How to choose a financial advisor in six steps

Choosing a financial adviser may appear to be a daunting prospect, but it will easier if you break it down into six steps.

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Do you need a financial adviser?

First of all, are you certain that you need a financial adviser? There are free resources available, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, and you will find lots of information online.

What level of advice are you looking for?

Some IFAs will cover a wide range of advice, such as tax planning, investments, mortgages, pensions and trusts, while others will specialise in particular areas.

What type of service do you need?

You should consider why the advice is needed – are you dealing with a one-off issue or are you looking for an ongoing service? How do you want the contact to be carried out – face-to-face, via standard communication such as phone or email, or by other means? There are a variety of services available. Will your chosen adviser need access to back office systems for IFAs to ensure they have access to the best deals for you?

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Searching for an advisor

There are numerous IFAs available for your varying needs. You should contact a few to start with, which will help you make a comparison between their strengths and their genuine interest in helping you. Ideally, a face-to-face meeting with an IFA will help to establish what you need and whether they can provide the correct service. You will also want to make sure the IFA has good systems from a provider such as Intelliflo for continued access to up-to-date information.

What should you be paying for?

The more work that your financial advisor does for you, the more regularly the charges will come in; however, the main thing is to be sure that you know what you are paying for and why. There are different ways that advisors charge and while many will offer free introductory sessions, you should be aware of their charges.

Once you have found your advisor, what then?


Once you have selected the services of an IFA, ensure that they genuinely have your personal needs at the heart of their service. Continue to hold meetings with them and make sure that they keep you up to date with regular contact and consultation, providing you with the necessary expertise at all times.

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