Good Independent Financial Advisers used to be few and far between, but now as numbers grow rapidly how do you choose the right one for you? How do you know that they’re going to put your needs first, and make decisions that benefit you before anyone else?
In 2007 the financial crisis opened people’s eyes to the importance of good Financial Advice and how utilising IFA’s to manage our finances and plan our future is an effective way to keep up with the highs and lows of the current climate.
You think you’ve found the one?
You’ve done your searching and come across an Independent Financial Adviser that you think could be perfect for you, before going any further be sure to check them on the FSR (Financial Services Register) before anything else.
Restricted or independent?
Ask them if they’re independent or restricted, a Financial Adviser will have to make this clear before you go any further. Independent means that the advice is based on whole of market research on all types of retail investment products appropriate to your wants and needs. Independent advice has to be unbiased with no restriction and must consider products from all providers or firms available. Restricted advice is exactly that, restricted. The restriction can be on the types of products an adviser or firm is able to recommend or the provider they can recommend, or both.
“The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”
– Warren Buffett
Are they qualified?
You’re most of the way there! You’ve checked that an Adviser is regulated, and you’ve found out whether they’re Independent or Restricted, now what? Well the minimum qualification required for an IFA is Level Four, meaning they’ve completed 200 hours of study, which is generally the equivalent to first-year degree level, so check their credentials and accreditations to ensure they’re legitimate and able to provide sound, impartial Financial Advice. You might find that they’ve decided to carry on their studies and are now specialists in some areas of finance. There’s also the option to only consider a Certified, Chartered or Accredited Financial Advisers firm. All Advisers HAVE to be regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).
You’ve found an adviser, you’ve checked if they’re regulated, and you now know their qualifications and accreditations, what’s next? Well, arguably one of the most important aspects of choosing an IFA is Do you actually like them? Cost effective financial advice is fantastic, but are you really going to want it from someone you don’t like? The best advice should last you a lifetime and the IFA is going to be right by your side every step of the way, so you need to be sure that the advice you’re getting is not only worth the money you’re spending, but is also coming from someone you can trust, someone with the same values as you, and someone that is going to put your needs first before anything else.
Paying for Financial Advice
Paying for Financial Advice shouldn’t have to be a chore, it shouldn’t worry you, in fact, you should be excited at the prospect that a trusted, accredited IFA is going to be looking after your finances, helping them grow and develop into something you can use for years to come and pass down from generation to generation.
You may have to pay what seems like a fairly high sum to begin with but the rewards can usually far outweigh any initial payment you might’ve made.
Nowadays, IFA’s aren’t able to ride on the coat-tails of the services they recommend by taking a commission, this has actually helped and protected hard-working, everyday people from being mis-sold products and services. What this does mean is that you have to pay a fee for advice and there are two ways to pay; An ad-hoc fee, or a fee that’s taken off the top of your original investment.
To help you on your search to find your ideal IFA, here are the main directories that you can use to narrow down your list.
Get in touch with our team of regulated IFA’s and book your free no obligation Discovery Meeting at our expense. Or, you can also download our free e-book for more small business tips today.
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