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06 Financial advisers > Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) - Pg. 124

124 The good non retirement guide Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) The role of IFAs has become more important since the number of investment, mortgage, pension protection and insurance products has multiplied and financial decision-making has become increasingly complicated. An Independent Financial Adviser is able to help guide you through the maze of products now available. An IFA is the only type of adviser who is able to select from all the investment policies and products on offer in the marketplace. These include endowment policies, personal pensions, life assurance, permanent health insurance, critical illness cover, unit trusts, ISAs and other forms of personal investment such as, for example, mortgages. It is his or her responsibility to make sure you get the right product for your individual needs. In other words, he or she acts as your personal adviser and handles all the arrangements for you. IFAs must assess whether customers are at risk of over-committing themselves or taking some other risk that might jeopardise their security. This means they have to gain a full understanding of your circumstances