Choosing a financial advisor can be a somewhat overwhelming and intimidating process. The vast selection of companies, services and advisors available can result in anxiety over choosing with whom to trust your finances. Making the right choice is important to ensure you are equipped with the correct expertise and long-term financial protection, but also, perhaps more importantly, to provide you with peace of mind and assurance that your money is in the right hands. We’ve put together a list of three things to consider when beginning this process to help you find a financial advisor that is right for you.
Choose an Advisor with Local Knowledge
Whether you’re planning to move abroad or stay put, it’s crucial that the advisor you choose has an extensive knowledge of the local area and the relevant laws that apply there. These laws differ from country to country but can also vary depending on region too. For example, in Spain, the tax laws in one area can be completely different to a neighbouring region – it is vital that an advisor is aware of these differences to avoid complications or fines. An advisor who is well versed in local laws is far more likely to be well established in the area, and so local renown is often a good indicator that they are a reliable choice equipped with the knowledge required to provide sound financial advice that is specific to your area. It should be relatively easy to find a well established advisor – online or personal recommendations are a good place to start and from there you can arrange some consultations to get the process underway.
Choose an Advisor you Trust
Trust is pivotal when choosing a financial advisor – this person will have access to your financial assets, information, and long-term goals. Often, poor decisions made by an advisor will not be obvious until further down the line and the damage has already been done, hence why it is essential to go with an advisor who you trust and has a good track record. It is also important to bear in mind that financial advisors often specialise in different areas. Pensions, mortgages and investments are all examples of areas in which advisers may have their expertise – be sure to choose an advisor whose skillset is relevant to your needs. An advisor could have all the relevant knowledge discussed above, but if there is no rapport between you it is unlikely that it will result in an enduring, successful working relationship. You may have to interact with several advisors before you find one that you trust and feel comfortable with, but it is definitely worth the additional time and effort to ensure peace of mind and good results.
Choose an Advisor with the Correct Licenses
Another equally important thing to consider when choosing an advisor is to ensure that they have the correct licencing required to provide services within their area. Similar to the variation in tax laws, different areas and may require different licenses. If you are an expat looking for financial services in the EU, the advisor must hold a MiFID II licence to be able to provide these services. The MiFID II aims to standardise rules and regulations for firms and by doing this protects investors. The MiFID II can be hard to obtain and Brexit has made it even more difficult for IFAs to conform to the regulatory requirements of their jurisdiction, this makes it more important than ever to ensure your advisor is in the possession of the licence.
Remember, it is crucial not to rush the process or settle for an advisor with whom you’re not completely comfortable; important financial decisions and investments require time and research and looking for an advisor is no different. The steps above are a great place to start when looking for a financial advisor, but there is of course more to consider further down the line. If you are thinking about getting a financial advisor, or would like to know more about the process, click the link below to speak to a member of our team and organise a complimentary review of your finances.