Worried about the DIY approach to your finances? Looking for expert advice? An independent financial adviser is a good idea. One of the top reasons that people go the DIY route is that they believe that the fee you pay for financial advice just isn’t worth it. A good adviser is someone that looks at your financial items as a whole, rather than just a few figures and a handful of facts. They want to get to know your goals and your real desires, not just a few bullet points on a questionnaire. The good ones will help you save your money, grow your money, and otherwise make better financial decisions than you did in the past. Of course, they aren’t a “magic bullet” solution: if you spend too much money on credit cards, you will probably continue to have out of control spending even after you hire an IFA. Likewise, if you don’t take time to learn the fundamentals of investing, you’ll most likely hit a brick wall.
But the fine points of getting expert advice still apply: better decision making, provided that you get a real pro at your fingertips.
To start your search off right, try to look around in your own personal network. Surely someone in your circle has already found an IFA they love, right? Check with them first before you go on an Internet safari. If you don’t know anyone and your circle doesnít either, all hope isn’t lost. There are sites online that do nothing but provide reviews of IFAs and verify that each review is submitted by a real client, not a computerized fake account designed to promote the business without providing value.
Now, you might use a site to find an IFA. Are you done? Not at all. You need to make sure that you interview the other party thoroughly. The first question should be to check whether or not they’re really independent. If they’re a restricted adviser, they can only push forward certain products. A true independent can show you all of your options. Not only should they be an independent, but they should also be authorised by the FCA to give real financial advice. The FCA has a section on their website where you can check this out.
You may have some difference preferences as far as how you want to be contacted. Some people like to stick with email, so they have a written record they can print out at any time. It’s a smart approach, but it can feel a bit cold and distant. Other people like to meet face to face. Usually, the more one to one interaction you have with an IFA, the more chance that it can cost you a bit of money. Face to face usually costs the most, and email or phone costs the least. The best way to know where you stand is simply to ask the expert that you’re facing.
The first meeting with an IFA is almost always free, so this is a great point to ask your questions before moving forward. A good professional will take the time to allay your concerns, because they want to build a good working relationship with you. Be sure that you’re considering as many elements of your financial goals as you can, because this will become important in the future.
You don’t have to fear hiring a financial adviser. As long as you’re willing to follow some tips, the experience isn’t as bad as you might expect!