Finding a Financial Adviser

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Seeking professional advice from a qualified financial advisor is often a shrewd move in getting the most out of your money. Yet many of us may be at a loss on what we should consider when choosing a financial advisor.

Below are some of the key questions you might like to ask when making your decision:

Does your chosen adviser specialize in the area that you would like advice on (mortgages, annuities, pensions etc)?

Some advisers specialize in one area, others cover a range of areas, choosing the right one depends on the depth or breadth of advice that you are seeking.

Is your chosen adviser authorized by the Financial Services Authority?

You should check with the FSA before taking or paying for any advice. Firms that are not registered should be avoided. Any reputable company should be registered with the FSA.

Is your chosen adviser independent?

Financial advisers enjoy varying levels of independence. An independent financial advisor should give you a service tailor to your needs offering a range of products from across the market. If your advisor is not independent they can usually only advise you on their own products, and this may severely restrict your options. Financial advisers who are tied to a particular company can be useful if you only want advice on their particular products and have already looked the wider market. Do not be afraid to ask directly if they are properly independent.

What will the advice charges be?

Although most advisors will offer a free initial consultation it is important that you fully understand what future costs may be, and agree whether they will be paid on a fixed fee or commission basis.

Have you done your basic research?

Whatever kind of product you are looking for advice on you should have a basic awareness of what is on offer, and what your goals are to avoid any risk of coming away with a product entirely unsuitable for your needs.

Can you see yourself developing a rapport with your adviser?

Trust is important. Your financial adviser may help you to make some of the most significant financial decisions of your life, so you should feel completely comfortable with them.

Once you have considered these questions and found a financial advisor to suit your needs, you should maintain regular contact with your adviser to ensure that you fully understand how your money is being managed.

The financial world is becoming increasingly complex, with a huge range of products available to the consumer. Whatever you're looking for advice on pension schemes, annuities, investments, mortgages or any other financial decisions affecting you or your company. Finding a reliable independent financial advisor can help you consider the full range of options available.