14 Important Questions You Should Ask A Financial Adviser
Choosing the right Financial Adviser is an important part to make your money go further. When you make the vital decision to seek financial advice, it’s important to be comfortable with the professionals as you’ll be giving them your entire financial situation and access to your money.
You can read our previous blog on how to find a financial adviser in the UK.
So now you should have a shortlist of advisers you’ll like to get in contact with and get more information. But you may be wondering… what questions should I ask?
1- How much do you charge?
The very first thing that pops into mind is the adviser’s fees. Before taking a client, the financial advisers must tell you how much they charge for their services. This may not be a concrete rate, it can be a percentage of your pot, profit, income or anything else.
2- What services do you charge?
A financial adviser has a legal obligation to be clear about which services they provide. There are some which may specialise in a particular area but not in others. You must ensure that you understand if the adviser is the perfect entity in dealing with your goal.
3- Do you have a similar experience with a scenario like mine?
Different advisers have different skills or knowledge, and they won’t always constantly be dealing with the exact same people of wealth. If you speak to someone with experience in dealing with wealth over £1 million, but you have £50,000, it’s far better in your interest to find an adviser with experience in dealing with wealth similar to yours.
4- Will I be working with you or an entire team?
Most of the time, the financial adviser you speak to will generally personally work with you. However, there are many advisers who work as part of a larger organisation or group and may have a colleague to assist with their work. It’s important to understand what you should expect, and if this is the sort of relationship you want.
5- How often do you communicate with your clients?
Typically when signing up with an adviser, you will be drafted into a scheduled timeslot which suits both parties, however, this is not always the case. You should be aware of how often meetings take place – in person or by video call. Make sure you keep on top of your finances and ask any questions you may have during the meeting.
Additionally, you should ask whose job it is to keep regular contact,; you, the adviser or a receptionist/assistant.
6- What is your approach to investment?
Some advisers have more than one investment strategy depending on how much you are willing to risk, However, these are in place as a precaution to mitigate financial loss as it’s in their best interest to make you money.
It’s worth understanding the adviser’s methods and expertise to better understand the process, the risks, and the potential outcomes. The more you understand how your money will be used, the better.
7- How regularly will you assess my financial situation and provide a summary?
It’s imperative to keep on top of your finances, especially your investments to understand what’s working, and more importantly, what is not. The more regularly you assess your investments, the reduced risk of loss through poor decisions.
8- Can I see an example of a financial plan?
The layout and structure of a financial plan will differ from adviser to adviser as there is no one-size-fits-all. However, some may provide a brief overview and others will delve deeper with graphs and technical words.
By seeing a sample document, you will better understand how the adviser works and you will be able to see what you don’t understand about the approach.
If you are familiar with some of the technical terms, make sure you ask them to speak in a more comfortable way.
9- Do you have clients who are willing to speak about their experiences with you or any reviews?
Depending on the platform you found the adviser, you may be able to find reviews left by current or former clients. You may be able to speak to a current or former client of the adviser to give you an external perspective of their experiences with the adviser, or anything you should keep an eye out for.
10- What is your performance record?
No one wants to be asked this question however it’s imperative that you make sure the adviser you are speaking to won’t make rash investment decisions, or worse, do something you are not comfortable with.
You can tie this question with the previous question and speak to other clients about their experience after a period of time.
11- How can I keep track of my investments/money?
With technology constantly evolving, there are advisers keen to use technology to help their clients keep track of their finances whenever they please. However, there are some who prefer the old tradition of face-to-face meetings or phone calls.
All methods have their strengths and weaknesses, but if you prefer to be in constant touch with your finances, you should avoid the latter.
12- What happens to my investments if something happens to you?
This is an extremely awkward question to ask it’s rightly a concern for many people. If your financial adviser becomes ill, forced to retire or worse, it’s important to understand what will happen to your money should an unexpected event occurs. Will there be someone ready to step in? Will your money be transferred to a 3rd party?
Make sure you understand what steps they have in place for such events.
13- What should I bring to our first meeting, and what should I expect?
Generally, your first consultation will be free. During this meeting, you will discuss your financial goals and the adviser will outline how they (or the organisation) will be able to help you out.
You may want to make a list of questions you have or send over an email prior to the meeting. If you are unsure what you will be expecting or want to second opinion, you could take a friend or relative with you.
14- Do you think you are the best adviser for me?
You want to ultimately work with someone who is confident, skilful and experienced to help your financial goals. A financial adviser should be able to list their key attributes and why they are someone you should rely on.
15- Do you have other recommendations?
This question depends on the response the adviser gives the answer above. If they feel like they are not suited for your situation, you could ask if they have a professional network with other advisers who are more aligned with your goals.
This blog is not intended to be financial advice or sway your opinion about choosing an investor. This blog was created to help give you some questions to ask any financial advisers you are looking for.
Lendwise Ltd is not responsible for any investment decisions made and if you are unsure of any investments, you should consult a professional financial adviser. Your money is at risk and you should take 2 minutes to understand the risks of investing.