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