What questions should I ask a financial adviser?

Dec 1, 2021Financial Planning

What questions should I ask a financial adviser?

Making the decision to see a financial adviser is a great first step to plan for your future and get the most out of your money. 

You may already know exactly what you want to ask your financial adviser when you turn up to your initial appointment. But to make sure you don’t miss a key point, here’s a checklist of questions that will cover the essentials.

Young people receiving financial advice

What services do you offer?

Discover what services the financial adviser offers. All practices are different so be clear about the type of help you are looking for. 

While all financial advisers must be a minimum of diploma qualified, some advisers only offer mortgage advice and they’re not able to provide advice on pensions, investments or inheritance tax planning.

If you need that sort of advice, consider approaching a Chartered Financial Planner. This is the highest level of qualification for a financial adviser, and reflects the adviser’s extensive knowledge, expertise and experience. It’s considered to be the gold standard level by the Chartered Insurance Institute. 

What is your process and criteria for taking on a new client?

Advisers will need to gather information on your current situation to help them assess your finances. They’ll have a detailed discussion with you about what you hope to achieve and suggest ways in which you can improve your finances. 

Some advisers have a minimum investment criteria before they are able to consider you as a new client, so ask questions around what this means for you.

What are your fees and how do you charge?

Find out what charges are associated with having an initial review and what the costs would be if you were to take their advice and proceed with a recommendation. The charges need to be weighed up against the value you’ll receive from an adviser. 

At Calver Wealth Management, we’ll provide you with comprehensive information on our services, costs and disclosure. We’ll give you a personalised illustration of how the charges apply to your specific investments and services.

What ongoing advice and support do you provide?

Your financial adviser should suggest how often you review your tailored plan, usually offering six monthly, or annual reviews.

The benefit of ongoing advice is that you can make changes to your plan as and when required. For example, your circumstances may change with a career move, planning a family, or receipt of inheritance. 

Ongoing reviews allow you to keep your finances working in the best way for you, whichever life events spring up along the way. 

What is your investment approach?

There are a number of questions to ask your financial adviser in relation to your investment approach. 

Firstly, consider your appetite for risk. The amount of risk you take on will directly impact your potential for returns over time. 

Diversification is key to spread your risk across a range of sectors, regions and asset classes. Ask your financial adviser to explain how they choose their funds and how the portfolios are constructed. How are the funds monitored and who makes the decisions on when to change the fund manager or underlying structure?

Secondly, ask what type of companies and sectors you’re investing in. If you’re keen to invest in ethical funds, your financial adviser can suggest funds that align with your values. 

Here at Calver Wealth Management, we’re committed to responsible investing. The fund managers invest in line with Environment, Social and Governance criteria and so you know your money is acting as a force for good, as well as growth! 

How will you monitor my funds?

Your financial adviser’s investment proposition should include how they select, monitor and change your fund managers throughout your investment period. 

Don’t be alarmed that the performance of your funds change year-on-year. At any given point in time, the markets can favour different investment strategies and/or different sectors, so you won’t always see consistent results. 

As long as your investment proposition is robust and you’re kept up-to-date with any major changes, you can trust that your financial adviser has chosen the best investments for potential growth, within the risk limits you’re willing to accept.

Do you have many clients in a similar position to me? 

Each person has a different set of circumstances and financial aims, and every person needs an individual roadmap to meet their objectives.

But there are similarities between clients. A financial plan for a young professional in their 20s will look different to a plan for a 58 year-old who’s paid off their mortgage and expects to retire in the next five years. 

Ask your financial adviser if they work with anybody else with similar circumstances to your own. It helps establish trust if you know your adviser is dealing with similar clients on a day to day basis.

You can ask us about our bespoke advice for sports professionals, and female business founders. 

Ask us your questions

It’s not necessarily in our British nature to ask questions, especially when it comes to money. But that’s what we’re here for. Ask away! The more we know about your questions, concerns and financial objectives, the better we can support you with a tailored service. Get in touch today.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

The value of an investment with St. James’s Place is directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested. The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time and are dependent on individual circumstances.