HOW TO RECOGNISE A GREAT FINANCIAL ADVISER
Everyone seeking financial advice is, of course, in search of the best financial adviser to give it, but how many would know if they actually found that person? What are the qualities of a great financial adviser anyway? What makes them different, and how can you assess whether they really ‘know their stuff’ and have your best interests at heart?
What makes a financial adviser a good fit for you might not necessarily be the same as for the next person and indeed, what makes a potential client a good fit for us here at Global Financial might not be the same as it would for a different firm. These are the sort of things that will come up in early discussions when we speak to you about our core values and beliefs, but before we get to that stage, here are some of the characteristics that we believe make for a great financial adviser. Often, it’s about what they don’t do, rather than what they do:
NOT REACTING TO WHAT’S CURRENTLY BEING REPORTED IN THE NEWS
“But surely this is important?” we hear your cry? Along with “Shouldn’t you be the first to react to what’s happening in the markets?” Actually, no. The fact is that news headlines have one main job – to sell. And a negative, fear-inducing headline is far more attention-grabbing than ‘actually, things are looking ok’. Our job is not to react without thinking but to be aware of what’s being reported and NOT react until we know the full picture.
NOT MAKING LOTS OF FREQUENT CHANGES TO YOUR PORTFOLIOS
If everything is performing well, why would we? Naturally we need to be keeping a close eye on things and we will always be ready to make changes when they are needed but sometimes, things are simply better left as they are. Markets will go up and down. If we react every time there is a slight change then we limit the opportunities that can be brought about by having patience and being in a position to reap the rewards later.
NOT BEING UPSET WHEN THE MARKETS GO DOWN
You read that right. The markets temporarily taking a downturn is not actually always a bad thing. Particularly if you are a long-term investor, you will be able to benefit from these occasions by effectively getting more bang for your buck and putting you in an even better position than before.
NOT SPENDING THE MAJORITY OF THEIR TIME DISCUSSING INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE
Of course we want your investments to perform well, but there are other elements to determining the right course of action for you. Why are you saving? What are you looking to achieve? What is your end goal? How much money do you need, why and by when? If you simply wish to have well-performing investments then you are missing out on the reasons behind them and on being able to plan what you want for your future. By focusing on the lifestyle financial planning element, we can develop a better path to get you to where you want to be and can ensure that you recognise the end of that path when you reach it.
NOT WORRYING ABOUT THEIR PRESENT FINANCIAL POSITION
The present is not where you are aiming to be financially. If it was, you probably wouldn’t be seeking financial advice in the first place. That’s why we are less concerned about your past and your present and more focused on what you need for the future. It’s not that we’re not interested in your current position – it’s simply that helping you reach your desired future one is more important.
NOT HAVING AN ANSWER WHEN YOU ASK US A QUESTION
Or, at least, not having an immediate one. It’s important to remember that those at the top of their game are not necessarily the ones with all the immediate answers, but the ones who know that most situations are complex and require further thought. If it’s a simple question then of course a great financial adviser should be able to answer it, but there is nothing wrong with being told “I’ll look into that a bit further.” It doesn’t mean the answer isn’t known; it simply means that we want to cover all bases before offering the best course of action.
Financial advice is complex, often taps into uncomfortable areas, is stacked with emotion and is continually evolving with new features and new regulations to keep on top of. The best financial advisers are the ones who will readily admit this.
Looking for financial advice? Contact us to speak to one of our trusted advisers.
This article does not constitute financial advice and should not be construed as such.