How to find a great financial adviser
By taking financial advice, you’re about to ask a stranger to help you make some big financial decisions. So, it’s important that you have complete faith in your adviser and that you’ll get exactly the right type of advice for your circumstances.
Last Updated: 3 November 2023
If you’re considering taking financial advice, the firm and adviser you use should be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Aside from that, here are the key things to consider when picking an adviser.
What are the adviser’s qualifications?
All advisers should be fully-qualified members of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). Many advisers will also be working towards or have achieved Chartered status – one of the highest accolades a Financial Adviser can achieve.
Some advisers may also have additional training or accreditations in particular areas of financial advice such as long-term care or advice at a turning point such as divorce.
Does the adviser work for a chartered firm?
If they work for HL, yes they do. To be awarded “Corporate Chartered Status” by the CII, a firm must demonstrate they go above and beyond to get the best possible outcomes for their clients. Find out more about how HL have achieved this and what it means for you.
Can the adviser tailor their service to my needs?
This should be a given. Your adviser should listen to what you want to achieve and base their advice around that. If you feel like you’re getting answers to questions you didn’t ask or you feel like you’re being upsold, the chances are your adviser is overstepping their bounds and charging you for a service you don’t need. There might be a few questions your adviser will ask you in order to get the full picture of your finances but don’t be afraid to ask why they need that information.
Does the adviser make their charges clear?
When you take advice, you may have to pay for more than the advice itself. There may be other fees such as product wrappers, or for using a platform.
Generally, financial advice is charged as a percentage of the portfolio advised upon. But some advisers can charge a flat fee. The percentage you’re charged may depend on the type of advice you’re taking and whether you’d like one-off or ongoing advice. Take a look at our charges as an example.
Trying to tot up your advice charges and other fees can end up being a bit complicated. But it’s your adviser’s job to always check and double check you’re clear and happy with the costs involved before giving you advice. If you’re not happy, you can leave it there and not pay a penny.
Will I automatically be tied into annual reviews?
Whether you take any form of ongoing advice is entirely up to you. Some clients take advice at a crossroads in their financial lives but only need advice once to point them in the right direction. Others may want continued support to take more weight off their shoulders and feel even more confident.
It’s important you decide with your adviser whether or not you take ongoing advice. But because there’s a yearly cost involved; you should never feel pushed into it if you feel you don’t need it.
Is financial advice right for you at all?
You might be doing the right thing already and there’s no need for financial advice. If that’s the case, we’ll tell you and part ways. Sometimes knowing you’re in the right direction is all the confidence you need.
There are somethings a financial adviser can’t advise on at all. For example, some advisers can’t advise on certain aspects of tax, business ownership or property.
Find out if one of HL’s financial advisers could help you
Find out more about our service including what we can help you with, our charges and a little about each of our advisers.