How to find the right financial adviser for you

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How to find the right financial adviser for you

26 April 2021

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How do you find the right financial adviser for you?

The financial world can feel so unfamiliar that most of us don’t know where or how to get started. This often results in us just choosing a financial adviser that a friend uses or using a well-known brand for comfort. In truth, this (especially the latter) may not be the best option.

Failing those two approaches, the next adviser selection criteria people use is location. Are they nearby? However, a good adviser will travel across the UK to see you. Additionally, the new world of video conferencing has been an industry game-changer. You can receive high-quality financial advice without even needing to leave your armchair, so location shouldn’t really sit at the top of your priority list.

So, what should you base your decision on when selecting an adviser?

Personalisation & service

First, you need to ask if a behemoth bank will really give you the personal service you need. We’ve seen a substantial amount of money flowing away from these larger brands over the last few years. Their size often means they are slow to innovate and they are failing to keep-up with the curve when it comes to service levels. Discussing your money is an extremely personal process so this shouldn’t be underestimated.

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Independence is also a key element when attempting to find a financial adviser. I have worked for a tied firm (only able to use in-house funds) in the past, and they essentially believe that the way they look after money is superior. This is understandable as it’s ultimately a USP for an investment firm and having direct oversight of the investment strategy can be an important part of meeting a client’s objectives. However, many advisers at tied firms sometimes feel their own, in-house, solution might not be the most suitable option for a particular individual. Clients have varying needs and general philosophies, which is why it is important for your adviser to have multiple investment options when needed.

Ideally, you want to find the best of both worlds. An independent firm that has an in-house investment offering with a proven track record is preferable. However, they should also have the ability to select outside of their core offering if you need an alternative solution to meet your requirements.

Full service

It is also important that the firm you choose provides a full range of services. As consumers, we are getting more used to having everything in one place because, guess what, it makes life a lot easier. So ideally, your chosen firm should have its own platform, provide in-house pensions and tax wrappers and be able to arrange insurance for you, alongside financial planning and investment management. Having an all-in-one solution will remove a substantial amount of confusion and headache.

In a perfect world, you should also choose a firm, which has separate financial planning and investment management teams, with specialists on both. The idea that someone can be an expert financial planner, as well as a high-quality investment manager, is farcical. When you have surgery, you have a team of specialists in the theatre, not just one doctor that claims to be a surgeon, anaesthetist and nurse – it should be no different for your money.


Last, but certainly not least, is to not just look for the cheapest or, indeed, the most expensive option out there. When finding a financial adviser ask the question: “can you demonstrate to me how you have added value for your fees?” The most expensive active management can be very good value ‘if’ it has genuinely added consistent outperformance. Similarly, the cheapest passive solution starts to become very expensive if your fees haven’t added any value, and it has performed poorly for the amount of risk it’s taking.

Find out more in this guide

How much income do you to be comfortable, how much do you need invested and how to pay less tax...

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So, to find the best financial adviser don’t look at the price, look at value. A high-quality firm will easily be able to demonstrate this to you.

Overall, finding the right adviser can be challenging and it certainly is an unfamiliar world for many people. However, rather than simply basing your decision on whether you’ve seen the brand on a poster or not, go through my criteria, and you might come up with some unexpected results…

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Saltus Financial Planning Ltd is authorised and regulated by the financial conduct authority. Information is correct to the best of our understanding as at the date of publication. Nothing within this content is intended as, or can be relied upon, as financial advice. Capital is at risk. You may get back less than you invested.

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Financial planning

Financial planning can help you reach your goals in life, whether you want to determine when you can retire comfortably, bring organisation to your financial world or pass on your wealth effectively.

Pensions and retirement planning

Deciding when to retire is a challenging decision and can feel like a leap of faith. At Saltus, we gather information on all of your existing assets and then use our technology and expertise to show you exactly how to achieve the retirement you’re after.

Reducing your tax burden

How to structure your wealth and access income should be approached in a sophisticated way. A detailed financial plan may use pensions, ISAs, general investment accounts, offshore bonds and other tax wrappers to ensure you can draw your money in a tax-efficient manner.

Consolidating your wealth

Holding multiple investment accounts and pensions can mean they’re hard to keep track of and administer. We’ll help you overcome this by consolidating your accounts into a single plan so that you can understand your financial position with ease.

Protecting you and your assets

We protect our cars and houses without much thought yet you might be the most valuable asset in your family. Whatever your situation, we can provide advice to ensure you have the right level of insurance in place to keep your finances protected.

Passing on your wealth

Estate planning is more important than just having a Will. We’ll work closely with you to understand how estate planning, which has emotional as well as financial consequences, can impact your overall financial plan.

Significant life events

Significant life events can present great opportunities but also considerable challenges. Whether you are going through a business sale, divorce or are receiving a lump sum, we’ll help build a financial plan to meet your changing lifestyle.

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