Five questions to ask your financial adviser
It may seem obvious, but it is essential you do your homework before committing yourself to a financial adviser/financial planner. You want to find a qualified professional best suited to your needs. It is a good idea to meet at least three different firms so you can make comparisons between how they do business and the personalities involved.
Here are five questions to ask:
1. What are your 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.
2. What experience do you have?
Experience is also an important consideration so ask how long the adviser has been in practice, the firms they have worked for and if they have any particular areas of expertise. Check also if they are experienced in the specific areas you are needing help.
3. What services do you offer?
Some financial advisers offer a full financial planning service, others may not be able to advise on taxation or facilitate pension transfers but will be able to bring in an adviser qualified in that area if necessary. Generally your needs and whether the adviser can help will be discussed in an initial meeting.
4. How and what do you charge?
Different advisers/firms charge in different ways usually dependent on whether you are an ongoing client or require only a particular service they offer. An adviser must disclose the cost of their services in writing before starting to work with you. Don’t be nervous about discussing specific figures, you need to be completely comfortable with the charging structure.
5. Can I check you are regulated?
Always check the Financial Services Register to ensure the adviser and the firm are regulated and approved by the Financial Conduct Authority, and authorised in the specific areas relevant to you.
Do not accept opinions, financial advice must always be given in a written format.
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