5 min Read
06 Dec 2016

10 tips on how to find a good financial adviser

At some point in your life you may need to seek out the expertise of a financial adviser. But how do you go about finding a decent one and avoid being ripped off? We've compiled a list of things to check when looking for and choosing the right financial adviser:

How to choose a Financial Adviser

Get a recommendation

The best way of finding a good independent financial adviser (IFA) is via a personal recommendation. But in the absence of a recommendation then use use the tool below. Simply enter your postcode and you will be able to find  reputable IFA's near you.

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Do you need financial advice? An independent financial adviser can show you how to make the most of your money.

Simply find your nearest qualified and regulated adviser using the UK’s largest adviser search.


Before doing business with an IFA the most important thing to check their authorisation. All financial advisers have to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in order to provide financial advice. You can check whether an individual is authorised by searching the FCA’s authrorised register.


There are a host of qualifications that advisers could and should take in order to ensure that they are competent to give financial advice. While the industry standards are constantly changing I personally wouldn’t do business with anybody who hadn’t at least attained the Diploma in Financial Planning (DipPFS), formerly known as the Advanced Financial Planning Certificate (AFPC).


Qualifications are one thing but experience is also important. Some people prefer an adviser with a few grey hairs as a sign that they’ve ‘been around the block’. However, the financial advice industry is one in desperate need of some youth given that the average age of an IFA is 58. While experience counts it should not be at the expense of access to the latest innovations and developments.


Ask to speak to a couple of the IFA’s existing clients to get an idea of the level of service they’ve received. It may not be particularly insightful given that the IFA can chose the people you talk to but if an IFA refuses your request then you might ask yourself why?


It goes without saying that you should meet anyone who is transacting business on your behalf, so make it easy by choosing an IFA near to you.

Size matters

In order to get the best service from your chosen IFA you need to matter to them. Ask them about the general size of their existing client portfolios as well as the number of clients they look after. If an IFA looks after a large number of clients, far wealthier than you, you need to be reassured that you won’t be at the bottom of the pile. By seeking an IFA whose existing clients’ needs are similar to your own should help ensure that your needs are also met.

Area of speciality

You may want advice in relation to a specific area such as inheritance tax mitigation. So find out the IFAs level of expertise in the area in question.


it may sound crazy but being able to trust someone and build a rapport is an important part of the advisory process. If you don’t feel comfortable discussing your finances with your chosen IFA then how can you trust or value their advice?


Make sure you have a clear understanding as to how and what you will be charged. If an IFA is paid via commission from certain products (mortgage or insurance) that they sell make sure you fully understand how this works because despite what they may tell you, you ultimately foot the bill. The recent RDR means that advisers have to be more transparent about what they now charge you for giving financial advice. But make sure you understand how much you are paying and what services you will get in return.

Service proposition

Find out what service standards you can expect. How often will you receive valuations or have review meetings?


Not all financial advisers are independent. Some are tied to banks and building societies. Therefore they will only sell their own products which may be inferior to those on offer elsewhere. Independent Financial Advisers on the other hand can sell you any products on the market.


Find a reputable financial adviser near you

Find your nearest qualified and regulated adviser using the UK’s largest adviser search tool.

Enter your postcode to start

Article overview

Key points

  • To find a reputable financial adviser near you then use the search tool widget above
  • When you speak with a financial adviser check their:
    • Authorisation
    • Qualifications
    • Experience
    • References
    • Location
    • Size matters
    • Area of speciality
    • Rapport
    • Costs
    • Service proposition
    • Independence

Written by Damien

Damien is one of the most widely quoted money and investment experts in the national press and has made numerous radio & TV appearances. He created MoneytotheMasses.com while working in the City when he became disillusioned with the way the public were left to fend for themselves because they could not afford financial advice.

More about Damien