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Meeting with a financial adviser for the first time

Mike Hunt

Meeting with a financial adviser for the first time

How can you proceed after finding a suitable financial adviser using the website? Usually, your adviser will meet with you face-to-face; this is for a variety of reasons. In particular, you want to know:

  • How can I benefit from this financial advisor?
  • Do they have the right qualifications? (Check out this page to learn more about their capabilities)
  • In what ways can these services assist me in achieving my goals?
  • How much will any advice cost?
  • In what ways will these services benefit me?
  • Does this financial advisor suit my needs?

As well as:

  • Would you like to proceed with financial advice now?

When you know what questions you should ask and prepare for your meeting, you can make informed decisions about your next steps.

Calling your adviser for the first time

It's probably likely that your first interaction with your financial adviser will be over the phone - and you can clarify some details so that neither of you wastes their time.

To begin with, ask your adviser what their firm's name is and verify it is the same one named in the email you received from Ensure it's an FCA-regulated firm and not a cold caller.

Give a quick overview of the reasons why you want to speak to the adviser after you've confirmed their identity. You can agree on a mutually convenient time, and place to meet after the adviser tells you whether they can help you. The majority of advisers will come to your office or home to meet with you.

During your phone call, you might also want to ask the following questions:

Is it going to be a comprehensive market review?'

We provide access to both independent and restricted whole-of-market advisers through Independent advisers can offer advice on any product, while restricted advisers can offer advice on any product. Both types of advisers provide a fully independent opinion.

'What qualifications do you have?'

If you need advice in a specific area, make sure your adviser is qualified for the task. Check our Qualifications page to see what areas they cover and to learn more about the grading system if they mention any qualifications. If you seek a specialist in a particular field, you'll be looking for an adviser with a high-level qualification in that area.

'If we meet for the first time, what should I bring with me?'

Having any necessary paperwork on hand is essential, even if your first meeting takes place at home. Generally, this includes documents about your investments, savings, insurance policies, pensions, and mortgage, if you have one. However, if your adviser needs to see anything else, please let them know. Your advisor may suggest completing a 'fact find', which outlines your financial circumstances in preparation for the meeting.

Getting the most out of your meeting with your adviser

Set aside 15 minutes the day before your meeting to think about what you hope to accomplish. Suppose you are considering accessing your retirement fund. In that case, you might have a specific question in mind, such as 'I want to maximize my family's financial security in the years to come. You will have a clear goal in mind going into your meeting this way.

Over and above the main topic of your inquiry, you may discuss other issues as well. Your adviser will want an overall view of your financial situation, lifestyle, responsibilities, and goals, along with your plans. Be patient with this process since good financial advice should take your entire financial situation into account. Often, your original method may be the wrong one, and you'll make alternative plans with your adviser's help.

For a successful adviser meeting, here are some general guidelines.

Consult your adviser together with your partner if you're a couple

It is highly recommended that both partners attend any discussion with an adviser, no matter how financially savvy one of you is. To form an accurate picture of your goals together, the advisor will need to hear from both of you.

Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as possible

It would help if you weren't afraid to ask questions about finances. Furthermore, you might be mistaken about things that you thought were true. Do not pass up the chance to have an expert on hand - don't assume anything.

Make sure you understand

Be sure you understand everything your adviser says. To ensure that you don't misunderstand anything, you might want to repeat the explanation back to them in your own words.

Ask for examples

Ask your adviser if they have any examples of how they've handled a particular area of advice (such as accessing a pension) so you can see how it works in practice.

Talk about risk

Knowing what advisers mean by 'risk' is essential, as is knowing your risk tolerance. Almost all financial products and transactions involve some level of risk, so finding products that fit your particular risk profile is a key aspect of advice.

Ensure they explain any advantages & disadvantages

If you choose to take advice, you need to know what you stand to gain. Make sure you know exactly what services your adviser will provide for you and what benefits you can expect from them in the short, medium, and long run.

Negotiating financial advice fees

You can get an idea of the fees your adviser will charge you before you decide to receive financial advice. The idea behind financial advice is that you should earn more money in the long run than the initial investment. If necessary, ask the adviser to justify the fees in light of the benefits explained to you.

The Cost of Advice tool can give you a rough idea of what to expect. It is always best to ask for a firm quote regarding advice fees and scenarios. If the quote differs significantly from the estimate provided by our tool, ask the adviser why.

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