Friday 22 June 2018

Finance Fridays – Choosing a financial adviser

We were teaching children about money for last week's Finance Fridays. This week we are looking at how to choose a financial adviser. There are many reasons why you may need to consult a financial adviser and there are lots to choose from. I used to be a qualified independent financial adviser so I know a thing or two about what makes a good adviser. Picking one out can be difficult so let's look how to go about choosing a financial adviser.

Check they are qualified – I had to take a lot of exams to qualify and quite rightly so. I was qualified through the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and I had to renew my membership each year to remain qualified. Check that the qualifications they state they have are legitimate and they are still valid. Some people who don't renew their membership may not be up to date with current products, rules and regulation or may have even been suspended!

Are you looking for specialist advice? - If you are looking at your future retirement plans then you need to look for a financial adviser that concentrates on pension planning and later years investments. Other financial advisers will be able to give you expert advice in stocks and shares so go for an adviser who really knows that area of financial planning. The website Unbiased lists thousands of financial advisers who are all regulated by the Financial Conduct Agency (FCA) and you can search by specialism.

Meet with a few
– Before you go any further with the first adviser you see have a short meeting with some others. That way you can find out who really understands your needs and what type of advice you are after. Most advisers offer free initial meetings.

Get recommendations – Often word of mouth is the best way to find a good financial adviser. Friends and family can truthfully tell you if they were pleased with the advice they were given and if they had a good experience.

Charging structure – Different financial advisers will have their own charging structures. Some will have a fixed fee for a meeting while others will have an hourly rate. In certain circumstances they will take a percentage of the value of your investments.

How often
– If you are looking for savings and investment advice you may want to be able to review your portfolio once or twice a year. In other circumstances such as getting a mortgage or setting up a pension you might only need one-off advice so don't feel pressured to keep returning.

Have you ever been to see a financial adviser? How do you choose one?

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Finance Fridays

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