5 questions to ask a financial adviser

As part of our GetAdvised campaign, we’re looking at ways professional advice can help you evaluate, develop and implement a solid plan to support your goals.

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Unsure where to begin? James Robson gives us five crucial questions to ask a potential adviser.

Thinking of speaking with a financial adviser? Download the unbiased.co.uk financial adviser checklist. It’s a starter pack to your financial future.

1.    What do you do?  It’s a very simple one to start but an adviser needs to be able to explain what it is they do, and how clients can benefit in a clear and concise format.

2.    Tell me about the type of clients you look after? If you’re coming close to retirement but your adviser mainly deals with people in their early 30s they may not be familiar with many of the issues you will face.  Equally if you are younger and your adviser is nearing retirement they may not be in a position to continuing helping you throughout your lifetime.

3.    Who will be looking after me? Some advisers work on their own managing all a client’s affairs.  Others prefer to work as part of a team – with administrators and paraplanners being central to the client relationship.  It’s important to understand who will be involved in the process – and how this affects you.

4.    What are the charges – and how are they applied?  Would you prefer to pay a fixed fee, percentage of assets or an hourly rate? Different firms have different structures and it’s important to find one that matches your needs.

5.    Are you independent? The retail distribution review introduced new categories for the types of adviser.  Many have retained the title of Independent Financial Adviser, others have become restricted its important you understand the areas your adviser can or can’t help you on.

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