Most people may not think they need a financial adviser, but seeking professional advice can make savings work more effectively.
Often the decision to look for a financial adviser will come about because of a life event, such as starting a family or retirement, but the earlier financial advice is sought in life the better.
A Long-Term Relationship
Just like your family GP or dentist, the longer you are on a financial adviser’s books the better they understand your needs, meaning that the choices they help you make will be the best for you. But what should you look for when choosing a financial adviser?
Factors to Consider
Professional credentials are especially important. Look for the Chartered standard in the UK. It means that the firm’s advisers meet high professional standard requirements and are qualified to provide more complex advice. Advisers who are Fellows of the Professional Finance Society are qualified to a level equivalent to a Masters degree. Check if the adviser has specialist qualifications in the area you want advice in, such as pension transfers.
Moneysavingexpert recommends independent financial advisers (IFA). IFAs have access to the whole market to choose the right deal for their clients, rather than being limited to products from specific providers.
Make sure you understand the fee structure. As well as fees for investments, some will charge based on the value of the assets they are advising on, while others will charge based on time or through a flat fee.
Understand the level of support and professional tools your adviser may have at their disposal. Robust software for financial advisers and a professional administrative team will mean your adviser can concentrate on your needs. Ask about portals and apps providing software for financial advisers that allow client interaction via the web. This means you can be in more frequent contact for reviews, transactions and advice.
Aside from the technical aspects, it’s important that your adviser is a person with whom you can feel at ease. They should be someone who can help you understand your options and make choices that will work for you.
Most firms will provide an introductory meeting giving you the opportunity to pose these questions. Financial advice is, ultimately, a personal matter, so make sure you are happy before you engage.