How to find a financial adviser that you can trust

It can be difficult knowing where to start if you need a financial adviser. Get it right however, and a financial adviser can help you to manage your money and put a financial plan together, as well as suggesting options you might not have thought of.

What sort of advice do you want?

Depending on their services, advisers are known as financial planners, pension advisers or brokers (who sells investments and mortgages). Advisers who sell products such as critical-illness cover, income protection and mortgages are generally paid commission. All are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

There are basically three sorts of mortgage adviser: advisers who are restricted to a single lender; advisers who supply mortgages from a restricted list of providers; and advisers who can look at the whole market.

If you are seeking critical-illness insurance, life insurance or income protection and your circumstances are quite straightforward, you shouldn’t need to pay for advice. However, if your situation is complicated or you have health problems, it is a good idea to get some input from a qualified adviser. If you want help with pensions or investing, an adviser can help you plan in a tax-efficient way.

Choosing a financial adviser

Talk to different advisers before choosing one, to get the best fit for your needs.

Note that an independent financial adviser (IFA) is different from a ‘restricted’ adviser. IFAs may sell products from all providers, while restricted advisers are limited in the providers or products they suggest.

Several adviser directories exist online, such as the ones published by the Institute of Financial Planning and the Personal Finance Association. Similarly, the Money Advice Service publishes a directory of advisers who focus on retirement advice.

You will find that software for financial advisers can streamline your administration. If you need it, software for financial advisers can be found at Intelliflo.

Which? explains how to find a financial adviser here:

What should you pay?

Hourly rates can be anything from £75 to £350, but the average is about £150. If you are paying a fixed fee towards a particular task, anticipate paying several hundred pounds or more. If you are seeking ongoing advice, it’s usual to pay an annual percentage of the money being managed.

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