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How to choose a financial adviser

How to choose a financial adviser
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When it’s time to choose a financial adviser, where do you turn? Most of us need help with our finances at some point in our lives. But finding the right expert to guide you when it comes to money can be tricky.

Here are some tips to help you find the right financial adviser no matter your plans or current financial situation.

Financial adviser or financial planner: what’s the difference?

Financial advisers work with people of all income levels to help them get their finances on track. They can help you work on both short- and long-term goals and make informed decisions.

Financial planners work with clients to create a plan to reach specific financial goals. They can help you look into your current situation and come up with realistic short- and long-term goals.

According to Investopedia, financial advisers usually take a more involved approach than financial planners. In addition to helping you plan for the future, they also help with specific services, such as investments and retirement planning.

While financial planners usually only advise on what you might choose to do, a financial adviser is somebody who can directly help you manage your money.

What financial advisers do

People looking for a financial adviser usually want to organise their finances in detail.

An adviser can not only help you explore different financial products in detail but can also offer advice on investment, taking out a mortgage, and dealing with big financial changes in life.

For example, they can help you decide what to do if you receive an inheritance or offer advice on how divorce will affect your finances.

According to Citizens Advice, some financial advisers focus on specific products, such as only counselling on setting up a private pension or stock investments. These are known as restricted advisers. On the other hand, independent financial advisers can provide advice on a number of products and situations.

How to choose the best financial adviser for your needs

Finding and choosing a financial adviser can feel a little daunting, especially if you don’t have a direct recommendation from a trusted friend or family member.

If you need help with just one aspect of your finances, such as clearing up retirement planning myths, insurance or investing, it makes sense to choose a financial adviser who focuses on that.

You also need to decide in advance if you’re looking for one-time help or need long-term comprehensive financial advice.

For example, you might just want somebody to help you set up a retirement account or organise your savings. Or you might want somebody to design a financial plan that covers different areas and helps you manage your money. 

Once you have a potential candidate, ask plenty of questions. How long has the adviser been in the industry? Do they have any certifications? 

If you’re not sure where to start, you can check the database of the Personal Finance Society. you could also try the Money Advice Service’s adviser directory to find a professional that matches your needs.  

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