What does good financial advice look like?

Taking inappropriate financial advice can be confusing and costly. But good advice can provide you with a clear understanding about your financial future and potentially save you far more money than it costs.

So how do you make sure you’re getting good independent financial advice? Our top 10 questions to ask your financial adviser is a good place to start.

Make sure your advisory firm is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means any advice you receive is covered by the Financial Ombudsman or Financial Services Compensation Scheme. So, if anything goes wrong, the firm will have a complaints procedure and must abide by certain rules.

Establish what type of advice the firm offers and whether they have the experience and qualifications to provide the advice you need. Firms like Murdoch have access to products from across the whole of the market; they’re not tied to one provider or a panel of providers. This means the options we recommend are purely driven by what we believe to be suitable for your circumstances.

Our staff are also highly qualified to offer independent advice. At a minimum, Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) should hold a Level 4 financial planning qualification. Ideally, they’ll hold an Advanced Diploma or Chartered Financial Planner status. Murdoch is one of relatively few companies to achieve the Corporate Chartered Financial Planner accreditation, the industry’s gold standard.

Once you’re happy with the level of expertise at the firm, ask how the adviser will assess your financial needs and provide the right investment risk profile for you. Your advisers should talk to you about your personal circumstances and plans, rather than jump straight to a product solution.

One other key question is, does the adviser invest in similar products to the ones they recommend to others? All our senior staff invest the vast majority of their personal wealth with Murdoch. We really do put our money where our mouth is.

Top 10 questions to ask a potential financial adviser:

  1. Are you authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority?
  2. What experience and qualifications do you have?
  3. Are you fully independent, or do you only offer products from one company or a restricted panel?
  4. How do you assess my financial needs?
  5. How do you assess my risk tolerance and match it to the risk of the investments recommended?
  6. How will I receive the advice?
  7. What are your charges, and what service do you provide for that?
  8. Do you offer an ongoing advice service and how can I see the progress of my investments?
  9. What percentage of your personal wealth is invested in these investments and pensions?
  10. What are the plans for your business in the future?

If you wish to discuss your financial future with us, or have any questions raised by this article, please do get in touch and we will be happy to help.