Advisers may specialise in particular products, depending on their clients, e.g. selling employee pension schemes to companies or offering mortgage, pension or investment advice to private clients. Others are generalists, offering advice to clients in all of these areas, plus savings plans and insurance.
In order to give financial advice, advisers must have professional qualifications and follow strict financial industry rules.
Financial advisers may also be known as financial planners or wealth managers.
There are two different types of financial adviser and advice:
Independent advisers, also called independent financial advisers (IFAs), research and consider all retail investment products or providers available to meet the client's needs. They must provide clients with unbiased and unrestricted advice.
Restricted advisers only offer restricted advice, focusing on a limited range of products or on products from one or a limited number of providers.
All advisers must inform their clients, before providing advice, whether they provide independent or restricted advice.