Image courtesy of Alice
Image courtesy of Alice
Choosing a financial advisor is a really important decision. You need to make sure that you have someone that you can trust and that you know will give you impartial help and advice. Therefore you need to make sure that you ask the right questions before you make your final decision as to who to use.

Has Anyone Recommended them?
It is really important to go with someone that comes recommended. Talk to family and friends and see whether they can recommend someone. If they do give you a name ask them what it is about them that causes them to say that they are good. They might think that they are a nice person, but it is their financial advice that you need to know about. Find out how well they think their money is going since taking the advice of their advisor. If you cannot get recommendations form family and friend then ask the advisor if they can put you in touch with any customers that you can question. You may be able to find some reviews online as well if you are lucky, these could be in the form of testimonials on their website, which will always be good.

How long have they been a financial advisor?
It is worth finding out how long they have been in the job to get an understanding of what experience they have. Obviously someone who is new to it could be just as gpod, but if they do not have much experience you will need to be cautious. If they have not been doing it for long then find out a lot more about what experienced they have had while they have been doing the job and why they think they will be better than someone that has had a lot more experience in the job.

What qualifications do they have?
It is good to find out about qualifications. You need to find out what they originally got to qualify for their role but also what additional qualifications they have. Finance changes a lot and so it is good to expect that they will be doing courses to make sure that their knowledge is kept up to date. So find out how they are doing this and keeping up with all of the latest information.

Do they use the products that they recommend?
It is so important to make sure that the financial advisor actually uses the products that they are recommending. You cannot trust their recommendation if they will not actually use the products themselves or have good reasons for not doing so. Obviously, if they are recommending loans and they have no need to borrow money, then you cannot expect them to have tried them, but if you are asking for investment advice then you will expect them to be using the investment products that they are recommending.

How successful have their recommendations been?
It is also well worth finding out about past performance. You want to make sure that what they have been recommending in the past has been doing well and if it has not, why not. The best way to find out this is to talk to past customers as they will be able to explain what products they were recommended to take out and how well they felt they did for them.