Important questions to ask your financial adviser

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If you are at a key life stage that requires a financial adviser, such as getting a mortgage, starting a family or entering retirement, you need to ask some questions before proceeding to ensure that your money is suitably protected and that you are getting the best deal.

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What are your fees?

All advisers have to tell you their fees before they take you on as a client.

Charges may be per hour, a fixed fee or a percentage of your pension pot.

What services are on offer?

The adviser must let you know if they are independent and will explain the services they provide.

To be considered independent, financial advisers have to supply a wide range of investment products. They also have to give clients unrestricted and unbiased advice and analyse the market in a comprehensive way.

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Restricted advisers offer only a limited type of product and providers.

Can independent advisers investigate the whole market?

As stated above, restricted financial advisers only recommend particular types of products, such as retirement advice, for example.

If you want to explore everything that is available, check that your adviser can investigate solutions for you across the whole market.

What are your qualifications?

By law, all financial advisers must hold some qualifications. A qualification called QCF Level 4 has been required since 2013.

Many advisers have passed additional exams, so question your adviser about what their qualifications signify.

Some types of advice call upon the adviser to hold niche qualifications, such as equity release and pension transfers.

IFA software used by advisers to streamline administration includes that from

Meanwhile, the Money Advice Service suggests how to choose a financial adviser.

Do you have other clients like me?

It’s worth finding an adviser who has experience with circumstances that are similar to yours. Many financial advisers only work with those whose pension pot is a certain size or who have a particular lump sum to invest, such as £50,000 or £150,000.

Other financial advisers will take on clients no matter how small their pension pot is.

Will I get ongoing advice?

If you think you will need ongoing support in the future, check with your adviser to find out whether they offer this service and how much it costs.