Let’s face it, most people are sceptical about financial advisers, and most of us prefer to take advice from a few other sources, namely friends and family and my favourite, “the man down the pub”.
But let’s say you decide you are going to get advice from a professional adviser, how do you go about choosing an adviser that you can work with.
Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself before you start on the journey of finding an adviser.
No 1. Before you start looking, be clear about what advice you need. For example, do you have a particular concern or are you looking for a general financial review. For example, you may be concerned about your current pension situation or you may need advice on how to invest a lump sum of money.
No 2. Look for advisers that have an online presence. Many of these advisers encourage their clients to write reviews about their service. Reviews can be a very useful resource in identifying whether an adviser is actively engaging with his clients and providing them with good ongoing advice and service.
No. 3. It’s really important to make sure that the firm you are about to deal with is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority Also you check on the Register to make sure the advisers details appear there. If you are at all concerned check out the Prohibited Individuals List to make sure that your new potential adviser is not listed there either.
No. 4. It’s always a good idea to talk to a number of potential advisers before choosing the one for you. Ask them what their specialist area is and most importantly how are they going to be paid by you. From 2013 onwards adviser charging will be clearer than ever, which can only be a good thing for people who need advice.
No. 5. And finally, it’s really important that you like, can get on with and trust your adviser. Financial advisers don’t just help you arrange your finances. A good adviser can be a friends, a confidant and you would be surprised what conversations you will have with them over the years. Surprisingly many of them are not directly about your finances.