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Financial advice can be a smart investment whether you want to invest, buy a financial product, manage your money more efficiently, or just prepare for the long term. The need for financial guidance is determined by a variety of factors, including the product or service you want, your objectives, your own financial expertise and experience, the complexity of your demands, and your personal circumstances.

Financial advisers can help you with your financial situation at various periods of your life by offering a wide choice of goods and services. Savings and investments, equity release, insurance, pensions, tax and estate planning, retirement planning, mortgages, and family finances are among the financial goods and services available.

There are many options for free financial advice out there. If you are unsure if you require guidance, you may schedule an appointment to find out what they can do for you. However, you should NEVER take free financial advice on anything.

This is because there are significant costs associated with running a well-regulated business including regulation, compliance, training, employees, and so on. So, if someone comes to you and claims they can transfer your pension for free, you should think about it. Watch an explanation by our CEO and Independent Financial Adviser, Dominic James Murray, below to understand all the things you should know.

How Could Anybody Possibly Be Working for Free?

Some firms might say they get paid from the marketing budgets of the companies they work with. But, in fact, what they’re being paid is commissions you will be unaware of upon completion of your pension transfer. 

Once you have transferred your pension, there is nothing you can do with it. They will typically be paid a large upfront commission, and you will be locked into a fixed penalty term for 5, 10, or even 15 years.

We like to be clear on costs; if you go over to the cost section on our website, you can see exactly what we charge. All portfolios receive a 1% ongoing fee, no matter the portfolio size. We have a tiered cost structure for the set-up fee, starting with up to £250,000; we charge 3% for the set-up fee with a minimum of £3000. Between £250,000 and £1 million, we charge a 2% set-up fee. Over £1 million, we charge 1% of the set-up fee. 

Note, we are now offering clients a 0.1% reduction in their ongoing costs for any client referrals that turn into business. Some clients, therefore, are on a very low ongoing costs; however, they have generated other business, so it is a win-win for both the client and us, Cameron James.

Learning From Our Clients’ Experience

Most of our clients in Cameron James are smart individuals, many with  senior jobs. They said they love our paperwork, but that they found other companies which offer free advice. Then, they said they have decided not to work with us if we cannot bring our charge down closer to these other companies.

It is understandable. No one likes costs. However, the cost is there for a reason. When we have to use a lawyer, an accountant, or other professionals to work for the company, we get an invoice, and we have to pay it. It is because they are qualified, they spend time doing research, and they know what they are talking about.

Your UK Defined Benefit pension is likely one of the biggest and most valuable assets you have. Learn from this illustration. You want to do renovation work on your house, and there are two builders quoting to do thee work, the first one charges you £20,000 and another one works for you for free.

The one who works for free would probably wreck your house because he does not know what he is doing. It’s the same thing with pension transfers.  It takes up to around 80 hours of company time to complete some pension transfers. So, why would anybody look after and manage your pension for free?

Every time our clients tell us a bit more about the free financial advice they are receiving, it is straightforward for us to start seeing what is happening here in the background. They are working with a financial adviser for free, who will put them into a product that will generate a gigantic commission for that financial adviser. Nobody would work for free, particularly in finance.

In general, once we help our clients understand the financial processes and a lot of the work that goes into it, around 90% of them will understand. Unfortunately, some clients are still interested in the free financial advice and are often back 3, 4, or even 5 years later, telling us their pension value has gone down, the performance is not great, and the charges are high. That is the lesson on what can happen if you start off by working with someone for free.

Talk to Us at Cameron James

We hope this explanation can clarify why you are charged for financial advice and why you should never work with financial advisers that charge nothing and say they will work for free. Yes, free financial services sound attractive, but the long-term impact you are going to have on your finances is not what you are looking or wishing for.

At Cameron James, we don’t work for free because we are professional and there are costs associated with running the company. We need to cover those costs and obviously make a profit; otherwise we wouldn’t be a company. So, please be cautious when you are ever offered anything for free, particularly in financial services. As the slogan says , “If you are not paying for the product, then you are the product.”  That means they are reselling you to another company to generate a commission.

If you want to get in touch to talk about your pension transfer or to talk about costs in more detail, feel free to book in for a consultation at Cameron James through the button below!


Dominic James Murray

My career in financial services began in 2010 during my Bachelor of Science (BSc) Undergraduate degree at Aston University in England. The degree required me to spend a year abroad working with an established organisation.

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