Choosing a financial adviser may seem quite daunting, especially when you type ‘financial advice’ into a search engine online and discover there are more than 50,000,000 results! But it is worth persevering as a good financial adviser can save you a lot of money and a lot of worry.
Personal recommendations are always a strong consideration. Friends, family and business contacts can often let you know who they have dealt with but remember that good advice can often take years to bear fruit. You can also explore online review sites, but always check that you’re not getting ‘paid for’ recommendations. Many directory sites rely on the income generated from making sure certain companies listings are placed at the top of a particular page.
Check that any adviser is offering the right advice for your needs. If you’re looking for investment advice, for example, you might want to evaluate the whole of the market rather than have just a few products to choose from. This is the difference between restricted advice and independent advice. More and more financial advice firms are changing from offering independent advice to restricted advice so be sure you’re happy with the product range on offer.
Finally, check the fees applicable to any work undertaken. Many advisers adopt a percentage based model for their remuneration, often up to 3% on set up of investments or pensions and an annual charge of around 1% of the funds under management. If a portfolio is worth £500,000 that equates to a £15,000 set up fee and an annual charge of £5,000.