What are you looking for in a financial advisor?

The screen on my iPad cracked and I needed to get it repaired. I wanted somewhere close to where I work in Sandyford and Expertech in Foxrock was recommended. I gave them a call and the guy giving me the quote told me that they wouldn’t be the cheapest price out there. I didn’t want the cheapest, I wanted my iPad screen repaired with a quality, glass replacement screen not the plastic rubbish that is sold in some of the cheaper places. There was a sigh of relief and he said “well, you’ve come to the right place”.

I know what he is coming from. He has to compete with people offering an inferior product and it is the price that is driving the business. Unfortunately, world of personal finance is similar. The term “financial advisor” can be used very loosely and some “advisors” are nothing more than salesmen who will engage in a race to the bottom in order to get the sale.

Financial advice is rapidly becoming commoditized with many believing it is like buying a pair of shoes, when nothing can be further from the truth. If you are investing money, you need to understand what investment risk is and the amount of risk that you are taking. You need to have goals for your money so you know what it is going to achieve at the end.

If investing in a pension, it is key that you have an idea of how much you want at the end. I know it is hard to know when it is 30 years away but it is something you should start thinking about.

If you are someone who opts for the cheapest option when it comes to financial advice, is it any good? Have they taken the time and care to understand where you are coming from? Do they understand what your goals are or what your attitude towards investment risk is?

I am really interested in hearing what drives people in making the decision on whether to use a financial advisor or not and if they do, why the pick the advisor that they use. Let me know by dropping me an email at steven@bluewaterfp.ie