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How to Choose a Financial Adviser

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We have been included in VouchedFor’s 2024 Top Rated Financial Adviser Guide, distributed in The Times.

Our Locations

We have five local offices and can help if you are looking for a:

Financial Adviser in Edinburgh
Financial Adviser in Falkirk
Financial Adviser in Glasgow
Financial Adviser in Livingston
Financial Adviser in Stirling

If you would like to speak to an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) then book your free initial consultation.

7 factors to consider when looking for a financial adviser

6th February 2023

When it comes to managing your finances, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing a financial adviser. Not all financial advisers are created equal, and it is important to consider several factors when looking for a financial adviser, especially as this is likely to be someone you work with for many years to come.

1. Are they authorised?

Financial advisers must be Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Before dealing with anyone, check the Financial Services Register to ensure they are able to offer advice.

Read more about the protections in place if you use a Regulated Financial Adviser.

2. Do they specialise in a particular area?

Another factor to consider is the type of advice the financial adviser offers. Some financial advisers specialise in certain areas, such as retirement planning or investments. It is sensible to ensure that the adviser has expertise and experience dealing with the area you are seeking advice.

3. Independent or Restricted?

There are two types of financial advisers – Independent and Restricted. An Independent adviser has no ties to any particular companies or any restrictions on the products they can offer. They will only make a recommendation after carrying out research of the whole market. By contrast, Restricted advisers will have a limit on which products/services they offer. Typically this is because they are tied to specific providers and only able to recommend their products. moneysavingexpert.com state “If you’re using an adviser, always always make sure it’s an independent financial adviser.”

4. Charges

Most advisers will offer a free initial meeting. This is a good opportunity for you to see what the adviser can offer and whether you feel they would be a good fit for you. Additionally, it is a chance for the adviser to see if they think you will benefit from their services. Following this, the adviser should let you know what any charges will be, in pounds and pence, and get your consent before processing any further. Charges will normally vary depending on the advice sought, the complexity and time required. To ensure you are getting value for money it is normally sensible to speak to a few advisers and compare their charges.

Read more about Financial Adviser charges.

5. Age

Normally you will be appointing an adviser to work with for many years to come. For example, if you are approaching retirement and entering Income Drawdown you may need advice throughout retirement – this could be 20+ years. As such it makes sense to consider the age of the adviser and their own retirement plans.

6. Reviews

It’s important to consider the reputation of the financial adviser. This can be done by checking out online reviews or you can also ask for recommendations from friends, family, or professional colleagues to find a financial adviser that you can trust.

7. Qualifications

There are minimum levels of qualifications that an individual needs to have in order to be able to offer financial advice. Many advisers have gone beyond these minimum requirements to further their expertise. The title of ‘Chartered Financial Planner’ is widely accepted ‘gold standard’ within the profession.

Where do I find a Financial Adviser?

There are many ways to look for a financial adviser. You could speak to friends/family that already use one, search the internet or use a financial adviser directory such as:

VouchedFor – Financial Advisers are checked against the Financial Conduct Authority Register, their education is checked, their fees are checked and they must confirm their independent or restricted status.

Personal Finance Society  – Advisers are accredited by the Personal Finance Society (PFS), the professional body for financial advisers in the UK. The PFS is part of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Group. The CII is an FCA Accredited Body that issues annually renewable Statements of Professional Standing (SPS) to authorised financial adviser members.

Retirement Adviser Directory – Provided by the Money & Pensions Service. All advisers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, the organisation that sets the UK’s financial rules

Related Articles:
Is my money safe with a financial adviser?

How much does a financial adviser cost?

Financial adviser vs. financial planner – is there a difference?

Is financial advice worth it?

This information is based on our current understanding and is subject to change without notice. This article is for general information only and does not constitute advice.  Whilst information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances, regulation and legislation after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the article.

The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount originally invested.

HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen.

We have local offices in Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Livingston and Stirling and provide Financial Advice throughout Scotland. If you would like to speak to an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) then book your free initial consultation.


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