What questions should I ask a financial planner I might want to work with?

Category: Financial Planning

If you’re considering working with a financial planner, it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure that you find someone who can help you achieve your financial goals.

Here are a few key questions to ask when interviewing a financial planner in the UK:

What do you do?

You’re looking for a concise explanation about the type and benefits of the service the adviser can provide. Financial planners may offer a wide range of services, from investment management to retirement planning to tax advice. Make sure the planner you’re considering has the expertise to meet your specific needs.

Our core service combines financial planning, investment management and tax planning into a single seamless offering which includes:
  • Pensions and other retirement savings
  • Most other mainstream types of investments (ISAs, Investment Bonds etc.)
  • Personal protection (Life Insurance, Critical Illness etc.)
  • Income tax planning (VCTS etc.)
  • IHT planning
  • And many more

What qualifications do you have?

Financial planners in the UK are not required to have any specific qualifications, but many hold professional designations such as the Chartered Financial Planner (CFP) or the Certified Financial Planner (CFP), which are highly regarded in the industry.

Many of our advisers are Chartered Financial Planners, and one is also a Certified Financial Planner.

How do you get paid?

Financial planners may charge a fee for their services, receive commission on products they sell, or a combination of both. It’s important to understand how your planner is compensated so you can be confident that their recommendations are in your best interest.

We will provide full details of our fees on request, and we always detail all costs involved.

Are you independent or restricted?

In many cases a restricted adviser is restricted because they belong to a large organisation that wants to limit their advisers’ liability by reducing the number of investment funds and other products they need to consider before giving advice. Some of these organisations will nudge or incentivise their advisers to use in-house investment options (which are generally more expensive for no extra value). Some restricted firms have simply narrowed their focus to some high-quality investments and financial products.

We’d suggest going for an independent adviser, such as us, on that basis.

How do you create a financial plan?

Ask about the planner’s process for creating a financial plan, including how they gather information about your goals and risk tolerance, and how they make recommendations.

You can find more about our process here.

Can I see an example of a financial plan you’ve created for a client?

This will give you an idea of the level of detail and the format of the financial plan that the financial planner provides.

We will provide an example of a financial plan on request.

What’s your investment philosophy?

Different firms will explore investing in different ways. It’s important to know how your prospective adviser puts portfolios together and how robust this is.

You can find many posts detailing our approach on this blog. You can find a full overview of our investment approach here.

How much access will I get to you when I need you?

Most advisers will provide an annual review meeting but will also allow you telephone and email access to them whenever you need it.

We are no different but for clients with more complicated situations we will offer a greater frequency of meetings and joined up advice with professional advisers such as accountants.

How do you keep up with changes in the financial industry?

Financial regulations and tax laws are constantly changing, so it’s important to work with a planner who stays current on these developments and can adjust your plan accordingly.

All our advisers must complete regular professional development. Both we and the relevant professional bodies monitor this.

Will you be the only person working on my account, or will other team members be involved?

This is important to know, as you need to be comfortable with the person who will be working with you.

The main point of contact will be your adviser. There will be other members of our team that will contact you and who you can also contact.

Asking these questions will give you a good sense of whether a financial planner is the right fit for you and help you make an informed decision. Remember, a good financial planner will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to make a decision.

Book a free, no-obligation chat here if you have any questions for us.


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