Here is the Better Wealth Management guide to choosing an independent financial adviser.
Looking to work with a financial adviser?
Confused about how to find a good one and what traits to look out for?
The team at Better Wealth Management have put together this helpful guide to help you navigate the process of finding the right financial adviser for you.
Choosing a financial adviser at first, might seem daunting.. However, if you are seeking help with financial decisions such as pensions, investments and inheritance tax planning, it’s a process worth persevering with.
An honest, experienced financial adviser can save you money by avoiding poor investment choices. They can also save you time as they already have the knowledge of, and access to a full range of investment opportunities.
An experienced, independent financial adviser will usually offer a range of services including:
- Wealth and financial planning
- Estate planning and inheritance tax advice
- Pension and investments
- Retirement Planning
- Mortgages and equity Release
- Business & Personal Protection
The key to finding the right financial adviser depends on the advice you are looking for.
- Are you looking for help with investing in your pension, or a stocks and shares ISA?
- Do you have parents at an age where they may need care? Is their estate and your inheritance protected from the spiraling costs of long term care?
- Are you approaching retirement and focused on maximising your later life income?
- Are you trying to find a mortgage or perhaps life insurance?
These are just some of the many reasons people need advice from a financial adviser. There are many different types of adviser, so it pays to understand which is the best choice for you.
What makes a good financial adviser?
Here are some of the key elements to what makes a good financial adviser.
They are independent. Not tied to a small pool of investment and pension funds.
You should only work with an independent financial adviser who has access to the whole of the investment market.
Financial advisers who aren’t, could limit your investment opportunities and therefore your optimum, long term financial return.
They have a solid reputation, backed up by reviews.
There are many ways you may find a financial adviser.
An online search, a recommendation from a networking group, a nudge in the right direction from family and friends.
However, ultimately the decision and responsibility is yours.
The best financial advisers have good reputations, fantastic relationships with their clients and a solid track record of offering sound financial advice.
They will be more than happy to provide you with a reference and will have some good online reviews.
They take a proactive approach. If you spot laziness, run a mile.
Good financial advisers keep the lines of communication open with their clients.
They provide regular updates on current financial issues and opportunities. They are good communicators and help make complex financial concepts incredibly easy to understand.
If a financial adviser withholds information or doesn’t afford you the time to clearly explain his or her financial recommendations, they’re not worth your time (or money).
They don’t panic. They remain calm and clear.
Finding a financial adviser who is calm, patient and never panics is fundamental to your success.
You should always work with a financial planner who is constantly evaluating what options are right for you, but doesn’t deviate from a well-thought-out tactical and strategic financial plan.
Avoid advisers like the plague, who constantly push the latest hot investment fund with a sense of urgency. Why?
They may not have your best interests at heart.
Investing is about long term growth. Avoid advisers who demonstrate a sense of urgency when it comes to investment opportunities. Ask what’s in it for them?
They build confidence and trust. They look to invest your money wisely.
You need a financial advisor you can trust to have confidence in their recommendations.
A solid, regulated financial adviser will avoid hyperbole. They won’t make unsubstantiated claims about your potential gains.
Even if they can point to previous performance.
Past performance doesn’t indicate future gains. However a good track record is an indicator you’re in good hands.
If ever you feel nervous, ‘sold to’, fearful or uncomfortable after a meeting with your financial adviser, trust your instincts and consider the relationship.
They are an experienced financial professional.
What do you think is better?
Working with a smooth talking, sharp suit wearing, new-kid-on-the-block or someone with long term experience of the financial markets?
Experienced independent financial advisers will have seen it all.
They will have experienced and survived market crashes, financial crises and will have a solid track record of sound investment picks.
Their business will be regulated, they will have accreditations and qualifications.
They take a holistic view of all your finances. They will want to know your plans and financial objectives.
Solid financial advice covers way more than just the types of asset classes you invest in.
An effective financial adviser will take the time to learn about your full financial situation including:
- You financial goals
- Current investments
- Financial situation
- Your family situation and life goals
This will help a financial advisor begin to develop a meaningful and accurate financial plan.
They have a support team working alongside them
An effective financial advisor should have access to a broad range of experts to meet your specific needs.
This can be fund managers, mortgage specialists, lawyers and more.
A team approach ensures you get the professional advice you require to meet any desired investment, wealth management, protection or life goals.
They develop a clear investment strategy
Think of long term investing as a journey.
In the same way you wouldn’t embark on a trip without a clear direction of how to get to your destination, you shouldn’t try to navigate towards your dream financial future without a clear direction.
A quality financial adviser, will develop and communicate your investment strategy in a clear, concise way. Easy to understand and reassuring for the client.
Financial advisers work with you and put your interests first.
Professional financial advisers tailor your investment plan around your specific goals.
You will get quarterly updates as a minimum and face to face meetings.
As discussed previously in this guide, an independent financial adviser will have access to all of the available investment funds, pensions ISAs.
They will offer a range of services to support you at different points in your journey through life.
For example in addition to financial planning and investments they will be abel to help you with:
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning and issues surrounding Inheritance Tax
- Personal and business protection – life cover, key-person cover for businesses and more
Why work with Better Wealth Management?
We’d love to hear from you about your current and future financial goals and dreams. Here’s a comprehensive list of what we bring to the table:
- Fully independent financial advice – your best interests at heart
- Experienced advisers with over 35 years of experience
- Industry accreditations and qualifications
- A solid track record and fantastic customer relationships
- A team of experts
- A broad range of services to cater for your financial objectives and life goals