Finding a financial adviser is a big step, and there’s no “one size fits all” option.
Your own specific set of needs and criteria will determine the best FA for you, but do you really know what you’re looking for? When it comes to selecting a financial adviser, there are some questions you should ask yourself to ensure you’re connecting with the right person for the job.
Do they offer independent or restricted advice?
As of December 31st 2012, there are new regulations in place dividing FAs into two categories. Independent advisers can offer advice on things like stocks, life policies and pensions, and must not be subject to any influences that could affect their recommendations or service. They have to know the full range of products, and make a fair analysis of them before recommending them to you. A restricted adviser can only make recommendations about a select number of financial products, and they have to specialise in these products.
Do they come recommended?
You may want to begin your search for an Financial Adviser by asking friends and family for referrals. While punching your search request into Google or scrolling through the phonebook will undoubtedly give you a lot of choices, working with someone that’s had a positive referral from someone you trust will likely prove less of a gamble, and can save lots of time.
How much will it cost?
While financial advisers used to work on a commission basis, new regulations implemented in January mean they now charge fees upfront. This can be an hourly fee, a fixed fee for the work undertaken or a percentage fee charged on implementation.
Do they specialise?
Some financial advisers specialise in working with newlyweds or recent graduates, others have lots of experience with retirees, while some FAs specialise on specific investment types or strategies. If you’re looking for specific advice on something like interest-free savings or stock options, you may be able to find an expert in this area that can help you realise your intentions.
Do I really need a financial adviser?
Lastly, think about your financial plan for the next five to ten years, and ask yourself if you can realise this plan on your own. If you have experience or knowledge about investing you may feel comfortable without expert help. However by working with an FA, you may learn about new financial products or investment opportunities that you weren’t aware of before, plus you can be steered towards those that are right for your particular situation, not just the newest or most popular product. If you’re taking a serious look at your financial future for the first time, you may well want to consider the help of a financial adviser to get your affairs in order and put in place a plan for success.
If you are looking for independent financial advisers in Cardiff and South Wales, Bartholomew Hawkins has a high level of knowledge, relevant expertise and, most importantly integrity.