Finding the right IFA

How to find the right financial adviser

  • Make sure you are clear about what you are trying to achieve so you don’t waste your time and money.
  • Before you make any appointments, talk to three or four different adviser firms – you’ll want information about charges, whether an initial consultation is free or charged for, how they handle the longer term adviser/client relationship - and anything else that is important to you, such as whether they are willing to come and see you in your own home or workplace.  Don’t forget to use our handy adviser checklist to help you compare different advisers.
  • Ask about your adviser’s qualifications – what they are, what they mean; ask how long the firm has been in business, and what your adviser specialises in. Ask about any accreditations the firm may have too like are they a Chartered Financial Planning firm or are they a member of any bodies such as the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) that provides a focus on advice for those in the later stages of life.
  • Ask about ways to pay charges and fees that might make it easier for you – and as with all things these days, if you think it’s too expensive, see if you can negotiate a better deal or payment options that suit you better.
  • Do they talk to you in plain English or are they using jargon terms that you don’t understand?
  • You can check your financial adviser’s status online – financial advisers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and you should be able to find both the firm and the individual adviser on the FCA register.
  • From 2013 financial advisers have to hold a Statement of Professional Standing, renewed each year.  Ask if you can see this and make sure it’s not out of date.
  • Use the options within our online search to refine and focus your search to get a list of the advisers who best fit your needs.