How to find the right financial adviser for you

Considering speaking with a financial adviser? This can often raise a range of questions and you may even be wondering how to find a financial adviser that suits you. Find out how you can confidently choose the right financial adviser for you.

According to research by the Financial Conduct Authority, only 8% of people in the UK use a financial adviser. However, for those with over £10,000 of investible assets, this figure rises to 17%. The figure further rises to 38% of people with assets worth over £250,000.


In a world full of choices, how can you choose the right financial adviser for you? Find out a list of questions designed to help you find the right financial adviser.


How broad is your advice need?

In terms of the range of advice provided, there are two main types of financial adviser:

  1. Whole of market (Independent) advisers

Whole of market financial advisers can provide advice on all financial products and providers available through regulated advisory channels, rather than being restricted to particular products and/or providers.


They can call themselves Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) as they offer unbiased advice based on a comprehensive analysis of the whole market, tailoring their recommendation to your needs, without the restriction of just a set range of product providers.


  1. Restricted advisers

As the name indicates, restricted advisers are only able to recommend a restricted set of products or products from a restricted set of providers. Restricted advisers cannot legally refer to themselves as independent.


They can also be known as “tied”. Tied advisers will charge a fee along with independent advisers. In terms of investments, they will follow the same charging rules as an independent adviser.


What services do you offer?

Ask potential advisers to list a summary of the services they can provide to you. Most will offer a combination of the following: financial planning, cashflow modelling, insurance/protection planning, risk management, tax planning, retirement planning, investment selection and management.


With financial markets changing constantly, it’s important to find out how often your adviser will review your portfolio. Regular and consistent reviews are important for keeping your planning on track, but where necessary you should be given the option to engage an ongoing service level. It is important to remember that there is a cost for this service, and this is definitely worth factoring in when considering speaking with a financial adviser.


How do you charge for your services?

Financial advisers no longer receive any commission from giving financial advice on investments. They charge a fee although the structure of their fee is dependent upon their own business model. Some charge fixed amounts, some work on hourly rates for work undertaken whilst others charge a percentage of the amount invested. It is not uncommon to see a combination of these structures. It is important to remember that insurance and investment advisers follow separate rules, and it is worth enquiring about this with individual advisers.

Working out the implications of different charges should take into account your own circumstances and is incredibly important as over time as these charges can add up.



How do you communicate?

Some advisers deliver advice face-to-face, while others may do so via email, telephone, or virtually especially since the coronavirus pandemic. It is worth considering how you would feel most comfortable working with an adviser and consider how you prefer to communicate and what fits best with your schedule.


5. What experience and professional qualifications do you have?

In the UK, all financial advisers must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and have achieved at least a Level 4 qualification in financial advice which has been recognised by the FCA. Some advisers may also have Chartered or Certified Financial Planner qualifications.


You may also find it useful to ask if the adviser can provide you with testimonials from clients they have worked with.  Some may also be registered on independent review platforms, such as VouchedFor or Unbiased.  These sites will help you navigate and find a financial adviser who specialises in your area of need.  They also provide access to view their client reviews and previous testimonials.


Sometimes finding a financial adviser is closer to home than you may think. Just like how you would look for a tradesperson, ask around family, friends and even work colleagues for recommendations, or use the independent sites named above. Remember that everyone’s situation is different, but this is a great place to start along with asking a range of useful questions.


If you do have any questions regarding financial advice, please contact us and we will be sure to help.


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