The Difference between Financial Guidance and Advice

By: Tim Bennett
For savers and investors, this is a key distinction. Here I explain why and how to decide which one to choose.

The difference between financial guidance and advice

To many people outside of financial services, this distinction may seem somewhat semantic. However, for anyone thinking of buying a financial product or seeking help with investing, it is a crucial one. So what is the difference and why does it matter?

The bottom line

The FCA draws a line between guidance and advice, broadly as follows;
So, for example, anyone who turns up at one of my Killik Academy seminars will receive educational guidance;
For tailored personal advice on the other hand, they would need to meet an Investment Manager;
As a snapshot the differences can be summarised like this;

Which one do I need?

The answer requires a bit of judgement but it can be distilled down to some key principles;
Once you understand the difference between the two it becomes easier to spot situations where you may be overcharged for “advice” that is in-fact generic guidance, or where you may be sold advice that you don’t in-fact need. That’s why the regulator is so keen that investors are clear about the difference.