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Before going to see a financial adviser, it’s a great idea to know exactly what you need to ask him or her.

 

Q1: Are they approved by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)?

The FCA continues to warn that clients are unable to pursue a Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme claim against any unauthorised advisers.

Q2: What experience and qualifications does the financial adviser have?

Clients taking financial advice should check that the adviser has level 4 qualifications or higher and have the required Statement of Professional Standing.

Q3: What type of advice does the financial adviser offer?

Advisers are either independent or restricted and will be expected to detail this and what it means. There are no other types of adviser.

Q4: What are the advisers charges?

You should always check whether the initial consultation is charged for, usually the initial consultation is at the advisers cost. Ask the adviser what the initial advice fee will be and also what the on-going advice charges will be.

Q5: Ask the adviser if the cost be deducted from the investment you make?

Does the adviser have the option of you making payments from lump sum investments, or from regulator instalments for on-going advice?

Q6: How does the financial adviser assess my financial needs?

“Find out why and how your adviser needs to understand your financial circumstances”.

Q7: How will the adviser assess whether a product or investment has the right level of risk for me?

The financial adviser should assess your attitude to risk profile and capacity for loss.  This is to ensure that any financial product recommended is right for you. This is a two way conversation, your input is as equally important as the financial advisers. If you don’t agree with the adviser, tell them you want to discuss it in more detail.

Q8: How will I receive the advice?

Ask your financial adviser if you will receive face to face adviser or otherwise. And how often are you likely to receive advice. Will on-going face to face advice be available?

Q9: How often will my adviser review my investments?

Advisers offer different levels of service, so it’s important to ask them how often your investments will be reviewed. Some advisers offer structured reviews whilst others offer on-going sporadic reviews.