How to find an Independent Financial Adviser

Finding someone you trust to work with can be a minefield – especially when it comes to entrusting that someone with your money. So I have written this article to help you know where to start when looking for an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA).

There are several ways in which you can find an IFA whether it be for general advice or a specific requirement:

  • Financial Adviser search websites
  • Asking friends and family for recommendations
  • Internet search engine
  • Networking
  • Social Media

I will explore each of these places as follows:

Financial adviser search websites

There are several websites dedicated to finding financial advisers and each one is explained in more detail here.

Unbiased

https://www.unbiased.co.uk/ is a tool to help locate an Independent Financial Adviser. You can either specify what you are after and you will be matched to an adviser or you can search Unbiased. There are helpful tools such as questions to ask when you contact an adviser. The website is paid for by adviser membership for different levels of profiles.

Vouched For

https://www.vouchedfor.co.uk/ is another way for finding an IFA. “Vouched For” verifies that the adviser is on the FCA register and is in fact independent and each adviser will receive reviews for clients who have worked with them. As well as answering questions about financial advice, clients also give a score out of 5 which is helpful “at a glance”. “Vouched For” is free if you are looking for an IFA however, the adviser will pay “Vouched For” for the leads that they receive. Due to this, not all advisers will be listed as many do not wish to pay for leads and client introductions (I am not on Vouched For).

Your Money

http://www.thepfs.org/yourmoney/find-an-adviser/ is a website for finding a Financial Adviser and is part of the Personal Finance Society – all members of the PFS are listed and you can search by postcode or a specific area of expertise.

FCA register

https://register.fca.org.uk/ Although not specifically for finding a financial adviser, the FCA website will enable you to make sure that if someone is telling you that they are a Financial Adviser they are. This would be especially relevant where you have been contacted out of the blue or someone is offering you something that sounds too good to be true. You can search the register by company name, adviser name, postcode, product and reference number.

If you use an adviser that is not approved by the FCA, you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or Financial Services Compensation Scheme  (FSCS) if things go wrong.

Ask Friends and Family

Ask close friends or family if they have used a financial adviser before. If so, who they used, if they would use them again and whether they would recommend them.

This can reduce the time you spend looking for one however, just because the adviser was right for them, doesn’t mean they will be right for you. So you should ensure they are.

Search Engines

You could also look online using a search engine. If you can, check the website of any adviser you consider before you contact them to make sure they offer the products and services you are looking for. Adviser websites should give you an idea of the type of clients that they work with and also a flavour of their personality.

Networking

If you run a business it may be that you already go Networking. You will often meet Financial Advisers at such events which can often be a good place to start as you will be able to get a feel for them and whether you could work with them. Ask them for a one-to-one to find out more about them.

Social Media

You can either search for Financial Advisers on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook or ask Friends and Connections for recommendations. This way you can also view their profile before getting in touch with them directly.

When you have found a potential adviser

It is worth meeting with a couple of advisers before making a decision and asking specific questions about them and their service. You should also consider if you like them and could work with them.

Here is an example of the questions you should ask a potential IFA which I have answered.

If you would like an initial complimentary meeting to find out more about me and whether you could work with me, please contact me.

In my next article, I will compare Independent vs restricted or tied advisers.

 

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