Independent financial advisers are human beings. They come in all shapes and sizes just as humans in general do. If you have realised you need the services of an independent financial adviser in Kent, you may wonder how you decide which one is the right one for you.
Well there are actually a number of qualities that go towards making a really good independent financial adviser.
• First of all, an independent financial adviser in Kent needs to be a person of integrity whom you can trust. Obviously, with any investment you are inevitably taking a certain level of risk. So you do need to have complete confidence that your adviser is acting in your interests, not in his/her own, so that you can be as certain as possible that the products you invest in are the best ones for you.
• One intangible quality, which some have and some haven’t but an IFA must have, is financial “nous” – an instinctive understanding of how finance and the markets work. Without this, even a highly qualified adviser won’t be a really effective one.
• An independent financial adviser in Kent needs to have good interpersonal skills. Providing financial advice shouldn’t be just a one-off affair – ideally it involves building up a relationship over time. If the adviser isn’t someone you feel you can get on with, the relationship won’t be a successful one and you won’t really benefit from the advice.
• The adviser also needs to be a good listener. Providing financial advice is largely about understanding your personal situation – your hopes and aspirations, your attitude to risk, the kinds of product that appeal to you, etc., as well as your employment and family circumstances. An adviser who does all the talking, or who doesn’t appear to concentrate on what you are saying, is unlikely to provide the best advice.
• The other side of this coin is that the adviser also needs to be a good communicator. Obviously, if someone is giving you advice, you need to be able to understand it! Financial matters can be very technical and can seem like gobbledegook if you’re not familiar with them – but the adviser may not realise that you haven’t a clue what he/she is talking about. It’s difficult to explain technical stuff in clear, non-technical language but the adviser needs to be able to do this so that you can make the right decision as to which product to choose.
It may seem from all this that a good independent financial adviser in Kent has to be a combination of the Archangel Gabriel and Bill Gates. Of course, no human being is perfect and no IFA is perfect either. But the more of these personal qualities the adviser has – along with good qualifications and experience – the better advice you are likely to get. So use your introductory consultation – which most IFAs don’t charge for – to assess how far the adviser is someone you can work with. If not, don’t be afraid to go somewhere else. Getting the best advice is important for your whole future.