It’s essential to do your homework before committing yourself. The relationship between you and your financial adviser is a vital one, and it could make the difference between a comfortable retirement and a penny pinching one.
Just as you wouldn’t choose a builder without finding out about them first, you should check out your adviser before committing. Here are some questions to ask.
Q1. How and what do you charge?
Different advisers charge in different ways and many provide a free meeting up front. Find out if they charge by the hour, or by specific project, and whether they will charge for ongoing advice in the coming years. Don’t be afraid to talk about specific figures. You need to be completely comfortable with the charging structure.
Q2. Do you have many clients like me?
Some financial advisers focus on particular types of people, for example those who have a specific level of wealth, the self-employed or those with NHS pensions. If your adviser usually deals with the wealthy and you have modest means, that doesn’t make them a bad choice for you. Check that they have dealt with similar situations before.
Q3. Do you have additional qualifications?
Financial advisers need to have a certain amount of training and must engage in continual professional development to keep their qualifications. Taking extra qualifications, especially in areas relevant to your finances, can show that the adviser is likely to be switched on to new ideas.
Q4. What’s your investment philosophy?
Getting a good adviser “fit” can often depend on philosophy and style. Your adviser is duty bound to invest your money in line with your own risk appetite, not his or hers, so finding an adviser who thinks like you about goals, volatility and comfort can help you to build a rapport and be happy with the suggestions he or she makes.
Q5. Can I check your credentials?
Yes. Unless you have found your adviser by word of mouth, an adviser’s own website may be informative and also detail any affiliations, but you can also check online that they are on the Financial Services Register to ensure they are regulated and approved by the Financial Conduct Authority.
To find out more about how we can help you achieve your financial goals, call us today.