Choosing a financial adviser is a decision that requires care, thought and patience. Just like swiping through dating profiles, or picking your next series on Netflix, you don’t want to rush in and commit to something that is just not to your taste. Especially since a majority of people who look to engage with a financial adviser are often doing so in response to an event in their life that has made them become more financially conscious. This can be both good and bad situations, but either way, the process of choosing a financial adviser should follow the same method.
So, to help you navigate your way through the pool of advisers out there, we have created a shortlist of questions. These will not only help you narrow down who suits you but will also help you understand what you are also trying to achieve through financial planning.
1. How do financial planners get paid?
There can be mixed opinions on this matter with some saying a flat fee is the way to go. However, advisers who work on commission can be the biggest promoters of competition within the lending market. Commissions from a financial adviser point of view enable advice to be provided to those who can least afford it, which are often the ones who need it most.
2. What is your investment strategy?
How will the adviser make your money work for you? It is important for you and the broker to be on the same page in regards to how you would like to move forward.
3. What are my costs?
There can be other fees and charges associated with working with a financial adviser beyond their rates. Make sure you are clear on this before you start so you don’t get caught out.
4. How do you get to know your clients?
Now, this has nothing to do with what your favourite movie is, this is about the adviser getting an all-encompassing picture of your life, your lifestyle and your current situation financially so that they can advise you to the best of your ability. You want them to be thorough in their approach, and they should want to know what you want to achieve as much as where you sit now.
5. What will our relationship look like?
Essentially, you want to know how often you will connect with your adviser, what kind of information you will discuss, in other words how much access you will have to them? This relationship should work for you and what you are trying to achieve, you may want to spend a lot of time and be heavily involved, or you may want to take a backseat and simply be presented with the information.
6. How will my investment be monitored?
It is important to understand at a base level what your investments are and how they are working. As a client you will be setting the expectation of what you want and need from your broker.
7. How do you keep your advice up to date and relevant?
It is important to feel confident in what your adviser is telling you, and that it is current. It is mandatory for advisers to complete 60 hours of CPD over and 18-month period, there are on-going education requirements to reach a standard equivalent to and approved Degree.
8. What are your qualifications?
A pretty simple one really, it is nice for you to be able to see the foundation of the adviser's knowledge.
9. Do you specialise in an area of financial planning or advice?
This may or may not be relevant to you, especially if all of the above questions go your way, but if a broker has a particular area of interest or a common factor between clients, they will often have a strong strategy and proven results that they can base their plan from.
At the end of the day, you are engaging with this person to help you. Your goal is to be financially secure and comfortable is your situation. Never be afraid to ask the ultimate question “why should I invest with you?”. A good and supportive financial adviser will be working to help you reach your goals and ensure that you are a part of the process.
If you are looking to start the discussion around your finances and future goals, contact a Capita Financial Planner here today. We are here to help ensure you are covered for whatever life may bring.