8 ways to choose a financial advisor

There are many reasons why you may need to take financial advice from a professional. Perhaps you’re planning for a major life event, such as an upcoming wedding or you’re approaching retirement or perhaps you’re recently widowed or divorced. Whatever the reason, at some point in your life you’re going to need to take the advice of an expert when considering your financial future.

 

But how do you choose one financial adviser from the seemingly endless choices available to you?

 

Follow these steps to help you choose.

 

1. Do you need a Financial Adviser?

First consider whether you truly need a financial adviser, or whether you need specialist debt management advice. If the latter is the case, there’s specialist help available free of charge from places like Citizens Advice, the Money Advice Service and - if you’re in the right age bracket - Age UK. Of course, if you do have an amount of savings that you need some advice on, or if you want help planning for your retirement or another major life event, then it’s clear that financial advice is right for you.

2. What services are you looking for?

Are you specifically looking for advice on pensions and retirement? Perhaps advice on savings and investments in general, or for a significant future milestone? Perhaps you have a question about inheritance tax? Knowing in advance what you want to get help with, and what you want to achieve, will get you in front of the right adviser from the outset.

3. What costs will you incur?

Consider the costs of working with various advisers, compare and contrast to see if there are notable differences in what you’ll pay for getting the advice. Initially, most advisers will be happy to speak with you free of charge and to give you a breakdown of their costs, which would be applied after that first meeting, if you were to proceed. 

4. What qualifications does your adviser have?

Consider what qualifications your adviser has, and then compare those against national recommendations and FCA rules to make sure you’re receiving advice from a correctly qualified individual and/or firm. UK legislation does require that advisers are qualified to a certain level and you should always make sure to see proof of those qualifications.

5. Is this advice one off, or an ongoing commitment?

It is important going into the meetings with an open mind, but also with an idea as to what you need in terms of assistance. Do you need a professional appraisal of your current pensions/investments, or are you looking for regular investment and savings advice or perhaps a managed investment portfolio? 

6. What will the financial adviser need to know?

Consider in advance what the financial adviser will want and need to know about you. Personal and professional information, like your employment status and income levels, how long you have left at work, pension details, your attitude towards risk, what exactly you’re saving to achieve - all of these things are things your chosen financial adviser will want to learn about you and will form an important part of your initial meetings. Thinking these things through in advance will help point you in the direction of the right adviser when you begin to consider your shortlist - who’s already mentioned the points you’ve been thinking about, and who’s already asked you a few questions that’s got you thinking?

7. How do you actually find a financial adviser?

With the advent of the internet, there is more freedom of choice than ever before.Of course you can still look for recommendations from family and friends, and look at firms in your local area; but do consider that the internet means that firms further afield may as well be local now - online advice, appointments via video chat apps, or even a financial adviser willing to come to you, are all readily available. The FCA database - available at https://register.fca.org.uk/ - allows you to search by name of individual, or company, to check that they are qualified and registered with the FCA; a step you should absolutely take as part of your shortlisting process.

8. Who’s right for you?

Ultimately, this final question is the only one you will have to truly answer on your own.Your financial adviser is going to play an important role in your life, and you have to choose the person you feel will fulfil that role in the best way for you. This is a far more subjective point than the others, and it is going to be down to how well you get on with those individuals you speak to or meet as part of your shortlisting process; plus of course, how well they meet all your chosen criteria.

Ultimately, you do have a lot of choice in this now, so make sure that you don’t rush and that you feel completely comfortable with your final decision.

Start planning your future. Speak to us today.

Contact Us

Seventy Financial Planning
The Apple Store, Haggs Farm,
Haggs Road, Follifoot, Harrogate,
HG3 1EQ

01423 611004

[email protected]

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