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How do I find a good financial adviser? It's a question I am often asked. And there is no easy answer. Especially if you do not have a lot of money.
- As you would expect, one group comprised firms which did not look across the whole market. They remained tied or multi-tied to individual providers. And some did deals to get providers to pay to be on their list of favoured suppliers. Money that looked, smelt, and sounded very like sales driven commission.
- The other group was less expected. They were firms that specialised in just one or a few areas. For example, a firm that specialised in annuities, knew everything about annuities from the whole of the annuity market, but did not advise on investments or pensions could not call itself 'independent'. It was called ‘restricted’.
those two groups do not have separate names. They are officially all just 'restricted' - though that is a term hardly any of them uses.
So by quite reasonably filtering outthe restricteds who are tied or multi-tied you also lose the whole-of-market specialists as well. They may be good financial advisers. But I still reject them. Don’t blame me. Tell the FCA to change its daft rules.
These three filters will take you a long way towards finding good, safe, but often expensive, financial advice. I apologise to the good, safe, and perhaps cheaper advisers it filters out. They can get themselves through my three filters by becoming independent or getting financial planning qualifications.
- www.unbiased.co.uk Each entry says clearly under the name of the firm if they are independent or 'restricted whole of market'. At the top of the list there may be an adviser who has paid for an advertising box - it has a coloured background and 'AD BETA' in small letters in the top right hand corner. After that advisers are listed for their relevance. Those with the most details and facilities on the site have paid more for that but the fee does not affect their position in the listing. You can tick specialities to help find the kind of adviser you want. And you can specify certain qualifications too.
- www.vouchedfor.co.uk only lists IFAs and you can then filter out the non-planners.