How to Choose a Financial Adviser

Choosing a financial adviser is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life.

With the recent introduction of workplace pensions, many people will think the job of planning their financial future has been done for them. This could not be further from the truth. Over your working life, there will be many financial decisions to be made, including choosing your mortgage provider, how best to invest surplus cash, how to make choices about how to use your pension pot once you have access to it and long-term care provision.

Information

A reliable financial adviser will be able to guide you in these decisions, so how do you begin to find one?

A good starting point is an information provided by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Friends may also be able to offer suggestions, but doing your own research can be useful. You can find dedicated financial adviser sites to help with your search. It is worth speaking to several advisers to see what they offer.

In a financial world where technology is key, fintech plays an increasingly important role. Many firms will use financial adviser software such as that provided by intelliflo. You will want to ensure that your chosen adviser is using this industry aid and is familiar with the advantages it offers.

Planning

Once you are in discussions with an adviser, you should check the FCA register to ensure that the firm is regulated and approved by the organisation. The advantage of finding an adviser who is registered is that you will have access to the Ombudsman Service and the Compensation Scheme which is run by the FCA in case there is any dispute arising from your financial relationship.

The next step is to ensure you raise the issue of costs at the outset. This may be a fixed fee or a percentage of funds the advisor is managing. Some firms may offer a more comprehensive fee package, including advice on investments, retirement planning, insurance, and taxation. It is important to understand what advice you need at any stage in your financial development and what the costs will be.

Being able to develop a personal relationship with your adviser is also key. It is your money, but a good adviser will suggest how best it can be managed.

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