If you find yourself worrying about – and struggling with – your finances, it might be a good time to seek help from a financial adviser. But finding one nowadays isn’t always as easy at it may seem. Below are some helpful resources that you could use to get in touch with a bona fide financial adviser. Draw up a shortlist of three or four firms and give them a ring before deciding on which one to go with.
- Which? Local – This crowdsourcing site helps you get in touch with financial advisers near you based on recommendations from other Which? members.
- FCA – The Financial Conduct Authority’s online register is a great resource for checking whether your financial adviser is properly authorized or not.
- Unbiased – This online directory uses your postcode to find financial advisers near you.
- VouchedFor – This website lists financial advisers and offers real reviews and ratings from former clients.
- CISI – The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment is a trade body for financial advisers. Their website’s wayfinder tool is a great way to find CISI-accredited financial planning firms based on your post code.
Things To Consider When Choosing Your Financial Adviser
- Your Specific Needs – There are many types of financial experts out there, and they all have their own fields of expertise. If you are planning for your retirement, it might be best to talk to an adviser that specialises in pensions. Know what sort of financial advice you’re looking to get, and talk to the right people about your needs.
- Financial Adviser’s Qualifications – While the RDR (Retail Distribution Review) legislation requires all advisers to be qualified at a certain level, it doesn’t hurt to ascertain the facts. Make sure to find out how qualified your financial adviser is before doing business with them. Also, look out for those who have gone the extra mile and taken on additional qualifications.
- Ask For The Best Rates – The cost of sound financial advice isn’t set in stone. Feel free to talk to your financial adviser about getting the best rates. Paying too much for financial advice is simply a bad deal in itself, not to mention ironic.
- Get Everything On Paper – Be sure to have your adviser’s recommendations properly documented. It always helps to have something to refer to in case you need to remember what your financial adviser told you. If anything about the recommendations seems confusing to you, ask your adviser for a clear and concise explanation.
- Seek Personalized Service – Avoid dealing with advisers that throw around generic advice that can apply to anyone. Not everyone’s financial situations are the same, and you need to make sure that your adviser’s recommendations are tailored to your specific needs.
- Build A Relationship With Your Adviser – It’s important that you and your financial adviser get along well. You are, after all, trusting this person and the firm he represents with your financial well-being.
- Advanced Fact-Finding – Finding out more about potential advisers and sending them your personal information before your first meeting not only saves time, it also a good way of letting them know what you are like as a client.
Take as much time as necessary and don’t rush into consulting with just any adviser. Remember that you are trusting someone with one of the most important aspects of your life – your financial security – and that finding the perfect adviser deserves nothing less than your full and undivided attention.