You may have thought that I should have started my articles with this topic. The reason I have left it to the end is that I believe you need to understand the process of financial advice before you select you adviser. For example, now that you know that you may have to discuss with your adviser how you overspend or are heavily in debt you may seek to find someone of a sympathetic nature. Similarly if the investment of your capital is of paramount important, the selection of a specialist in this area may be paramount.

Here is a check list of things to consider when appointing an adviser

  1. The most important question you have to ask yourself is “Can I get on with this person”. You will be working with them for many years. Also contained in this question is “Will I feel relaxed with this person when I have to discuss personal affairs”.
  2. You should consider if the adviser is “Your sort of person” by that I mean if you have an analytical mind you may need to seek out a like minded adviser or if you are artistic you may wish to find someone who is more visual in their expression of financial matters
  3. In the past I would have asked you to check that the adviser is suitably qualified. The Retail Distribution Review has meant that all advisers are now qualified to a high level. However, ideally you should seek out a Chartered  Financial Planner who is a true professional. That person is qualified to a very high level, is a member of a professional body and complies with the ethics of that body.
  4. You may wish to seek out a specialist. If you want pensions or investment advice you will find that certain advisers specialise in these areas and have a great deal of experience and may have additional qualifications.
  5. You want to know how long the adviser has been in business and his plans for the future. You do not want to make a selection only to discover that the adviser packs up in a few months time for lack of business.
  6. It is important to ask if the adviser works within a team. This means that if the adviser is ill or on holiday there is someone else with whom you can speak.
  7. An adviser with a stable administration team is also important. The adviser is usually busy seeing clients like you and so if you have a quick query it can usually be solved by an administration person, if such a person exists.
  8. If you decide that you like the adviser and can work with him or her you do need to establish that you will always have access to this adviser. This is particularly important for future reviews as you need to establish a long term relationship with this person. Ideally you should be picking out someone who can be the adviser to your children and grandchildren!

Good Hunting

September 2013