How to choose your financial adviser

How to choose your financial adviser

Individuals are increasingly being challenged by the question of how to manage their investments to provide for the future. How can you go about creating a spread of investments to minimise risk?

The answer is to seek professional advice, and choosing someone to manage your money is something you can control.

Financial advisers fall into two categories: independent financial advisers (IFAs) and restricted advisers. The former can offer impartial advice on a wider range of investments. The first step is to choose the IFA who is right for you.


A good place to start is the Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA also has a register of qualified advisers to check.

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Once you have a chosen a shortlist of advisers to approach, there are issues you need to raise when discussing your investment plans. Financial advisers are increasingly using technology to help them manage investments. Software for IFAs such as that found at plays an important role in performance, and you may want to check that your adviser is using this kind of technology.

The next thing you will want to understand is exactly how the adviser is going to calculate fees and how they will charge for their help. Services may vary, with some companies simply providing advice on investments, whilst others may offer a more comprehensive package including retirement plans, estate planning, insurance and taxation.

By speaking to a spread of companies, you will get an idea of how fees relate to your capital investment.


IFAs may specialise in a certain type of client, and you will need to be sure that you fit their profile. This may involve the type of investment they recommend, such as ethical investments, or they may have expertise in a client profile. You might have recently come into a lump sum, or you could be a newlywed or recently divorced.

You also need to explain your own requirements and the risk level you are prepared to tolerate. A good financial adviser will make investments consistent with that tolerance and your goals.

Ask to see a financial plan and do not be afraid to ask questions if you do not understand it. You may also want to make sure that the person you speak to at the outset will continue to be your point of contact, offering a unique client experience.

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