unbiased.co.uk reveals the state of the advised nation

06 Jan 2014

The state of the advised nation

  • The need for mortgage advice comes first in the advice life cycle
  • Approaching retirement is the biggest life prompt for seeking professional advice
  • Seeking advice helps make sense of complex financial products for a third of people (32%)
  • One in five (21%) consumers paid for financial advice by a percentage of the sum they invested

As the RDR moves into its second year, research from unbiased.co.uk, the ‘find an adviser’ search, reveals the state of the financially advised nation.

Overall, almost a third (29%) of UK adults have sought professional financial advice in their lifetime, with a nearly even spread between men and women (30% male and 28% female).  Those in their seventies are most likely to have sought advice, with almost two in five (37%) having done so compared to just 18% of those in their twenties*.

20 - 29

30 - 39

40 - 49

50 - 59

60 - 69








unbiased.co.uk's adviser research**shows consumers follow a pattern or an advice life cycle when engaging with advice.  The table below represents the pattern those who take advice tend to follow through their life, with mortgages often the first reason to seek advice, followed by protection (such as life cover, critical illness or payment protection) and pensions.








Investments/ savings


General finance health check/ review


Setting financial goals


IHT/ tax planning


Long term care

When it comes to life events that trigger people to engage with advice, approaching retirement tops the list, with 83% of advisers seeing this as the top trigger, followed by receiving an inheritance (68%) and buying a first property (65%).

Life triggers


Approaching retirement


Having received an inheritance


Buying a first property




Having a family


Buying a second property




Children nearing university age


Getting married


Starting a new job


A third (32%) of those who have sought advice believe it helped them make sense of complex financial products, a quarter (25%) say it gave them confidence that they had made the right decisions and for 23% it saved them time.  Almost one in five (17%) said that seeking advice from a professional financial adviser had saved them money*.

With charges for professional financial advice now clearer for consumers to understand, the research reveals of those who have sought advice, one in five (21%) paid for the advice out of a percentage of the sum invested, 19% paid a project fee, 8% a retainer fee and 7% paid an hourly rate*.

Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk, comments: “RDR now enters its second year, after what has been a strong year for the professional advice industry.  One of the biggest effects for consumers is increased transparency over charges and how advice is paid for, and we believe this has led to consumers spending more time evaluating their financial advice options. 

“Our research has shown the unadvised nation is triggered by approaching retirement to seek advice; however it’s the advised nation that is reaping the benefits of a lifetime of advice, from mortgage advice all the way through to their long term care plans.

“A simple chat with an adviser with the help of our checklist can be the first step in identifying the ‘right’ financial adviser for you.  They can help you make the right choices on some of the most important decisions of your life, saving you time and money in the long run.  To find a whole of market financial adviser visit www.unbiased.co.uk

Notes to editors:

*Research carried out by Opinium Research between 8 – 11 October 2013 among 2,000 nationally representative UK adults aged 18+

**Research carried out via unbiased.co.uk’s adviser panel

For more information contact:

Lisa Grando / Kate Aitchison Lansons Communications: 020 7294 3682

For expert commentary or case studies from over 200 media-friendly advisers, journalists should visit unbiased.co.uk Bluebook - The media adviser directory

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About unbiased.co.uk, the professional advice website

The unbiased.co.uk website launched in 1998 and rapidly became the UK’s leading online destination for consumers and businesses looking to find an adviser.  Now attracting over one million visitors a year, unbiased.co.uk is the default adviser directory for consumer websites recommending their audience to ‘find an adviser’.

  1. business.unbiased.co.uk

Unbiased Ltd promotes the benefits of financial and legal advice to consumers and businesses and would like to thank the following companies for their support:

Alliance Trust

Opinium Research



AXA Wealth

Royal London 360°

Bright Grey

Santander Asset Management

Canada Life Ltd


Legal & General

Scottish Life


Standard Life Assurance Limited




Zurich Intermediary Group

Unbiased Ltd - Registered Office: 12-14 Berry St, London, EC1V 0AU.  Registered in England: No. 06775878.

Category: Financial Planning Tagged: pensions, retirement

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