Choosing the right person to manage your financial affairs is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, and there are a lot of different things to consider.
The following points should give you a starting point. And remember that you don’t have to go with the first person you meet – you should shop around and do your own research.
1) What Advice Do You Need?
The first question to ask yourself is about the advice you need. Are you buying a house, providing for children or planning for retirement? Speak with someone who specialises in financial planning appropriate to your personal situation and collect recommendations.
2) Different Types of Advisor
There are two types of financial advisor: Restricted and Independent. Restricted advisors (RFAs) can only advise on a limited number of products or specific companies, whereas IFAs (Independent Financial Advisors) can advise on any financial products appropriate to you.
Any advisor should be accredited by the FCA and provide objective advice.
3) Fiduciary Certifications
Hiring a fiduciary means they are legally bound to act in your best interests and cannot use your assets for their own benefit. Furthermore, you should always check an advisor’s qualifications. As mentioned above, they should be regulated by the FCA and have passed their CPF (Certified Financial Planner) tests.
4) Shop Around
As with any important decision, don’t settle. The chances are you will meet a variety of advisors while searching for someone to trust, and none will take it personally if you want to conduct further research.
4) Be Thorough
Ask lots of questions when meeting prospective advisors: check what services they provide, associated fees, qualifications and certifications; find out whether you will have a team working for you or one individual; make sure you know how to contact them and how often to expect updates. You should also check your advisor’s fee structure to ensure there are no conflicting interests.
It can also be worth finding out whether they use specialist software for IFAs from intelliflo.com to ensure your personal information is kept safe.
Talk to others in a similar financial stage of their lives to you to see whether they can recommend a good advisor, do your own thorough research and, when you’re ready, start meeting prospective advisors.