At the beginning of 2016, the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) reported that there were almost 15,000 financial advice firms based here in the UK… the majority of them being based in and around London. So, with so many London Financial Advisers to choose from, how do you make sure you’re choosing the right one? Here are 5 pieces of advice to help.
Make sure they’re independent
Perhaps the most important advice of all is to make sure the financial adviser you choose is independent. Many advisers are partnered with banks or other financial institutions and this means they’re going to be recommending their partners products instead of finding what is genuinely good for your situation.
Check their qualifications
The FCA requires all IFAs to pass what they call ‘Level 4 qualifications’ – so you should be looking for a diploma-level certificate, such as the Diploma in Financial Planning (DipFP) (formerly the Advanced Financial Planning Certificate), or even better, the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning (ADFP).
Check the FCA Register
The last thing you want to find out after you’ve given an adviser instructions to manage your funds, is that they’re bogus. Always check the FCA Register before passing over any sensitive details or committing to anything financial. The FCA register can be found at: https://register.fca.org.uk/
Ask for Testimonials
A good financial adviser will have happy clients and should be able to provide testimonials and case studies to show how they have given great service and provided value to their clients.
How do they charge?
Some financial advisers charge a commission, some charge a set management fee, some get paid commission from the products they sell. For many financial advisers, you might find it’s a mix all three and it’s also common for the fee structure to vary dependent on the type of product sold – for example insurance versus a mortgage.