expert_pete prodoehlMost financial advisers will have a very broad range of knowledge, enabling them to provide advice across various subject areas to help with general financial planning.

However, dependent on your needs and circumstances you may prefer to speak to an adviser who is a specialist in the area where you need advice. Some aspects of financial advice are far more complex than others. Whilst most financial advisers will have some knowledge of an area, an adviser who is a specialist will have a much deeper knowledge and understanding of the issues that arise.

Ask the adviser for examples of situations where they have helped clients with similar situations or objectives to you.  You could ask typically who their ideal client is and what they are trying to achieve. Listen out for people with concerns and goals similar to yours. How similar is this client to you in terms of age, stage of life, circumstances, asset level etc? In an ideal world, you want to find someone who has experience of working with someone like you.

Ask for details of a case study or testimonials from a client in a similar situation. It would also be useful to ask if any existing clients would be willing to speak to you, to provide feedback.

See whether your IFA is prepared to liaise with your solicitor and your accountant if this is something that’s important to you. It will often be useful for your IFA and solicitor or accountant to work closely together. This also avoids you having to pass on queries and comments from one party to another with the risk that you may misinterpret something that is said.

expert_pete prodoehl