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A friend of a friend told me...

Your friends and family will have the best intentions when giving out financial advice but they aren't always a substitute for professional advice. Here are a few things to think about before acting on friendly advice.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

Although the specific details about your finances are quite personal, you probably speak to your friends and family about financial matters.

From recommending shares through to anecdotes about how they’ve saved money, we all get advice from our friends from time to time.

On one hand, we think that’s great. At HL, we want people to invest and save with confidence and we’re pleased that investing and saving is a hot topic of conversation.

On the other hand, relying solely on informal chats with your friends to make financial decisions might not give you the best results.

Here are a few reasons why you should speak to the experts to check you’re not being led up the garden path.

Money’s an emotive topic

This reason is especially applicable to advice from your family.

Everyone wants to see their family doing well financially. Older members of the family who’ve ‘been there and done that’ might speak from life experience in an attempt to give you advice. But it’s likely that times have changed since they needed to make the decisions you’re facing now.

Your family are also likely to be the ones you speak to at sensitive times, such as after a divorce or the loss of a loved one. As there are often financial decisions to be made at raw emotional moments, it’s easy to take advice from family and friends just to get it off your plate.

A financial adviser is emotionally removed from your circumstances and can provide more clear-minded advice than your family may be able to. They’ll still treat your situation delicately but by helping you make decisions, they’ll be able to take some of the emotional weight off your shoulders.

Friends will over simplify things

Our finances are a personal subject area and it’s likely that information like your salary are only known by your spouse and your mortgage provider.

Because of our reluctance to share too much with our friends and family, they’ll never get the full picture. Any advice they give might not help your financial situation as much as you first thought.

Like your mortgage provider, or any other financial institution, a financial adviser is impartial and discrete which lets you share more detail with confidence. With more information at their fingertips, an adviser can help you build a more complete strategy.

Past success isn’t a measure of future success

Whether it’s career advice or advice on which car to buy, much of the advice we give our friends is anecdotal.

Even if your friend has given you advice based on what they did yesterday, the world of investing moves so quickly, their advice could already be out of date.

Not even an adviser with years of experience can predict how the stock market will change over time.

One thing‘s for sure though, you can’t make predictions based on past performance. Instead, an adviser will look at your attitude to risk. They’ll also look at your finances as a whole and make sure your investments fit in with your goals.

This article is not personal advice, all investments can go up and down in value, so you could get back less than you put in. If you’re unsure whether an investment or course of action is right for you seek advice.

Investment advice from an expert for £495

Over the course of April, we’re offering investment advice for a flat fee of £495 (see full terms below). This special offer includes expert help from our team of telephone advisers to unlock more of the potential in your portfolio and give you confidence for the long and short term.

Book a call with our Advisory Helpdesk before 30 April to get started. Talk to them about what you’d like to get out of your advice and they’ll help you decide if our fixed cost investment advice is right for you. You’ll then need to agree to the advisory charges before 31 July to receive the fixed charge.

We’ll look at your portfolio in the context of your general financial position and we can still take a closer look under the bonnet of your financial plans at our usual 1-2% rate should you need it.

Please note: Our investment advice offer excludes investments held within a drawdown arrangement.

Book a call back

Terms of the offer

What are the full terms of the offer?

1. If you contact our Advisory Helpdesk between 6 April 2020 and the close of business on 30 April 2020, agree to receive Investment Advice by telephone and return a signed Adviser Charge Agreement by close of business on 31 July 2020, we will only charge you our minimum charge of £495 (+VAT where applicable) (the “Offer”). The Offer is subject to these terms and conditions.

Details of the Offer

2. To be eligible you must contact our Advisory Helpdesk between 6 April 2020 and the close of business on 30 April 2020 either by calling 0117 317 1690 or by booking a call back with us by close of business on 30 April 2020. You must also decide that you wish to receive Investment Advice from us, and have signed and returned an Adviser Charge Agreement, by close of business on 31 July 2020.

3. If you decide that you wish to receive Investment Advice by telephone from us within the timescales noted above, you will not be subject to our standard rate of 1-2% of the portfolio value being advised upon with a minimum charge of £495 when advice provided by telephone. Instead we will fix the cost of receiving the advice from us at our minimum charge of £495 (+VAT where applicable). For more information regarding our financial advice charges, please visit our website at

4. Investment Advice means the receipt of recommendations from one of our financial advisers in relation to investment decisions. This may include:

I. A new investment of cash into a new or existing investment product supported through the Hargreaves Lansdown pre-approved selection of products;

II. Setting up regular investing; and

III. Recommendations to alter an existing investment portfolio except where the existing investment are currently held within an Investment Bond or Income Drawdown.

5. Investment Advice does not include wider financial planning matters which shall include, but are not limited to, advice on transferring or consolidating pensions, retirement planning, care provision and inheritance tax planning. If after discussions with your financial adviser, the scope of advice needs to be widened to include wider financial planning matters, the Offer will no longer be applicable.

6. This Offer only covers Investment Advice received by telephone and excludes advice provided on a face-to-face basis.

7. This Offer excludes on-going advice charges.

8. Where you qualify for the Offer, your Financial Adviser will apply the fixed charge to your Adviser Charge Agreement.

Please note:

9. The Offer is limited to one per client.

10. You must not be an employee of any Hargreaves Lansdown Group company or a member of any such employee’s immediate family or household.

11. We may amend, extend or withdraw this Offer at any time. Details of any such amendment, extension or withdrawal will be posted on our website at

12. This Offer will be governed by English law and, in participating, you submit to the jurisdiction of the English courts.

13. References in these terms and conditions to “Hargreaves Lansdown”, “our”, “us” or “we” are to Hargreaves Lansdown Advisory Services Limited (company number 03509545), authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA Register number 189627), whose registered office is at 1 College Square South, Anchor Road, Bristol, BS1 5HL. References to the “Hargreaves Lansdown Group” are to Hargreaves Lansdown plc (company number 02122142) and its subsidiaries from time to time.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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