How to choose a Financial Adviser

how to choose a financial advisor

Financial advice is not only required by the wealthy, everyone can benefit from it. It can help you protect and build your assets and assist you in making the most of your Investments while securing the long-term future financial success of you and your family’s wealth.

So, how do you go about choosing a Financial Adviser that is right for you?

There are thousands of Financial Advisers across the UK, ranging from large corporate businesses with multiple Advisers working for them, to sole trading Financial Advisers or smaller family-owned and run service providers like Redwood Financial. So, there are many considerations to take into account before choosing a Financial Adviser that you can trust and want to work with to grow and protect your wealth.

What does a Financial Adviser do?

Understanding what a Financial Adviser can do to help you is the key starting point of your financial planning journey.

The primary responsibilities of our Financial Advisers include:

  • Talking to Clients to determine their expenses, income, insurance coverage, financial objectives, tax status, risk tolerance, or other information needed to develop a financial plan
  • Answering Client questions about financial plans and strategies and giving financial advice
  • Advising strategies for Clients in Insurance coverage, Investment Planning, Financial Planning, Long Term Care Fee Planning, Income Management, and other financial products to help them reach financial objectives
  • Reviewing Clients accounts and plans on a regular basis to understand if life or economic changes, situational concerns, or financial performance necessitate changes in their plan.
  • Analysing financial data received from Clients to develop strategies for meeting Clients’ financial goals
  • Preparing or interpreting financial document summaries, investment performance reports, and income projections for Clients
  • Implementing financial plans or referring Clients to professionals who can help them, for example, Accountancy firms and Tax Specialists
  • Managing and updating Client portfolios
  • Contacting Clients regularly to discover changes in their financial status, or to update them on any legislative changes or important changes in the Markets

10 Reasons to Use a Financial Adviser

We can think of multiple reasons to use an Adviser for your financial advice! Here is our 10 top.

1. Protecting your family

With so many Life Insurance products in the market, selecting the right product for you can be a complex and daunting prospect. Our Advisers will assess your position and guide you through the best options to protect yourself and your family.

2. Creating a Savings & Spending Plan

Building your assets to secure your Long-Term Financial Security requires detailed planning and an appreciation of all of the potential curveballs life can throw at you, like having to replace a car or paying for holidays and life’s little luxuries.

Our Advisers will take you through a two-step approach: planning your spending so that you begin to save, and then creating a plan to build your savings as efficiently as possible. Irrespective of the amount, a financial adviser can look at your situation and find the best starting point for you.

3. Retirement Planning

We all recognise that the basic State Pension is insufficient to provide the quality of lifestyle we would like in our retirement.

Our Advisers will guide you through the many regulations and pension product options to construct a portfolio to maximise your long-term financial security, making sure you can retire when you want and living the lifestyle you want.

4. Releasing equity from your home

Our Advisers can help you realise the benefit locked up within your property. Once they have considered all the alternative options with you, they will provide advice on the suitability of an Equity Release product for you.

5. Achieving your Investment Goals

If you like the idea of retiring early or maybe helping the next generation getting a headstart in life, maybe paying their private tuition fees, or helping them to get onto the property ladder with a deposit for a house, then a well-planned Investment and Retirement Plan can be an excellent way to achieve this.

Whatever your goal, our Financial Advisers can help assess what is realistically possible and plan with you to help you achieve it in a safe and secure way that protects your Investment from unnecessary taxation or future loss through divorce or a relationship breakdown.

6. A Diverse Investment Portfolio

High returns are often associated with high risk and not everyone likes the idea that their investment might fall by a third or more overnight!

Our Financial Advisers will make a detailed assessment of your attitude to risk before making recommendations. They will also ensure you do not put all your eggs in one basket by helping you diversify not only across asset classes but also across accounts, individual funds, and product providers.

7. Provide an objective assessment

Just because an opportunity is new and exciting and full of promise for big returns, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is right for you.

Our Advisers know how products work in different markets and will identify possible downsides for you as well as the potential benefits so that you can then make an informed decision about where to invest and the level of risk associated with that investment.

A great Investment Plan is not about chasing the latest fad hoping the bubble won’t burst before you have made a return. The best plans are considered, diversified, managed, and maintained frequently.

8. Money-Saving Expertise

Our Financial Advisers will always have your tax position in mind when making recommendations and point you in the right direction even in complicated situations.

It may simply mean using Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) or a Pension Plan to benefit from government incentives or choosing growth focussed assets over income to maximise Capital Gains Allowances versus paying Income Tax. For more complicated arrangements, it could mean moving assets to your spouse or children to maximise their personal allowances instead.

9. Ongoing Performance Management

Putting your Investments and Financial Planning in place is just part of the role of a Financial Adviser, they will also monitor them in case market developments or abnormal events push them off course. They will assess their performance against their peers, ensure that your asset allocation does not become distorted as markets fluctuate, and help you consolidate gains as the deadlines for your ultimate goals move closer.

10. For peace of mind

The Investment Markets are volatile and the media are prone to exaggerate the risks and rewards.

Our Financial Advisers can cut through the hype to steer you in the right direction. Whether you need general, practical advice or a specialist with dedicated expertise, you will find that in the long term the money you invest in expert advice will be paid back many times over.

Should I choose an Independent or Restricted Financial Adviser?

Both an Independent Financial Adviser and Restricted Financial Adviser (IFA) can help you to grow, protect and enjoy your wealth. The difference lays in the breadth of Investment products they offer.

Redwood is a Restricted Adviser business, meaning we do not advise on all types of Investment Products. For example Cash ISA’s, Structured Products, QROPS, and VCT’s (Venture Capital Trusts). These are very specialist products which would not meet their needs of the majority of our Clients.

We have focused on being experts in advising on mainstream investments such as Pensions, ISA’s, Unit Trusts, and Bonds, which meet the needs of most of our Clients. Although we have preferred Investment Managers we work with, we are not tied to any particular Investment Provider or Institution and we don’t work on a commission basis, so any advice we do give on these products is independent of any ties or affiliations and is only based on which Investment Provider can meet your needs and objectives.

Fully Independent Financial Advisers must consider the whole universe of Investment Products and Providers regardless of the relevance to your needs. This may seem at first glance to be offering you a better range of investment opportunities, however, it also means your Adviser is spending a lot of time and your money in researching, managing, and maintaining knowledge on multiple products and providers, many of which may never be needed or relevant to you and your investment objectives.

Should I choose a Chartered Financial Planner?

A Chartered Financial Planner is a widely accepted ‘gold standard’ qualification for professional Financial Planners and Financial Advisers in the United Kingdom.

Jasmine Lambert, the senior Financial Planner at Redwood, is a fully qualified Chartered Financial Planner.

By definition, holders of the Chartered Financial Planner qualifications are among the most experienced and most qualified Advisers in the profession.

As of May 2016, there were over 36,000 members of the Personal Finance Society (the principal professional body for Financial Advisers in the UK), of which only just over 5,000 hold Chartered Financial Planner status.

Ultimately, choosing a Chartered Financial Planner provides you with that extra level of confidence that the Adviser you are working with is an expert and specialist in the planning you are undertaking. They will help you make the right choice for your unique needs, evidenced with substantive suitability of advice reports, which are the culmination of a detailed analysis and understand of your financial position.

How can I check if a Financial Planner is qualified?

There are two websites you can visit to check the status of a particular firm or Adviser.

The LIFB’s Professional Services Register shows individuals who currently hold one or more of their professional services certifications and you can use the search function to look up qualified Advisers in your area.

Financial Planning Advice is a regulated industry under the auspices of the Financial Conduct Authority FCA and their Financial Services Register is a great place to check if the firm, individual, or body you are planning to work with is authorised or registered by the Financial Conduct Authority FCA, or is exempt.

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Jasmine Lambert Chartered Financial Planner
Jasmine Lambert

Jasmine is the Managing Director and a Chartered Senior Financial Planner at Redwood Financial. She helps clients manage and grow their wealth and protect their estate. Jasmine also provides expert advice in our FREE Redwood Webinars, where you can learn more about Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning.

Redwood Financial is one of the south’s leading Investments, Pensions, Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning providers and we are dedicated to helping families to grow, protect and enjoy their wealth. With our unrivalled knowledge of Estate Planning, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Probate, Pensions, Savings & Investments, we can advise on any situation.
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