Why an Independent Advisor is the Future of Financial Planning

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed by the plethora of financial advice out there? Do you wonder if the advice you’re getting is genuinely in your best interest? If you’ve nodded along, you’re not alone. This article aims to explore the rising role of the independent advisor and why they’re becoming the go-to experts in modern financial planning. Receiving independent investment advice really can accelerate your pathway to achieving your goals!

Independent Advisor, financial planning advice, independent investment advice, modern financial advisor
Independent Advisors and the importance of financial planning advice

The Old Paradigm – Traditional Financial Advisors

For years, financial advice was predominantly offered through large institutions – in particular the banks and life companies like Old Mutual and Sanlam, with their large teams of agents. While convenient, this setup often came with limitations. Traditional financial advisors were often incentivized to push specific products, creating potential conflicts of interest. This arrangement left many people wondering, “Is this advice really for my benefit, or is it for the advisor’s commission?” The way these financial advisors are incentivised generally means that the best advisors tend to be the best salespeople – and quality of advice matters less than an ability to sell products. Now we don’t mean to knock or criticise financial advisors from banks or life companies, because they still have a valuable role to play, but the nature of the beast is such that they are mostly sales-driven environments, which simply don’t lend themselves to advice that is truly impartial and unbiased.

The Rise of the Modern Financial Advisor

Fast forward to today, and the landscape is changing dramatically. Welcome to the era of the Modern Financial Advisor—a professional who leverages technology, focuses on holistic financial planning, and puts the client’s needs front and centre. The fact is, the financial advice landscape, is still dominated by an older demographic. So, if you’re in your 20s, 30s, or 40’s – the idea of dealing with your ‘Dad’s financial advisor’ might simply not be appealing. But, as a more diverse, younger group of qualified, informed and savvy financial planners and advisors are coming through – modern financial advisors – with fresh ideas, perspectives and new ways of doing things, is shaking up the industry in a good way.

The Importance of Financial Planning Advice

In a world of volatile markets and complex financial products, planning has never been more critical. An independent advisor offers tailored solutions, considering all aspects of your financial life, from retirement planning to tax strategies.
Holistic financial planning advice provides you with a roadmap to achieve the goals and outcomes most important to you. Technology is getting better and with advances in AI, its pretty quick and simple to get advice online. But the reality is that the personal touch and understanding a person can provide, coupled with the insights and nuances to your situation, is something AI and technology can’t replace (at least not yet anyway). And when you’re dealing with someone who can provide financial planning advice that really is impartial and unbiased – and isn’t built around the need to sell you a financial product – well then you’re really onto something!

The Value of Independent Investment Advice

The beauty of going independent? Unbiased, impartial and independent investment advice. Independent advisors are not tied to any specific family of funds or investment products. So, when they recommend an investment, you can be confident it’s because they believe it’s the best fit for your unique needs, not because they’re earning a commission or additional fee. In South Africa alone, there are over 2,000 unit trust funds and ETFs to choose from. Where do you even begin? And how does that translate to you achieving what you need or desire, whether it be financial freedom, consistent income as a retiree, or securing your children’s education? And what about the balance between local and offshore investing? Independent investment advice means solutions really can be tailored to your needs, and don’t force you into a fund or product because you’re tied to an institution like a bank or life company. There are a plethora of exciting investment opportunities that most people don’t get exposed to (because they don’t have the big advertising budgets of the big names) – and which offer returns that are far superior to the institutions we’re familiar with. Independent investment advice can introduce you to opportunities you probably even aren’t aware of yet.

Why Independent Advisors are the Most Trusted Financial Advisors

The trust factor is a big deal. Many Independent advisors often work on a fee-only basis, which aligns their interests with yours. This transparent approach fosters trust, enabling a more collaborative and effective planning process. That’s our approach at Henceforward, anyway. We don’t charge commissions, AUM fees or anything like that. Simply put, we don’t make money selling products. You pay us for our advice and guidance. That allows us to recommend solutions and give advice that really is conflict free – and means we’re one of the few firms in South Africa that offer a genuine flat-fee advice model.

How to Find the Highest Rated Financial Advisors

So, how do you find these stellar advisors? Look for certifications, read online reviews, and don’t shy away from asking for references. Advisors who come highly recommended and have strong credentials are usually a safe bet. At Henceforward, we like to think of ourselves as one of the highest rated financial advisors available locally. Why? Not because we aim to get ourselves in the media all the time – but because we really do offer our clients advice that is impartial, unbiased and in their best interests. The Henceforward way is just to go about our business quietly and to make sure we offer our clients a 5* level of service.

Read Next: Understand the Private Wealth Management landscape and the Value of Independent Wealth Advice


From offering customized, unbiased investment advice to building more transparent and trusting relationships, independent advisors are redefining the world of financial planning. They embody the future, offering a client-centric approach that’s crucial in today’s complex financial landscape. If you’re looking for personalized, trustworthy financial planning, it may be time to consider an independent advisor. Take the first step towards a more secure financial future today. Feel free to reach out to use using our Contact Page for a no-obligation conversation.

Carl-Peter Lehmann

Carl-Peter Lehmann

Carl-Peter is a Director and Partner at Henceforward. He is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER with over 20 years experience - both local and international. He is passionate about providing unbiased and impartial financial and investment advice to all his clients.

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