You’ll generally have trusted traders on hand for when various things crop up; you’ve a go-to handyman, plumber, electrician, pet sitting service etc. but what about your finances? Do you have someone on hand to turn to when you’re looking for financial advice?
Whether it’s to discuss mortgages, pensions, savings, investments, general money management etc. it’s always good to have a review of your financial position at least annually to see what you can do to help make more from your income, savings and investments and an adviser can be best placed to help you make an informed decision.
We talk to the Financial Conduct Authority for advice on how to find and what to look for in a financial adviser.
Ask friends or family
There’s no better point of reference than a positive referral. If you’re looking for advice on financial matters, ask your friends and family first to see if they’ve got someone they can recommend.
You may have different values or goals in your financial matters so be sure to check what you they used them for and ask what it was they liked about them and how they found them helpful.
There are plenty of ways to search for your own adviser; you can do your own online search, look for adverts in the newspaper and local directories. If you find one that meets your criteria, you can always do a secondary search to see if there are any reviews for them through Google, social media (Facebook is good for this), Yell etc. to see what other’s experiences are of them.
Check the register
Additionally, the Financial Conduct Authority is a regulatory body where advisers should register to illustrate that they’re regulated and in turn will give you protection and support of the Ombudsman should something go wrong. They have a list of registered professionals that you can search from.
When conducting your search, you’ll note that many financial advisers work within an area of expertise, so you may want a collection of advisers for your different financial needs. There are some who are more generalised if you would rather a more encompassing service, but determining how they can help you from the outset is essential so this is something to bear in mind. One of the questions to ask is the access they have assorted products and services; ideally, you want someone that can present you with options suitable to you just not because they’re limited.
It’s always recommended when starting out, that you speak/meet with a minimum of three financial advisers to discuss your needs, their expertise and their fees in further detail before making any commitments. You’ll want to build a relationship with your adviser and of course trust them to help you make decisions and occasionally even make those decisions on your behalf, so the initial introductions will help you decide who is best equipped to help you with your finances and who you have a good rapport with too.