.

Indeed, in 2022, there were a total of 28,227 financial planners in operation, with 37,381 posts available across all firms in the UK.

This is, of course, fantastic news for our profession – ultimately, a greater number of financial planners means more people can seek the advice they need. Yet without knowing where to look for high-quality advice, your clients could find themselves overwhelmed by choice. 

Keep reading to find out how your clients can find a planner to suit their needs, and the qualities that stand out among experienced financial planners.

Independence is an essential facet of client-focused financial planning

When someone calls themselves a “financial planner” or “financial adviser”, there are plenty of different qualifications and standpoints that qualify those terms. But from your client’s point of view, most financial planners could seem relatively similar.

One key differentiator that your clients can look for when browsing planners’ websites is independence. There are broadly two types of advice available in the UK: restricted and independent. 

Here’s a little about each of these terms, and how financial planners in each of these categories work. 

Restricted financial advice

According to the FCA report, 12% of firms provided restricted advice in 2022.

Restricted financial advice can mean that:

  • Financial planners do not have access to all financial products on the market, but rather a select few. This means they may only be able to recommend a select few products which may not be the most suitable for the client they’re serving.
  • They may only be able to advise on a certain area of your client’s finances, such as pensions or investments. 

Independent financial advice

Here at Prosser Knowles, we offer only independent advice – and for good reason. Independent planners can:

  • Access all financial products on the market, including a wide range of investment solutions and protection options
  • Give advice based on the needs and goals of the client, rather than following a pre-determined advice route
  • Create a bespoke financial plan in line with each individual’s needs. 

When your clients are looking to form a relationship with a financial planner, putting them in touch with an independent expert could be a great place to start. 

Independence gives financial planners total freedom to act in your client’s best interests, whereas restricted advice may simply follow a prescriptive advice path without much flexibility.

Holistic financial planning can help your clients forge a clear life path

You may be thinking: “Beyond independence, what makes a ‘good’ financial planner?”

The answer to this question is entirely subjective – but in our experience, independence is only one piece of the puzzle. The other crucial piece is all about the financial planner’s approach, not to money, but to the human side of advice.

Indeed, you and your clients may assume that financial planning starts and ends with facts, figures, projections, and data, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

While independent financial planners can break down the jargon and explain this data to your clients at any time, it’s the personal relationship they form that can help them most of all. 

Holistic financial planning involves taking a client’s ambitions for their future and helping to turn them into a reality. To do so, a financial planner has to do more than simply look at the data – they have to look at the person in front of them, too.

As independent, human-centred financial planners, we can: 

  • Meet your client in their preferred environment (in our office, on video chat, or in their home) and discuss their options openly
  • Listen carefully to their story and learn their most treasured goals for the future
  • Help them prioritise the most important aspects to them in the short, medium, and long terms
  • Hear their worries and provide reassurance
  • Get to work forming a bespoke financial plan that takes all the above aspects into account.

So, when your clients are searching for a financial planner, it’s crucial to consider more than just the credentials on their business card. 

Finding a financial planner who can become an active part of building your client’s future can help empower them to take the steps they want to succeed – whatever that means to them.

Get in touch

We’re here to advise you and your clients on all aspects of financial planning. If you have clients that would benefit from advice, or you’re interested in how you can work more closely with us, please get in touch. Email or call 01905 619 100.

Please note

This article is no substitute for financial advice and should not be treated as such. To determine the best course of action for your individual circumstances, please contact us.

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