Choosing the right financial adviser for you
Your financial adviser will be working for you. Before employing their services you need to make sure they’re right for the job. So what should you consider?
Looking to employ a financial adviser is not much different from looking to hire a lawyer, a plumber or a builder. They will be working for you, not the product or investment providers they recommend. Ask around for recommendations, check them out online and be prepared to interrogate them on their experience and credentials!
Things to consider when you look for an adviser
For most people, their relationship with their financial adviser is a long-term one. That’s why it’s important to get the most from it. Here are a few things to consider:
- Trust: be sure that you’re putting your trust in an authorised financial adviser by checking with the FCA's Central Register.
- Comfort: it makes sense to deal with people you feel comfortable with. For example, if you prefer to deal with a female adviser, some sites allow you to filter your online search by gender.
- Expertise: most people have specific financial planning needs. If you have certain set goals, such as saving for your child’s education or starting a pension, you can choose an adviser with appropriate experience in that field.
- Flexibility: is it more convenient to see them at your home or at the office? Check with the adviser to see how flexible they are.
- Payment: Advisers are paid for their services in different ways depending on the type of products they are recommending.
- For advice about investments, pensions and retirement income products they must agree fees with you and can no longer be paid by commission.
- For advice on mortgages, general insurance and term life insurance, advisers are paid commission from the products you take out.
- Try before you buy: advisers will typically offer an initial meeting free of charge, giving you an opportunity to see if they are right for you.
- Ask questions: Don’t be shy. It’s your financial future and you have to get it right. Ask plenty of questions during your first meeting and take your time to think it through before making up your mind.
One more thing that’s very important is to check the status of the adviser and what type of advice they can provide. Are they fully independent or restricted? For more information on the difference between these, see our article, Meet the Modern Adviser.
If you don’t yet have a financial adviser but are interested in finding one then you can find one using our tool.