The most tangible benefit of using an independent advice firm is its ability to research and recommend products from the entire market, consumers say.
More than three in 10 (32%) respondents to a YouGov survey cited an IFA's capability to recommend the most appropriate products as the major benefit of seeking professional advice.
However, the survey, commissioned by the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP) and National, Savings & Investments (NS&I) for Financial Planning Week (7-13 Sept), also suggests 37% could not think of any benefits to using an independent practitioner.
Only 14% cited the fact advisers regularly monitor their financial affairs as a benefit.
"I am staggered that 37% of all those surveyed could not think of any benefits to using a professional adviser and only 5% would consider professional advice to help them improve their financial situation," IFP chief executive Nick Cann says.
"Too many are reliant on price comparison websites and their mate down the pub and therefore are undoubtedly storing up problems for the future.
"Our survey shows how badly we are connecting consumer needs and understanding with appropriate professional advice."
Elsewhere, the survey suggests more people are relying on a big lottery win than seeking professional advice to improve their finances.
More than a quarter of respondents hope to strike it rich quick in a bid to improve their financial situation despite odds of 14 million to one of hitting the jackpot.
This contrasts starkly with just one in 20 who plan to seek professional help to improve their finances.
Financial Planning Week is a generic information campaign run by the IFP encouraging consumers to make a difference to their lives by taking some simple steps to improve their finances. For more information, click here.
‘Important to have an anchor’
Report to be written by TPR
Lack of innovation for solutions
Some 2,000 consumers affected