How to choose the best Independent Financial Advisor in Epsom, or your local area.

Ten Questions to ask

With dozens of qualified advisers operating in Surrey, finding the right IFA can be tough. You need someone with a high level of skill and knowledge, but also someone whose advice you can trust.

When searching for a Epsom IFA (in our case), it’s vital that you ask plenty of questions in order that you can ensure you have found the right adviser for your needs. Our guide outlines the ten questions you should ask a prospective IFA – keep reading to find out more.

What are you looking for from an IFA?

Before moving on to the questions, it’s a good idea to start by thinking about exactly what you are looking for in an IFA. Things that are important in an advisor may include:

  • Happy clients– your IFA should give recommendations and reviews that suggest they can help meet your needs.
  • Trust– your IFA should be someone you can trust and who has your best interest at heart
  • Independence– they should be truly independent
  • Experience– does your adviser have ‘some skin in the game’ as the Americans say?
  • Qualified– your IFA should be highly qualified in the area you need help with. Think twice if they are a jack of all trades
  • Good advice– they should be interested in your needs, not in selling products
  • Convenience– your IFA should be in a good location and available to speak to
  • Value– your IFA should provide good value for money

10 questions you need to ask your IFA

When you have made a list of what is important to you, you should ask your IFA these questions:

1. How would you describe what you do?

This might seem a strange question, but getting a short explanation of how an IFA describes their role tells you a lot about them and their firm.

2. Where do you operate and where will we meet?

Find out how flexible the IFA is and whether they are prepared to meet you on your terms. A busy successful advisor will often not make home visits nowadays, however, if the location of the meeting is important to you than ask.

3. What is your experience as an IFA and would it be possible to obtain a references from existing clients?

Ask the IFA whether they can put you in touch with people that you can speak to in order to ask about their relationship with the IFA over many years. Find out about the advisor’s integrity, reputation and whether you can trust them to do as they promise. A quick google search for VouchedFor will bring up reviews of most advisors in the country, narrow the search down to area where you need advice. Ask to speak to one or a few of the advisors clients – we are always happy to allow this, and find most of our clients are happy to talk.

4. Who is your typical client?

Find out if they have helped clients just like you and ask for examples.

5. What are your qualifications, and what about your support?

Does the IFA have qualifications in the areas you need advice in? And, are there other people you can speak to when your Independent Financial Adviser  is busy, or is it just them?

6. Will my adviser have a shareholding in the company, or be an equity partner?

Many clients don’t like big groups or networks because the adviser is not normally going to have to pay any monetary penalty for supplying unsuitable financial advice. It can pay to deal with someone paying the excess for any claim (it is normally thousands of pounds) as it helps to ensure that they have a keen interest in providing excellent advice.

7. How do you charge for what you do for me?

Find out how the  IFA is paid for the work they do for you. Be very wary indeed – if they offer to work on a free of charge basis. It generally means that they are not busy, new, or have to work very hard to flog a product at the end of free service. I do not know any high quality advisors, who do not charge a fee for their services.

8. How do you provide me with value?

Find out what your IFA can do for you.

9. How are you different to everyone else?

What differentiates this person from the other IFAs in Epsom? Do they offer great service, better financial planning or a more personal relationship?

 10. Can you show me a case study for a client just  me?

Ask for some evidence of work the IFA has done before and how this benefited  the client.

At Four Seasons, we welcome all the above questions and more. If you’re looking for an IFA in Epsom or London, get in touch with us today to find out more. Call 01372 404417 or click here

Reviews and Ratings for Financial adviser Ray Martin, Kingston-upon-Thames

We’re highly rated

We retain a 5-star rating on VouchedFor, an independent service that enables clients to review their professional advisers. VouchedFor verifies the reviews and testimonials we receive, so you can be confident that they are authentic. 2018, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 Top Rated Adviser, as listed in The Times

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Our former financial adviser was retiring and recommended Ray to us. He alleviated the constant worry of where to best invest our savings without too much risk. We’re very pleased with the results over the last 10 years. He explains things in layman's language, which we appreciate, and gives us the confidence we have made the right choices. What more can people expect?


We had pension policies and investments that needed sorting out ready for retirement. We didn't know what to expect from a financial adviser. We assumed that he would simply advise us where to get the best deals. How wrong we were. Ray took us right back to basics. He made us carefully consider what we really wanted to achieve. He has allowed us to start to really enjoy our retirement.


I needed financial advice about pensions and investments as I approached retirement. My wife was in the same position. Ray Martin worked out a comprehensive plan for putting my pension provision and savings into proper order. He did the same for my wife. He has continued to provide us with advice ever since. Ray is always straightforward, open and proactive.


I was approaching retirement and wanting to look into limiting taxation and Inheritance Tax, as well as providing for my wife. Ray provided sound advice to switch from my current arrangement to a Drawdown Pension and ISA investments. I have now retired and have started seeing the benefits of his advice. The returns on my portfolio have increased beyond expectation. Ray performed extremely well.


I had sold my house and didn't know how to invest the money. Ray invested very wisely and there has been about a 5% increase every year. He listened to our queries, gave answers that we fully understood and followed any requests. He always had time for us, and never rushed us. We would have been financially at a loss without his help.


Ray has been advising my wife and me for about 20 years. He is everything one could hope for in a financial adviser: wonderfully enthusiastic, extremely well informed, completely trustworthy and scrupulously observant of the regulatory requirements. He is able to explain complex matters very clearly, and so far, his advice has always been first class.


I had money to invest and had no idea how to go about investing it and hopefully making a gain. I have three children and wanted advice about inheritance planning. Ray is very patient, very clear when he explains things, he is very interested in me as a person, totally trustworthy and is an excellent listener. We have never been disappointed! He`s been brilliant.


I had just been widowed. Ray sorted out and simplified what was a very complex set of investments into a much less confusing portfolio. I have been extremely happy with everything Ray has advised over the last 12 years. Whilst moving with the times, he has dealt with all aspects of my investments wisely and given me all the guidance and help I have needed.


As the financial director of a company, I was seeking to get advice on how to plan and invest for retirement. Without a doubt, Ray Martin helped me understand and plan how to fund my retirement. Ray has been with me every step of the way. His advice has been invaluable. I retired and achieved my annual income goal. His continued advice is helping me in the next stage of my life.


I needed some advice regarding my late mother’s estate. I had also retired and required advice on how to manage my private pension. Ray was extremely helpful, and his advice was very clear and easy to understand. I came away from our initial meeting feeling very relieved and less stressed. We have just had our first yearly review and I was surprised how well my investments had done.


In the last 10 years, my circumstances have changed with the passage of time. Ray has guided me on how to protect and make my money grow. He listens carefully to my needs and gives clear, concise advice in a professional manner. He and his team are always accessible and patient with my questions and their approach gives me confidence that my finances are securely looked after.


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