When it comes to managing your finances, getting expert advice can be a great help. In Ireland, there are several places where you can get financial advice depending on your needs and circumstances.
Banks and Credit Unions:
Banks and credit unions are the most common sources of financial advice in Ireland. Most banks have financial advisors that can help you with budgeting, saving, investing, and retirement planning. Similarly, credit unions provide financial advice to their members. You can make an appointment with a financial advisor at your bank or credit union, and they will provide you with personalized advice based on your financial situation.
Independent Financial Advisors:
Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) are professionals who offer independent and unbiased financial advice. They work independently of any financial institution and provide advice on a range of financial products and services. If you’re looking for advice on investments, pensions, insurance, or tax planning, an IFA can help. They charge a fee for their services, which can be a percentage of the assets they manage or a fixed fee.
Financial Planning Firms:
Financial planning firms provide comprehensive financial advice that covers all aspects of your financial life. They offer services such as financial planning, retirement planning, investment advice, and tax planning. Financial planning firms usually charge a fee based on the complexity of your financial situation and the services you require.
You can get financial advice from advisors who work in financial services firms like banks and insurance companies, who generally advise on and sell their own products; and intermediaries, such as investment or mortgage brokers, who advise on and sell products from a number of financial services firms.
All financial advisors must be authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland . They have to meet certain standards and must have the skills and knowledge necessary to provide advice. The Central Bank monitors advisors to make sure they continue to meet these standards and that they act in your best interests when giving you financial advice.
The number of financial services firms an advisor deals with affects the level of independence and choice your advisor can offer you for the type of product you want. The more firms an advisor deals with, the more they can shop around and find the most suitable product for you.
An advisor may be authorised to offer you advice on products from one financial services firm (a tied agent); OR a number of financial services firms (a multi-agency intermediary); OR all financial services firms in the market (an authorised advisor).
The Irish government provides several services that can help you with your finances. The Citizens Information Service provides free and confidential advice on a range of topics, including money management, debt, and consumer rights. The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) offers free advice and support on managing debt and developing a budget. The Pensions Authority provides information and guidance on pensions.
Several charities in Ireland offer financial advice and support to people who are struggling with debt or financial difficulties. For example, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides financial advice, budgeting support, and debt relief to people in need.
For example, banks and building societies are often tied agents when giving advice on life assurance, pensions and investment products.