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What is financial advice?

Financial advice has a specific legal and regulatory meaning. It is a personal recommendation from a qualified individual given after due consideration of your personal circumstances and objectives. It is important to clarify the difference between taking advice and making your own decisions without going through this process (execution only) so you can select the right option.

We believe Hargreaves Lansdown is unique in presenting both options clearly and providing the choice to ensure you only pay for advice you need.


An adviser should take time to analyse your objectives, needs and attitude to risk to ensure the advice given is suitable. They will be proactive with opinions and suggestions to make sure you understand the implications of the proposed action. The advice will then be presented in writing and must clarify the associated risks and costs.

Your financial adviser will be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and subject to rigorous ongoing testing and scrutiny. You can check on an individual's registration on the FCA website.

If an adviser recommends an investment which is not suitable for your circumstances, you have the right to redress and compensation for incorrect advice. Poor performance alone is not grounds for complaint, although an investment with an unsuitable risk profile may be.

Execution only

When you make your own investment decisions and use our services to execute your instructions (known as execution only) you accept responsibility for ensuring the investment is suitable for you.

We offer the information and support you need to make your own decisions. The choice of investment and whether to buy, sell or hold is yours and yours alone.

As the comparison highlights, our most highly qualified staff will spend much more time with you when you obtain financial advice, which is why there is usually a charge for this service. Investing is full of pitfalls for the unwary and if you’re not confident making your own decisions advice can represent good value. Indecision and neglect of your financial affairs could end up costing considerably more.

Contact us about financial advice

Any questions?

Please call our advisory helpdesk


0117 317 1690

Mon-Fri 8.30am - 6pm

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You can be confident in the safety and security of your assets when you invest through Hargreaves Lansdown

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Your FREE Guide to Financial Advice

Find out about our range of advisory services and the costs involved so you can decide if our financial advice is of benefit to you.

Guide to Financial Advice

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