5 questions you should ask a financial adviser before engaging them

Posted by: Swindells FP, on January 15, 2015.

You possibly know several financial advisers already or may have been recommended one by a friend, however it pays to do some research and due diligence for yourself before making a commitment to taking their financial advice.

Why is this? Everyone is different. Your circumstances are unique and this means that you need to find the right financial adviser who can serve your best interests and very importantly that you connect with.

To help you with your research and aid your decision making here are 5 questions you should ask a financial adviser before working with them.

  1. Planning v Products – Does the financial adviser put you first by offering structured and interactive comprehensive financial planning as the primary service before recommending investments or other products?
  2. Empathy – Do you ‘click’ with the financial adviser? Do they appear to have significant experience of dealing with people like you in terms of personality, family situation, level of wealth and wealth related issues?
  3. Fees – Are the fees charged explicit and understood? Are you paying specifically for advice and recommendations or do you only pay a % of any sum invested or pension transferred? If the latter, expect to be told to do ‘something’, which may not be in your best interests.
  4. References – Ask the financial adviser, “Could you introduce me to a few of your clients who are in a similar situation to me?” Find out what their experiences have been and if they have been delighted with the service.
  5. Added value – You may need further help with related matters. Can the financial adviser introduce you to trusted experts outside of their firm, such as legal or tax planning, who can work alongside the financial planning they are providing you?

Avoid being misled by a ‘Charles’

We strongly advise that you take the time to ask these questions to avoid making a mistake.

This amusing video, although produced for an American audience, highlights some of the common problems and issues that can arise.


  •  Advice that focuses solely on investing and does not include any comprehensive planning
  • Investment recommendations that are unnecessarily complex and understood by neither Adviser nor client
  • An insistence that any investments will only be into ‘good investments’ (good shares, good bonds, good property etc.) and that all ‘bad’ investments will be avoided
  • Too much speculation and ‘betting’ that will definitely generate higher fees and costs but which is unlikely to put more investment return in your pocket

If you would like to pose the above 5 questions to a Financial Adviser at Swindells Financial Planning please call us on 01825 76 33 66 or complete the ‘Book a consultation’ form at the bottom of the Contact us page.


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