Ask the Expert: Do I really need to pay £1,000 for financial advice?

Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green Picture: Almary Green

Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green Picture: Almary Green - Credit: Archant

It's going to cost around £1,000 for some basic financial advice - why do I need to pay it? Carl Lamb of Almary Green explains all.

I recently contacted a financial adviser for some advice about opening a personal pension.

I just wanted to quickly put some money to one side as I'd been given £5,000 by my parents, but the financial adviser wouldn't just do that, he wanted to go through my whole finances, which was going to cost me about £1,000 in fees.

Can you suggest what I should do please?

Response from Carl Lamb of Almary Green

The first thing to say is that the financial adviser you approached is obliged to look at your entire financial circumstances before making any kind of recommendation – and most firms will indeed charge a minimum fee to cover the cost of this, irrespective of your wealth or the amount you want to invest.

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We have a duty – as regulated financial advisers – to ensure that any advice we give is suitable for you and we can't assess that suitability without knowing everything about you.

This will include assessing your risk profile, for example, and understanding when and how you might want to access your pension savings.

If you are employed and a member of a workplace scheme, you may be able to make an additional contribution to that scheme, although you may be limited in respect of where your contribution will be invested.

It may be worth you taking regulated advice about your pension savings, despite the fees – particularly if this is the beginning of your pension planning – just to make sure you are on the right track.

If you don't want to do this, guidance can be found on a number of websites such as the Money Advice Service website (at, which should give you a starting point.