Congratulations – you’ve decided that you need an independent financial adviser (IFA). An IFA can help you manage your wealth journey, from the time you start putting in place a financial plan until you enjoy your well-earned retirement.
While everyone’s life is unique, a solid financial plan has certain universal elements such as must-have cover and investment offerings. And, just as your life changes over time (and in line with certain major life events), so should your financial plan. That’s why it’s a good idea to choose an adviser who is qualified to help you plan across all areas of your financial life as well as someone who believes in regular contact and the importance of reviewing your plan as you do. Not sure how to choose the most suitable IFA for your needs? Start with our quick checklist of what you’ll probably need to make the right choice.
Things to consider when choosing an IFA
Being an IFA is a professional undertaking and you should only ever trust your wealth management to a properly qualified adviser. Be sure to check their qualifications, for example, CFP is the benchmark for professionalism in financial planning while a reputable adviser could be a CFP, RFP or have a bachelors in finance.
Experience is a must
Beyond being properly qualified, it’s a good idea to work with an established adviser with some years of industry experience or an adviser affiliated to a reputable firm with a strong support system. Look for an adviser who has clients in a similar position to you and who understands what your financial planning needs are and how best to meet them. If they work with a team of experts who can bring their diverse knowledge to bear on your portfolio, that’s even better.
While not a legal requirement of being an IFA, if the adviser you are considering is working under a fiduciary standard that is a good thing. A fiduciary adviser is legally and ethically bound to make decisions that are in their clients’ best interests above their own. They are required to not only disclose any potential conflicts of interest that might arise, but to actively avoid these altogether. This means your financial needs will always come first, before your adviser’s. This does not mean that non-fiduciary advisers are out to profit off your wealth but there is a risk of bias involved in working with anyone who is not bound to put your needs first.
Want to work with an IFA that does the best for you and your family? Talk to us. As a team of experienced, reputable IFAs, we will work with you to create a wealth management plan (including insurance and investment guidance tailored for each stage of your life journey) designed to help you and your family prosper.