Financial Advisor UK: If you're seeking financial advice for the very first time, trying to find a good independent financial advisor in the UK area can be an intimidating experience. Whether it's investment, pension, mortgage or even insurance guidance that you are after, there's one common rule for all qualified financial advisors; they must all adhere to FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulations. The benefit of this is that should a financial advisor who is FCA approved give you poor quality advice, and things go wrong, you've got guarantees, and can get in touch with the Financial Ombudsman Scheme or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to get it put right.
Recommendations from friends and family can be a good starting place in picking a financial advisor in UK, but keep in mind that their situation might be different to the kind of advice you are looking for. Any advice they provide should be adapted to your specific circumstances, and every financial advisor is not suitable for everybody. It is a good idea to chat to at least three different firms when you are picking a financial advisor, because this is a big decision, and you will be looking to find one that you feel comfortable with and can trust, and at the same time investigate the various options they can provide.
Independent financial advisors and restricted advisors, are the 2 principal types of financial advisor in UK. The good thing about seeing an independent financial advisor is that they won't be confined to just one provider's products or services, and can offer a broader range of options. Independent financial advice should be provided in a frank and unbiased way and across the whole spectrum of financial companies and products. If you choose to use an IFA, you will be able to select from the broadest possible array of products, in order to find the ideal solution for your needs. If you use a restricted advisor you will soon realise that they could be restricted to products and services of one particular firm, or as with a mortgage advisor, will only be focused on one product.
Before taking you on as a client, any UK financial advisor must be fully transparent with you about their charges, as required by the Financial Conduct Authority. You could be charged by the hour, a set fee or possibly even a proportion of your investment value, depending on services you require. To enable you to discuss your aims and see if the advisor is suitable for you and your situation, a free preliminary consultation may be offered. Your account could be looked after by a team rather than a single advisor, if you opt to go with one of the bigger companies in UK.
You'll be asked to fill out a "Fact Find" document, which is a confidential disclosure form relating your financial situation and goals to the advising company. You should also be given a Key Facts Document, or Initial Disclosure Document, which gives you information about the financial advisor, their status to offer independent or restricted advice and their scope of permissions in the financial arena. If you're not happy with the service provided, and wish to submit a complaint, this document should also set down your own legal rights and the options you can take. It should outline what you're committing yourself to, and any possible risks and benefits that exist if you decide to accept the offered advice, and it must be set down in clear language. The cooling-off period should also be explained in this Key Facts Document. This makes it possible for you to have a change of heart within a certain time frame, and cancel your contract with the financial advisor.
You'll want to check the qualifications and experience of your financial advisor when you first speak with them. Asking these questions shouldn't be a cause for embarrassment, because after all you're entrusting them with your financial wellbeing. A Level 4 qualification in financial advice is the minimum required qualification for any UK financial advisor, and they must also be able to present you with an annual Statement of Professional Standing. If your advisor's name doesn't appear on the Financial Services Register, you should not panic, the firm the individual works for will almost certainly be on the register and their personnel are all covered by the regulations. If they are not able to provide this proof, the person cannot offer advice but is allowed to offer financial guidance. Guidance is not subject to regulations in the way that financial advice is, which means that if mistakes are made neither party will have any recourse.
If it is investing money that you are interested in, your advisor will need to know the level of risk you are willing to take with your hard-earned cash. Many investments carry some degree of risk, but higher risk investments could potentially offer better rewards, but also more likelihood of losing your funds. Your savings goals must be taken into account if decent investment and financial advice is to be given, i.e. how much you have to invest, long or short term investments and how rapidly you need access to your money. The one question that you should ask of yourself, which is often ignored, is how much you can really afford to lose. Generally referred to as your capacity for loss, this will most likely affect the services and products that you are offered.
If you've already got any existing regular outgoings, mortgage loans, personal savings or investments, you must let your financial advisor know about these. This will give a clear and full picture of your financial circumstances, and without this the advice you're given may not be the best for you. Smart financial advice should include diversifying your investments and savings by spreading the risk across a number of different products. With an understanding of the best areas to consider, a seasoned financial advisor will favour products that fit in with your goals and financial circumstances.
Communicating in the clearest possible way, your financial advisor will reveal the complex world of investment and finance. You should be in a position to make an informed decision after you have learned about the various services and products that meet your needs. You could maybe ask your financial advisor to only specify ethical investments and savings. This not only gives you investment opportunities, but also enables you to lend your support to green energy or zero carbon projects, and stay away from businesses and companies that don't share the same values that you do.
Working closely with your financial advisor in UK can be challenging to manage around your work life and other commitments. This can be reduced by supplementing face-to-face meetings with telephone and video conferencing, therefore allowing you to seek the advice you need at convenient times. Working from home and remote working is now so common, and an experienced financial advice company in UK will have stringent measures in force to keep your details secure and confidential, even if you never have a one-to-one meeting with your personal advisor.
Investments can easily go down as well as up, because the financial sector can be unpredictable. If your investment fails to make as much money as you hoped for, it can be incredibly worrying and frustrating. However, unless it is because of misleading or incorrect information from your advisor a downward spiraling of your investment is not a recognised cause for complaint.
The firm's official complaints procedure should be the kick off point for any grievances, and the Key Facts Document should clarify this. If the financial advisor is a member of the Financial Conduct Authority, you can let the Financial Ombudsman know about the issue if it is unresolved within the period set by the regulating body.
The Financial Ombudsman will look into the cause for complaint and come to a decision. If the complaint is found to be justified, a decision will be made on how to financially compensate the customer. Once the decision is accepted by the client it becomes a legally binding decision which the advisor and their firm, must comply with. Any compensation laid down by the Financial Ombudsman will also take into consideration any upset, inconvenience, hassle and distress caused to the client during the process.
A Financial Advisor's Day to Day Duties
- A financial advisor produces financial reports.
- A financial advisor researches financial products and explains them simply and clearly to clients.
- A financial advisor provides education, consultation and counselling with regards to investments and finances.
- A financial advisor keeps up to date with new products and law changes.
- A financial advisor updates customers regarding their investments.
- A financial advisor meets targets for performance and sales.
- A financial advisor thrashes out advantageous deals with with providers of financial products.
- A financial advisor keeps a record of potential transactions and clients.
- A financial advisor works in collaboration with colleagues to obtain statistics, trends and market information.
- A financial advisor speaks with clients about their plans and finances.
UK Financial Advice Services
There are a whole host of services which can be provided by your local UK financial advisor including wealth management & investments in UK, ethical investment advice UK, investment planning, annuity purchase, pension planning in UK, life insurance advice in UK, business planning in UK, annuities, corporate bonds UK, pension transfer advice, investment bonds in UK, stakeholder pension advice UK, portfolio management in UK, mutual funds, pension consolidation UK, personal financial planning UK, trustee investment services in UK, offshore investments in UK, equity release, cashflow analysis in UK, unit trusts in UK, investment planning UK, retirement advice in UK, corporate financial planning UK, general financial planning, and more.
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