WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN ADVISING CLIENTS?
These questions help you get under the skin of the adviser’s ethos. There are of course industry standards you’d expect them to hold but it’s always useful to see if the adviser has gone one step further by ensuring a programme of continuing professional development for staff, or working towards voluntary standards too.
DO YOU ONLY RECCOMEND PRODUCTS FROM ONE COMPANY OR A RANGE? DO YOU EARN MORE BY RECCOMENDNING SOME PRODUCTS OVER OTHERS? ON WHAT BASIS DO YOU SELECT FUNDS AND FUND MANAGERS?
Some advisers could be tied to particular providers. Others may offer advice on an independent basis to provide unbiased, unrestricted advice based on a comprehensive and fair analysis of the relevant market. There may be products or schemes which the adviser could consider to be unsuitable for clients which might be excluded by due diligence. It’s also useful to know if the adviser works with other agencies or market intelligence tools to choose funds and track trends.
HOW DO YOU CHARGE? DO YOU HAVE DIFFERENT FEES? IS THERE A MAXIMUM AMOUNT? ARE THERE UPFRONT FEES? WHAT ARE THESE AND WHY DO YOU CHARGE THEM?
It’s important to properly understand how you might be charged. Some firms charge by the hour for some work. There may be a management fee structure based on the size of your investment portfolio. It’s useful to understand when and how fees are charged, and also when they are likely to be reviewed.
HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I BE PREPARED TO LOSE IN A SIGNIFICANT MARKET CRASH? WHAT ARE THE RETURNS OVER THE SHORT, MEDIUM AND LONG TERM?
Your adviser should be able to offer clear insight into different scenarios – from good to bad and everything in between.
David Pugh, Chief Commercial Officer