What to ask an adviser when seeking financial advice

You’re about to buy a house, purchase important insurance cover, or enter the world of investments – and made the wise decision to get some professional advice but how do you choose an adviser that’s right for you so you can feel comfortable they’ve got your best interests at heart.

Your conversation about purchasing a new home or selecting the right investment could be one of the most important conversations you’ll ever have, so it’s essential that you go armed and ready to ask the right questions, meaning you receive the sort of advice that will stand you in good stead for the future.

So, what are the most important questions to quiz an adviser on? Here are our top tips:

Who are they and what are their credentials? It might sound obvious, but make sure the person you’re speaking to has the right experience and expertise to guide you in the right direction.

A good place to start is to ask family and friends if they have any recommendations. If not, its good to ask about what they specialise in, who they’ve helped (examples and case studies are always a good sign), and how they can help you. You could even ask them to put you in touch with a previous customer so you can get some feedback on their experience.

Ask yourself if you’ve given them the full picture. It’s a good idea to make sure you tell the adviser as much as can about your personal circumstances and what’s important to you.

The more information they have, the better informed their decision will be. How much do you have in savings? What is your income and your outgoings (be honest)? What’s your appetite for risk? What are your long-term goals?

What products are available, and which are best suited to you? Ask for a simple explanation of the range of products out there, how they differ, what they offer, and which ones fit your brief the best.

Be sure to question what they mean if there’s any words or terms you don’t understand. The more information you have, the better informed you’ll be when coming to a decision.

How do they work? What methods do they use when helping you come to a decision and what kind of relationship will you need to establish – is one meeting sufficient? What kind of updates will you get? And how much contact will be made over the course of the agreement?

The all-important question: how much will it cost? Find out how much the overall cost will be, including any costs for the advice you’re receiving. You need to ensure that the product matches your requirements, so cheap isn’t always the best route; however, the adviser should help you to make sure anything they recommend is something you can afford.

If you’re feeling anxious at all about your meeting with your adviser. The Mental Health Charity Mind has some positive suggestions.

How can I prepare for my phone call or appointment?

Write things down – try making notes on everything you want to ask about.

Collect all your paperwork together – it’s useful to take any bills, letters and bank statements with you. If you’re not sure what would be helpful to bring, ask the advisor when you make the appointment.

Plan your journey beforehand and leave extra time so you don’t worry about getting lost.

Think about asking a friend or family member to go with you for support. 

Afterwards

Make sure you understand what you have been told and what you need to do next. Ask your advisor if anything is unclear.

Make a note of everything that you talked about or ask the advisor to send you a summary.

With a note pad at the ready and a prepared list of questions to ask, you’ll be well set to get the kind of advice that a professional adviser is perfectly placed to offer.

Content provided by Paymentshield. More information about Paymentshield can be found on their website www.paymentshield.co.uk