When choosing an adviser I think it is really important to do your own research before you dive in! Most of my new clients come to me through recommendation from an existing client or their accountant. This is always a great compliment to me, but I think the individual should be careful and not rely on these recommendations alone.
There are lots of contributing factors that will make a financial adviser THE one for you:
Qualifications are obviously very important and as a Chartered Adviser and a Fellow of The Personal Finance Society you could say that I am biased. But for me, it was important to invest time in myself to demonstrate my knowledge base but also to learn more. I have to demonstrate high levels of continued professional development each year to ensure my knowledge remains up to date and relevant. This gives me the confidence I need to know my clients are in good hands. So why would you not choose a well qualified adviser?
The answer to this is that experience speaks volumes. I agree with this too. Therefore it’s also important to understand how long someone has been advising and who do they usually advise? I know my strengths lie in helping clients in the accumulation phase of their lives and I love doing what I am good at.
Personality plays a big part, I believe, in how well I am able to best help clients. If I am not speaking their language, it is going to be difficult to get under the client’s skin and REALLY understand them. One of my favourite parts of my job is sitting down with clients and working out what is important to them in life. If I don’t feel comfortable to ask (often quite personal) questions, I am not going to be able to understand a client as well as I would like.
Finally it is important that you understand an adviser’s motivation to help you. Whose side are they on? In my early career I worked as a tied adviser. As a tied adviser you have a set menu of providers whose products you can sell and although I felt I did a good job for clients, it still niggled me that perhaps I could do a better job if I was independent. Being independent means that you can advise a client on any regulated products that are out there in the market. The last part of that sentence is the most important for me. Am I an adviser or am I selling? Hence why it was important to me to be independent.
I hope this helps!! Good luck with choosing an adviser. Here is a link that might help https://www.unbiased.co.uk/enquiry/find-suitable-adviser
Miss Lolly xxx