How can you tell if you need one-off or ongoing financial advice?

Getting the right financial advice can help you stay on track to meet your wider goals in life. But under what circumstances should you seek advice – and how can you tell if you need it on an ongoing basis?

The benefits of financial advice


Getting financial advice at the right time can lead to valuable outcomes, but a surprising number of people in the UK don’t regularly take advice.


Around 3.1m people in the UK had an ongoing relationship with a financial adviser at the end of 2020, according to data from the Financial Conduct Authority. This is equivalent to about 5.7% of the adult population.


People avoid getting advice for various reasons: they might not understand what it offers, the benefits may not be evident, they may think they cannot afford it or may believe a comfortable future is already assured.


It’s likely that a bias known as hyperbolic discounting plays a part, where we value immediate rewards more and have difficulty in planning for and understanding long-term consequences. Many other biases also swirl around in the mix, as we grapple to make financial decisions.


But the financial benefits are often evident. The International Longevity Centre regularly conducts financial analyses to see the effects of planning ahead. Their most recent study found that those who received professional financial advice over a five-year period (between 2001 and 2006 in this case) received, on average, a total boost to their wealth (in pensions and financial assets) of £47,706 10 years later compared to the non-advised.


When to take one-off advice


You probably don’t need advice if you are doing simple things, like making new ISA subscriptions each year, especially when your plans or the composition of your investments haven’t changed. You may also benefit from guidance at no cost: we can help you, for example, if you wish to explore the permutations of investing in various risk levels and are happy to do so without a personal recommendation.


If you are feeling overwhelmed or uncertain due to the current economic environment, advice could be very useful, as well as for more specific scenarios such as if you:


  • Inherit money
  • Are approaching retirement (or have already retired)
  • Are going through a divorce
  • Face exceeding the lifetime allowance
  • Plan to leave money for the next generation
  • Have dependant family members


We cover these scenarios in more detail here, but it is also worth noting how not acting can impact you later on in life.


For instance, we surveyed over 2,000 people earlier this year to assess how well they had planned for retirement. Their experiences were often consistent, with many expressing regrets about their preparations – a quarter wished they had worked with an adviser, while over two fifths (43%) wished they had been better prepared for later life care costs. You can learn more about the lessons they learned here.


When ongoing advice may be more appropriate


Of course, you may feel you would like to have ongoing advice, and we can help you decide if this is the right path for you.


It may be suitable, for instance, if you have less financial awareness or confidence, and would take comfort from a more proactive relationship. This could involve regular reviews to ensure you remain on track.


If you have a particularly complex setup you may also benefit from ongoing advice, where, for example, you have an extended family and commitments, or personal circumstances which require close attention due to multiple income streams or intricate retirement needs.


Taking a flexible approach


Before seeking advice, you may want to get a better idea of your potential financial outcome by using our powerful online planning tools for free. By using various assumptions – changing them as appropriate –  you can make useful projections about how your investments and pensions could play out over time.


You don’t need to make a decision about taking advice unaided. You can talk to one of our expert advisers (again without any charge) and find out which approach could work best for you. It’s worth remembering, you can always change your mind – you can move from one-off advice to ongoing or vice-versa for example, whatever suits your circumstances.


We are here to support and help you in whichever way is relevant and appropriate for you, so please get in touch.



Please note, the value of your investments can go down as well as up.



Our advisers offer restricted advice that relates to Netwealth’s products and services and does not consider the whole market. Netwealth does not provide tax or legal advice and does not advise on transfers of pensions with safeguarded benefits.

Share this

Back to Our Views