Navigating your finances can feel like sailing into uncharted waters – that’s where a good financial planner comes in. But finding the right one in the sea of UK Financial Planners can be daunting. Fear not, intrepid sailor! This guide will equip you with the tools to find your financial compass.
Before you can even start, you need to know what you are looking for… And how to look.
Not only do we have financial advisers for different types of products, but we all use lots of terms for the same thing (sorry about that!), for example a Mortgage Adviser or a Mortgage Broker? Any difference in reality? No. Any difference in your google search results? Yes.
Have a go at searching ‘find a financial adviser’, ‘find a local financial adviser’ or ‘financial planners near me’ and see all the noise that the internet throws at you.
Personally, I like the term ‘Financial Planner’ rather than Financial Adviser but is there a practical difference? Not really. I probably feel that the term ‘adviser’ is a bit old fashioned and speaks of when someone could do a day of exams and go out to ‘sell’ pensions or insurance policies the next day.
But there is a difference between product or area driven planning and more holistic goal-based planning. That’s the difference between reviewing someone’s pensions but not thinking about IHT and never asking about what they really ‘want’, just dealing with what’s ‘there’ in front of us.
You could compare it to the difference between an architect and a general builder. The builder will (hopefully) do what you want and offer some guidance, but an architect will try and give you what you ‘need’.
Casting your net:
- Directories: unbiased.co.uk, VouchedFor.co.uk and Findanadviser.org list qualified advisors, allowing you to filter by location, expertise, and even fees.
- Professional bodies: Check the Personal Finance Society or the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment for directories of accredited planners.
- Recommendations: Word-of-mouth from other professional advisers (solicitors and accountants) trusted friends or family can be invaluable.
Since you have landed on our site, you can skip all of this and get in touch, how lucky is that? Click on this link to access our range of services, starting from retirement planning, investment planning, estate planning, business advice, mortgages, protection and equity release.
Hauling in the right catch:
Once you’ve identified potential advisors, it’s time to reel them in with some key questions:
- Qualifications and experience: Ask about their relevant certifications, areas of expertise, and years of practice.
- Fee structure: Understand how they charge (hourly, fixed fee, commission-based) and ensure it aligns with your budget.
- Investment philosophy: Do they prioritize risk management, growth, or a balance? Does it match your goals and risk tolerance?
- Communication style: Can you explain your financial situation comfortably? Do they explain complex concepts in a way you understand?
Beyond the numbers:
Finding the right financial planner is about more than just qualifications. Personality and especially trust play a crucial role. Do you feel comfortable confiding your financial needs in them? Does their communication style and values resonate with yours? Remember, you’ll be working closely with them, so ensure you click!
Once you’ve found your ideal financial planner, embark on your financial journey with confidence. Remember, communication is key. Keep your advisor informed of any changes in your life or financial goals, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. With the right navigator by your side, you can chart a course towards financial security and peace of mind.
By Alex Fry (Equity Release Adviser)