What makes a good financial adviser?

Story

The most recent Financial Lives survey conducted by the FCA revealed that only 40% of people trust financial advisers. This begs the question, what does a good adviser consist of?

Based on the findings on the FCA Financial Lives Survey, clients appear to be dissatisfied with the level of service they are receiving from financial advisers. Following the concerns highlighted by clients in the report, we’ve put together a list of the most important qualities which financial advisers should possess. 

Communication

Consumers have expressed in the FCA report that they often don’t understand the rules when it comes to mortgages and pensions and that their confusion leaves them feeling as though they aren’t in control. This highlights the importance for advisers to clearly communicate with their clients, fully explaining their recommendations in a way that is simple to understand.  Since most of us aren’t financial experts, advisers should be prepared to expand on any technical financial terms and regulations in relation to mortgages, pensions and investments.  

Understanding

The first stage of the client journey is often the fact finding process. At this stage the advisers determine their client’s situation and gage what it is they’re looking to achieve. The FCA report confirms that people don’t feel as though advisers can be trusted to act in the best interests of their clients. It’s, therefore, vital for advisers to get a sense of the client’s needs and make recommendations which are in line with their objectives. If clients don’t feel that the advice they receive is appropriate for them, the natural conclusion is that the adviser in question is simply forcing them into a transaction in order to benefit themselves. 

Reliability

It can be very frustrating to have a financial adviser who is impossible to get in contact with. Everyone wants the reassurance that if they have a financial query, their adviser is only one phone call away. Advisers who forget to call clients back or who turn up late for appointments, leave clients feeling neglected and as if they don’t matter. People’s finances are one of the most sensitive aspects to life. It’s, therefore, extremely important that clients feel respected and that their accounts are in good hands. No one wants to do business with someone who they feel is unreliable.

Rapport

This is arguably one of the most central qualities for an adviser. If a client is able to build up a good relationship with their adviser, it’s possible that they will use their services for years to come. Every client is different and it’s important that advisers are able to adapt to each situation accordingly. For example, some clients may already have a financial background and the adviser may be able to take a more relaxed approach. Others will feel completely in the dark when it comes to financial planning and may appreciate someone is more matter of fact. The key is for advisers to engage with their clients and treat them in a way in which they feel at ease.

If you would like to speak with one of our financial advisers, please give us a call or fill in our contact form.

This article is for generic information only and should not be constructed as advice. Please contact us before proceeding with any course of action.

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