Michael Kennedy, Chartered Financial Planner at Principle First discusses a few questions you should consider asking a financial adviser and/or financial planner.
1. Are You Independent?
This is a very important question as it has a baring on the type of advice you receive. Only independent financial advisers advise on products from the whole of the market, offering completely unbiased advice. Some advisers are tied to product providers and so only advise on a restricted range of products. Ensure your adviser is independent. From a business point of view independent financial advisers attract more clients, and place more resources into identifying the best products for clients, who receive advice on all financial products.
2. What Are Your Qualifications?
Depending on the complexity of your needs, your financial advisers qualification are extremely important to ensure you receive the best possible advice. Have your adviser and support staff gained industry recognised qualifications and are they continually training and gaining further qualifications to ensure all clients receive the very best advice?
3. Who Is Your Typical Client?
Some firms cater for large companies and some are more geared towards individuals so it is a good idea to find one more able to cater for your needs. A firm that has a high level of financial knowledge should be able to deal with companies and individuals in developing the correct financial advice.
4. Can You Put Me In Touch With Existing Clients?
Any financial adviser should be more than confident in the advice they have offered all their clients and so should be more than happy to put you in contact with existing clients. Many firms will display their clients testimonials on their website as they are proud of the feedback they get.
5. Will You Work In Conjuction With My Accountant, Solicitor and / or Family Members?
Good financial planning requires the need to interact between all the professionals you employ. Many accountants and solicitors will be happy to interact with your financial adviser, however as it is not their area of expertise, they will normally wait for you to bring it up. Ask your professional accountant or solicitor if they can recommend a quality financial adviser and would they work in conjunction with that firm to ensure that you have the most efficient financial plan.
Ask yourself these questions and make the necessary steps to safeguard the financial planning needs of yourself and your family.