Guide to advising the self-employed

  • To understand the issues affecting self-employed people.
  • To be able to help them save more.
  • To be able to list different types of insurance that can help protect clients.
Guide to advising the self-employed


Self-employed people in Britain make a vital and vibrant contribution to the UK economy.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics has put the number of people who are self-employed or working in the so-called gig economy at 4.6m - and this is set to rise.

Yet figures also suggest the self-employed are woefully under-provisioned, not only when it comes to personal savings but also when it comes to putting aside money into a pension.

Further research suggests they also lack vital insurance, despite the fact that, if they were unable to work due to sickness or accident, they would not make any money from their business for several months or more. 

Add to this the seeming reluctance of some lenders in the recent past to provide mortgages for self-employed business people without three years' worth of accounts and other financial data, and it is clear the entrepreneurs among us need good advice on all financial matters.

This guide, which qualifies for an indicative 60 minutes' worth of CPD, covers how advisers can help their clients start a savings habit, make some pension provision, get the vital insurance they and their business may need, and advice on how to get a mortgage. 

Contributors to this guide: Martin Stewart, director at London Money; Jamie Smith-Thompson, managing director at Portafina; Tom Conner, director at Drewberry; Adam Higgs, head of research, adviser services, at F&TRC; Zane Groves, consultant for LightBlue UK; Steve Andrews, head of managed services at Focus Solutions; Ian Smart, product architect at Royal London; Scottish Widows; LV, Halifax; the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries. 

Simoney Kyriakou is content plus editor at FTAdviser

In this guide


Please answer the six multiple choice questions below in order to bank your CPD. Multiple attempts are available until all questions are correctly answered.

  1. According to Mr Stewart, what are we living in?

  2. What does Mr Andrews believe should be used more widely by providers and advisers to help the self-employed?

  3. What does Mr Conner say needs to be remembered about the state pension?

  4. What is not a nice to have, but a necessity, according to Mr Smart?

  5. What is one of the best things you can do if you are self-employed, according to Mr Smith-Thompson?

  6. Mr Groves says there is no what, when it comes to mortgage lenders?

Nearly There…

You have successfully answered all the questions correctly, well done!

You should now know…

  • To understand the issues affecting self-employed people.
  • To be able to help them save more.
  • To be able to list different types of insurance that can help protect clients.

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