Some of us engage with advice to ensure our financial plans will help us achieve our goals, while others want help with a specific issue, such as how to access our pension most tax-efficiently or how to find the best mortgage rate. However, with an estimated 27,000 financial advisers in the UK, it can be hard to pick the right person, let alone the right mortgage or investment. Here are the dos and don’ts to ensure that you end up with the advice and help you need.
DO SHOP AROUND
www.vouchedfor.co.ukVouchedFor, the site where people review financial advisers, has recently released its 2020 Guide to the UK’s Top-Rated Financial Advisers, which could be a helpful starting point.
Many advisers will be happy to offer an initial free consultation, which gives you a chance to ensure you are happy to have a continuing relationship.
DO ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
Many advisers build their reputations locally, so it is worth asking those you trust in your community about whom they have chosen to advise them on their money.
DO CHECK QUALIFICATIONS & STATUS
All financial advisers need to hold a minimum Level 4 qualification, such as the diploma in regulated financial planning. Many have demonstrated a greater commitment to their technical expertise and planning skills, becoming a chartered financial planner or certified financial planner. Mortgage advisers, meanwhile, typically need a Level 3 mortgage qualification.
Check that you understand what type of advice your financial adviser or mortgage adviser is offering. Independent financial advisers (IFAs) are required to consider all products and all providers for you when making any recommendations. Similarly, whole-of-market mortgage advisers can advise across a range of available mortgage products, and may be able to access lenders’ direct-only deals.
Restricted financial advisers have restrictions in either the products or the providers they recommend, and some might only recommend their own company’s products. Limited mortgage advisers, meanwhile, may only be able to access their company’s recommended products, which could mean less choice.
DO CONSIDER EXPERIENCE
While all financial advisers and mortgage advisers must be qualified, having relevant and wide-ranging experience may help them give the right advice to you.
Do GET TO GRIPS WITH THE COSTS
There is no getting away from it: good financial advice costs money.
Different firms charge in different ways, and it is important to get an idea of this upfront.
DO USE A REGULATED FIRM
Financial advice firms are listed in the FCA register at register.fca.org.uk.
DON’T IGNORE YOUR INSTINCTS
Your financial adviser should be interested in you and your goals, so do not go with anyone who does not seem to be.
Think about how you feel in their company. Do you feel listened to? Are they interested in you, your life, the outcomes you’d like?
DON’T BE AFRAID TO RESEARCH THEM
Good advisers will not be unhappy that you have googled them!
Vouchedfor.co.uk, the UK’s largest rating site for financial and legal advisers, has released its 2020 Guide to the UK’s Top-Rated Financial Advisers.