Saturday 21 June 2008 4.06pm
(I'm not an IFA either, but) I think it's unfair to say they can't be independent.
As has been said, they'll get comission for selling products to you. However, there's nothing to stop you asking and verifying what commission they do get, and agreeing a deal whereby you pay them for their time and nothing more than their time, and any commissions go to offset paying them for their time (or come back to you as refunds). In this sort of setup, they get the same amount of cash whatever they sell you (or indeed, if they don't sell you anything at all), which gives them no incentive to sell Product A over Product B.
I agree that there's plenty of info on the net, but I'd probably tend towards the view that once I've done my research, and assuming I'm talking about something pretty significant (mortgage, pension, life savings, etc) then I'd be a bit daft not to take some professional advice.
...if you press it, they will come.