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Choosing a Financial Adviser

Financial Advisers are trained to advise you on a range of products from competing providers of financial products. Some advisers specialise in a particular area or areas of expertise: pensions, for example, or lump sum investments.

To find a Financial Adviser local to you, you can use Unbiased’s find an IFA serviceopens a new window, run by IFA Promotion Ltd, the industry body responsible for promoting financial advice in the UK.

Helping you to get the most from your first meeting

Before you have your initial meeting, check that the Financial Adviser lists the product area you’re interested in, as one of their areas of expertise. During your meeting:

  • Take notes
  • Ask questions about anything you don’t understand
  • Don’t sign anything until you have read and understood it

What should I ask?

To help you get the most out of your meeting, we’ve put together a few questions you may find it helpful to ask.


Before your first meeting

  • Do you specialise in the product area/areas I am interested in?
  • How long have you been advising clients?
  • Do you often advise people in my earnings bracket?
  • Can you show me references from satisfied clients?
  • Do you charge a fee for the initial consultation?
  • Do you charge fees for advice or take a procuration fee from the provider?
  • Where and when will meetings take place?

During your meeting

  • What’s the potential return on this investment and how long is it for?
  • What are the charges and how does that compare with those for similar products?
  • What happens if I need my money earlier than planned?
  • What are the risks?
  • What is the tax position with this product?
  • What if I can’t keep the payments up?
  • Can I have the Key Features document for this product?

At the end of the meeting

  • Don’t be pressurised to sign up for anything if you’re not ready to
  • Ask for as much time as you need to consider or read any proposals or Key Features documents
  • Arrange a follow up meeting