Are you thinking of reaching out to a financial advisor? Many people choose to speak to finance experts for many different reasons. You may need help planning for retirement, thinking of investing a lump sum or unlocking a private pension. In any case, it will help you to line up a list of questions to ask your financial advisor when you head into the initial consultation.
The initial meeting with a financial advisor should be a “Getting to know you” meeting that works both ways. You need to be comfortable that the person you are speak to has your interests at heart. Having questions for financial advisor firms to hand will help you understand whether the advisor is right for you. Investments and pensions can be complex – and here at Milestone Financial Planning, we want to simplify your money matters and give our clients peace of mind.
Here are a few ideas on what to ask a financial advisor, so you can really make the most of your initial meeting.
Do You Offer Ongoing Advice?
Many people will look to engage with a financial advisor for one-off concerns. Others may choose to set up an ongoing relationship with an advisor to continuingly review investments and pensions, so that they always have someone they can turn to should things change over time. The idea of an ongoing relationship with a financial advisor should be to give your peace of mind.
It is important to ask your prospective advisor what types of services they offer. Can you count on them for long term advice? Will you be able to set up a direct line with a specific advisor to ask questions anytime? Or is your communication window limited to the annual or 2 yearly reviews set out in their client service manual? If they do provide ongoing advice and regular reviews, how do you know the advisor will stick to those dates in the future?
Are Your Financial Advisors Regulated?
To ensure that the advice you receive is both legal and reliable, you must always only enter into business with a regulated financial advisor. Otherwise, you may be at risk of losing money. Importantly, any compensation paid under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme is only paid to those who have received regulated financial advice.
You shouldn’t feel awkward having to ask this question, it is for your own safety. Reliable financial advisors will make their regulation and accreditation clear to you before you consult with them. However, if you do need additional assurance, you can check the Financial Conduct Authorities’ register here (https://register.fca.org.uk/s/)
What is Your Experience with My Particular Issue?
Everyone feels the same way – whenever they approach a financial advisor about a monetary concern, they feel that they are the only ones who are experiencing such an issue. While everyone’s individual financial situations will be unique to some degree, it remains to be said that there is always likely to be crossover depending on what you need an advisor for.
Therefore, it does make sense to ask your financial advisor if they have dedicated experience in the type of queries you pose to them. What is their track record when it comes to private pension pots? What about planning for wills and inheritance tax? It may seem as though you have a fairly complex situation, but the most experienced and reliable financial advisors will already have experience in the issues that you need to be addressed.
What is Your Fee Structure?
At the initial consultation you should expect an estimate of fees. When making a recommendation, financial advisors should be clear and transparent when detailing fees – down to the pounds and pence it will cost you for advice on your situation. If they are not clear on initial fees and ongoing fees then, quite simply, walk away.
Do I Have to Accept Your Advice?
It’s important to know what to expect from your financial advisor and the advice process before you get started. You should not be obliged to enter into any financial agreements or programs with your advisor unless you are 100% happy to do so. Reliable financial experts understand that you will likely need more than a little time to think about some of the bigger choices you need to make!
Therefore, don’t ever feel pressurised into signing an agreement or accepting everything you are advised. Financial advice should be just that – advice, not sales. Financial advisors worth their salt will keep things clear, open, and will accept that you need time to make bigger decisions for the money and assets in your life.
Call a Financial Advisor Now
Now you know a little bit more about which questions to ask your financial advisor, make a point to book in your first consultation right away. Call Milestone Financial Planning today on 01246 903053 and speak to a friendly, local expert who can help you.