Whether you’re looking to invest money for your future, take out a mortgage, or plan for a major life event such as retirement or a big move abroad, having a financial advisor is always a good idea. An advisor can offer valuable guidance, and help you devise a finance plan that should help you achieve your financial goals (both short and long-term).
When you have an initial meeting with a financial advisor, they will ask you a series of questions about your financial situation right now, and where you want to be in the future. They might also ask you about your plans for the future – whether that’s expanding your family, changing job, or moving home. They will talk through your financial goals with you and determine the level of risk you’d feel comfortable with. This will give them an idea of how much risk you’re prepared to take with your money, and will help them determine products that are right for your situation.
Financial Advisor UK offers an instant matching service and extensive database of fully FCA-registered and approved financial professionals who can best advise you based on your circumstances and budget. From general financial planning to specialist advice, and mortgages to pensions, let’s get you matched with an advisor who suits your needs.
Choosing an advisor
When it comes to picking a financial advisor, it is always worth considering whether they are fully independent, or whether they sell products that are linked to an investment company. Some advisors also offer restricted services, meaning that the range of products they offer are limited. During your initial first consultation with an advisor, you should ask them if they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and if they are independent and compare products across the whole of the market.
Word of mouth is a popular way people recommend financial advisors, although sometimes it can be hard to find someone if you need an advisor immediately. You can also search the internet and read customer reviews on various financial advice services to see what they have to offer. It can be difficult to determine whether or not a financial advisor has done a good job, as you’re most likely to find out the answer to this later on down the line with your investments’ performance. Always remember that a friendly personality doesn’t necessarily mean that an advisor is good at their job. Do your research carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
The benefits of hiring a financial advisor
A financial advisor is a good option if you’re looking into investment. An advisor should only recommend investment products that are suitable for your budget and particular needs. This saves you the time and hassle of searching the market and comparing products yourself. An advisor may also know of special deals or offers that can be made with investment companies, as they keep their ear to the ground and work in the industry every day. With an advisor on board, you should also find that the range of investment products available to you is far greater in scale, and far more than you would have had access to when researching alone.
If you have a financial advisor, you are also protected if things go wrong and you buy based on their advice. If you’ve been given unsuitable advice, you can complain to the Ombudsman. Sometimes this protection isn’t available if you were not advised before investing and took a risk with an investment decision.
If you approach a bank, building society or high street lender/broker, they should discuss your options with you and leave you to make up your mind on what you’d like to do. In this situation, you are buying investments based purely on their information, which means that the seller will not be assessing your situation carefully and considering whether that product is actually right for you. In this instance, you will have fewer rights to claim compensation if you bought a product (and things didn’t work out), after following their advice. In hiring a financial advisor, this can be avoided.
If you are looking for financial advice because you’d like to buy investment products, or you’d like advice for future finance planning, it is likely that you will have to pay fees to receive guidance. An advisor should make it clear to you what they charge for their fees, and whether they earn a commission for products you decide to purchase based on their advice. Fees are worth bearing in mind before you consider hiring a financial advisor for a particular reason like saving for a mortgage. For instance, some mortgage lenders offer mortgage advice for free, and there are also lots of free resources online. If a good advisor manages to save you money and increases your capital over time, their costs should pay for themselves. Some products are only available if you purchase them through an advisor, so weigh up your options carefully, factoring in potential fees.
Deciding not to have a financial advisor
Some people decide that hiring a financial advisor isn’t for them. However, before purchasing shares, stocks, ISAs, unit trusts and other investments, it is worth bearing in mind that these types of products are complicated, with complex terms that can be difficult to understand unless you are experienced in banking or finance. A financial advisor can suggest all available options to you and offer valuable guidance or explanations to things you may not understand. Before deciding against having a financial advisor, you should consider the element of risk there is in potentially purchasing the wrong product. Do your research and think about whether you have time to properly research several investment options, how much you can afford to write off if you lose money, and your experience when it comes to investing. If you’re inexperienced, and cannot afford to lose money in terms of risk, a financial advisor is likely to be the best option.
Financial Advisor UK can put you in touch with an FCA-registered financial advisor who suits your needs. Simply fill in our form to be instantly matched with a suitable advisor today.