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Getting financial advice



Financial advice is personal

Financial advice is personal. It’s about how to make the most out of your long and short-term financial goals.

You might need advice because of a significant life event, or you’re just not sure about how to make the most of your finances.

There’s plenty of information out there about what to do with your money. But it’s not always reliable and it might be too general to apply to your specific financial circumstances.

If you feel like you’re experiencing information overload or you’re not sure how to apply guidance to your situation, you might prefer to leave it to the experts. Or, you can get help from an expert but still be involved in the finer details.

However you’d like to be involved, you’ll get a tailored advice service that’s unique to you.

Speak to us about advice

Do you need financial advice?

Although everyone has a different point at which they might need advice, usually we see our clients reaching out to us when they need help with:

  • Planning for retirement
  • Investing money and saving
  • Passing down money and Inheritance Tax planning
  • When the unexpected happens - like the death of a partner or spouse, or sudden illness
  • What to do with lump sum payments - such as a redundancy payment or an inheritance
  • Protection - such as life assurance and income insurance
  • Long-term care planning

When to see a financial adviser

There’s no right or wrong time when it comes to taking financial advice.

For example, if you received a lump sum and you weren’t sure what to do with it, our advisers can talk to you about the different options available to you. They’ll talk to you about where you can invest your money such as a Stocks and Shares ISA, a Lifetime ISA (LISA), or a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP).

Remember, you usually can’t access your pension until the age of 55 (rising to 57 in 2028). Tax rules change and benefits depend on your personal circumstances.

An adviser can help you to understand how much tax you are likely to pay, and how to make the most of the tax allowances available to you. An adviser can also recommend specific funds and other investments based on your needs and financial goals.

What’s the difference between financial advice and guidance?

There are subtle differences between personal advice and guidance. Here’s what you need to know to decide which is right for you.

Financial guidance provides tools and information

Guidance is our way of providing you with all the tools and information to help you understand and identify your options. It leaves the decision making up to you. Guidance points you in the direction of areas to look at and what you could do with your money but in the end, it’s you making the decisions.

For example, if you had a lump sum, you could find guidance and information that would tell you the benefits of cash savings accounts or ISAs. It will also show you how you can pick your own investments if you choose to invest, but the information won’t give you any specific recommendations to help you meet your individual goals.

Financial advice provides expert, personalised recommendations

Financial advice will also help you to identify your options, but an adviser will recommend specific products that are based on your personal circumstances.

For example, if you had a lump sum, advice could help you to maximise your lump sum by suggesting specific accounts and investments for you based on your personal financial goals and circumstances. This is useful when it comes to understanding how benefits like tax allowances can affect you.

Because advice is much more specific and tailored to you, you will usually pay for it. On the other hand, guidance is usually free as it only provides you with information and you are still in control of the decision making.

We’re committed to being transparent with our charges. We will always inform you about the cost of any advice you take before you commit to it.

When taking financial advice, you should have the peace of mind that the adviser you're speaking to is an expert. The majority of our advisers’ qualifications are awarded by the Chartered Institute of Insurers (CII) and they are members of the Personal Finance Society (PFS). Rest assured all our advisers are fully qualified to advise you.

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How to find a good financial adviser

Make sure your financial adviser is qualified and registered.

Advisers must have a diploma in financial planning (or equivalent) which is recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority and complete training and development each year to keep their knowledge up to date.

The majority of our advisers’ qualifications are awarded by the Chartered Institute of Insurers (CII) and they are members of the Personal Finance Society (PFS).

Our advisers are not independent financial advisers (IFAs), instead they are employed by HL. We carefully select and manage our products, funds and services. Some of these are provided by HL, but not all. We make sure that any product you are recommended has gone through extensive research by our experts and that it reaches our high standards.

As HL advisers are employees, they don’t work on commission for any investments or pensions. Their purpose is to put you first, and to make sure the advice they give is right for you.

This means our advisers are able to provide advice across a variety of markets and financial products. They also have the backing of HL as a FTSE 100 company.

Our advisers are located all over the UK. They can provide advice to you either in person, when it is safe to do so, or over the phone wherever you are. We can only provide advice to UK residents. If you’re resident overseas, unfortunately we’re unable to advise you.

Our advisers

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What a financial adviser can do for you

Our advisers will only recommend products or solutions that are based on your goals and your current financial position.

Our advisers will:

  • Make sure you understand the cost of advice
  • Understand your long and short-term financial goals
  • Make sure you understand and are comfortable with the risks of investing
  • Tailor advice based on the risk you want to take
  • Help you when it comes to understanding your tax options

Our advisers are experts in tax-efficient financial planning, but for complex tax queries or calculations, clients should consult an accountant or tax specialist.

father and daughter

What to think about when taking financial advice

When it comes to speaking to an adviser, it’s important to ask the right questions to get the best out of your advice. Here are some areas you could think about to help you understand your own financial goals better and what kind of advice might be right for you.

  • If you’re planning for a big life event, such as retirement, you may want to focus on this with your adviser first. They will help you to understand what’s best based on your current financial position and your future goals.
  • You may want to think about whether or not you have any spare money to invest, whether that’s monthly, annually (such as a bonus), or a one-off lump sum.
  • Think about how much risk you’re willing to take. If you’re not sure, your adviser will help you understand whether you are more or less risk averse.
  • Although your adviser can help you understand your financial goals, you may already have an idea of how long you need to be saving for. This will help your adviser recommend products and solutions to you that fit with your plans.
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What you should expect from taking financial advice

Our advisers pride themselves on being transparent with their clients. They’ll talk to you about HL and the benefits you could see by taking advice. They’ll also talk to you about:

  • What kind of advice you’ll be receiving. They’ll illustrate your goals and the options they recommend to you. They’ll make sure you understand everything they’ve spoken to you about over the course of your meeting.
  • The cost of the advice you’ll receive. After your meeting, you’ll be given a report of the adviser’s recommendations. The point of this document is to make sure that the advice is relevant to you, it’s clear and captures an accurate picture of your finances.

You’ll also be given information about:

  • Your adviser and HL
  • The products and services your adviser has recommended to you
  • How long you have if you change your mind about the financial product(s) you’ve taken
  • Where to find any information regarding your investments or the products and services HL offers
  • How to make a complaint
  • Who HL is regulated and authorised by
  • The cost of the services or products you’ve taken

Useful tips when meeting your financial adviser

Meeting with your adviser for the first time can feel exciting, or even overwhelming.

There are a few things you can do to help you plan for your meeting and how to get the most out of your time spent with your adviser:

1.     Take notes

It’s important to make sure you’ve understood everything your adviser has said.

You’ll be able to take the time to reflect back on your meeting and make sure you feel as though your questions were answered and your adviser’s recommendations are right for you.

woman smiling

2.     Ask questions

Whether you have a few, or 50, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you like. Your adviser can learn a lot about you from the questions you ask, and they will be able to fill in any knowledge gaps along the way.

No question is a silly question.

man asking question

3.     Take your time to understand your recommendations

Our advisers will never pressure you into making a decision on the spot, especially if you feel as though you need to go away and think about your options, or even speak to other members of your family or close friends.

Your experience with your adviser should leave you feeling informed and confident about your finances. But even so, it’s important to look back and make sure you’re happy with the advice you’ve received.

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What are the different types of advice?

We split our advice into two categories investment advice and financial planning. But you can take both at the same time or years apart if needs be.

Investment advice

Investment advice focusses on choosing the right investments for you.

An adviser can make recommendations based on your existing investments or new savings you’re wanting to maximise.

Financial planning

You might find that you need help with more complex financial planning.

This could include taking retirement benefits, estate planning and Inheritance Tax (IHT), transferring a pension or helping with long-term care.

For either service, you may only need to speak to an adviser for one-off advice, to help you build your confidence when it comes to managing the right financial solutions for you and to understand your goals.

Annual Review Service

There is also the option of having ongoing advice, called the Annual Review Service.

This includes:

  • A dedicated named adviser
  • Periodic reviews to check your plans are on track
  • Reassessment of your financial objectives
  • Review of your attitude to risk
  • Performance and valuation overview
  • Review of tax allowances and exemptions
  • Option to undertake a lifetime cash-flow modelling exercise
  • Frequent updates on global markets and personal finance issues

You should speak to your adviser about this to make sure you are comfortable with the differences between investment advice and financial planning and what it could mean for your finances.

How much does advice cost?

Because advice is unique to you, it’s important to understand how you might be charged, but an adviser will talk you through any charges you can expect to pay. We charge a minimum of £495 for advice over the telephone, £1,495 for face-to-face advice and VAT is applicable where charged.

You can expect to pay:

Initial call


No adviser charge

As no advice is given at this stage.




Investment advice


1% of the first £1 million invested.

0% of the balance over £1 million

Financial planning

2% of the first £200,000

1% of the balance between £200,000 and £1 million. 0% on the balance over £1 million.

Initial call

No adviser charge.

As no advice is given at this stage




Investment advice

1% of the first £1 million invested.

0% of the balance over £1 million



Financial planning

2% of the first £200,000

1% of the balance between £200,000 and £1 million. 0% on the balance over £1 million.

Our investment and financial planning services are designed to be one-off, but if you’d value the ongoing support of a financial adviser and annual reviews, you can choose to take ongoing advice for 0.365% of the portfolio advised on per year (+VAT where applicable).

Our charges

How to speak to an adviser

If you think you’re ready to take advice, you can request a free callback from our advisory helpdesk. They’re the first port of call in helping you to understand advice at HL.

They can answer any initial questions you might have about our service, including more about the cost of advice.

They don’t provide advice but can help you decide if advice is right for you. If you wish to proceed they’ll then pass your details onto an adviser who will contact you for an initial consultation within 48 hours.

Book a callback

Frequently asked questions