The Tricks of the Expert Financial Adviser
This is the second of our two blogs covering the tricks and treats of professional financial advice. This time, we will be focusing on the top five tricks when looking to find an expert adviser! These are the little snippets of information you’ll often find useful before seeking professional advice. They’re the ‘need to know’ tips for getting the most out of your adviser and your professional financial advice experience…
So, without much further ado!
Trick 1: Don’t be put off by thinking the cost will outweigh the benefits
An Expert financial adviser is expensive, right? As with all things, sometimes they can be! However, in most cases, the benefits will outweigh the costs. It’s always worth at least speaking to an expert financial adviser to find out how much the advice you need will cost. Most advisers offer a free introductory meeting so that you can use this to see what’s what before you commit. So trick 1, take advisers up on free initial meetings!
Trick 2: Ask your expert financial adviser about what tools they have to assist you with your financial planning and savings…
Irrespective of what area of financial planning you need advice upon, a good adviser will look to utilise the best tools for each job. Seize the opportunity to ask what tools your adviser has on offer that might benefit your planning and day-to-day handling of finances. For us, we have our new MoneyInfo client portal that allows clients access to their entire financial life in one place. It gives a ‘bigger picture’ overview that our clients like to have in order to have better control over their finances. So, trick 2 is to always ask your adviser what tools they have on offer that might give you the ‘bigger picture’ clarity you need around your finances.
Trick 3: Ask for clarity if you don’t understand something your adviser has said and, if need be, keep on asking until it’s crystal clear!
Expert financial advisers have an obligation to explain financial ideas and information in simple and easy-to-understand language. They should be able to do this as a matter of course. After all, they’re all about empowering you to make financial decisions – so you need to know what’s going on. However, an adviser is only human and jargon that sounds alien to the rest of the world is commonplace to them. As such, if you find yourself not having a clue what they have just said, tell them! Be blunt! Be brutal even! It’s important the adviser knows if they’ve taken a brief trip to Mars 🙂 Always remember that you’re paying your adviser to clarify your financial life. So, if an adviser makes you feel stupid for asking questions or for seeking clarity, walk away!
Trick 4: Ask if you have an ‘Independent’ expert financial adviser
You can get different types of financial adviser and so it’s worth doing a little research before you commit. Alternatively, if you already have an adviser, you may also want to ask whether or not they are ‘independent’ and if they are qualified to offer advice across a range of subjects. This really is food for thought when it comes to what your goals are and what kind of financial advice experience you will get. Independent Financial Advisers have access to products from across the whole market. This means there can be no ulterior motive in the products or providers they recommend, you can be confident the advice you get will be truly unbiased. This may not necessarily be the case if you don’t use an Independent adviser.
Trick 5: Chartered financial advisers take a pledge to put you first
If you’ve had a long and healthy financial relationship with your adviser, that’s great! However, if your’e looking for a new adviser for whatever reason it’s worth stating to look for a Chartered one. Chartered financial advisers have gone above and beyond minimum standards and take a pledge to put you and your financial needs first. As such the chartered is an emblem of honour and integrity. They might not necessarily be the cheapest option out there – but there are few situations we can think of where paying just a little extra for the real deal wasn’t well worth the money!