We mystery-shopped 33 financial advisers. We then asked an expert panel to assess the quality of the advice and information in the 17 plans we received in time for assessment. Four plans arrived too late for our panel to assess them; and in other cases our shoppers received only oral advice – or no advice at all. 

Table of advisers, prices and plan ratings.

Guide to the table

  • A = Four plans arrived too late for assessment by the panel. The financial advisers who provided them are not included here.
  • B = Did not go ahead because there was a mismatch between the shopper’s needs and the adviser or because the adviser wasn’t interested or because the shopper was asked to commit to a service before getting a written plan.
  • C = The panel reviewed the shopper’s record of oral advice plus documents provided by the adviser in support of the advice.
  • D = We were unable to report the cost of this plan.
Our panel’s ratings
  • Good plans gave clear, relevant and specific advice that was supported by relevant analysis and reasons for the recommendations. Implementing the advice was likely to be in the shopper’s best interests.
  • Disappointing plans lacked good analysis, or there were no or few reasons for the advice given, or the advice or costs were unclear, or the recommended strategy seemed unnecessarily costly. These plans were “fixable” but the panel wouldn’t recommend them without modification or clarification.
  • Rejected plans contained little relevant analysis and advice or lacked essential information, or included advice that wouldn’t be in the shopper’s best interests.

 

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