To ensure your dreams become a reality, you need a carefully structured investment plan and the discipline to make the necessary monthly contributions.

This is the time when a financial adviser can add huge value in helping you set out your financial goals and a plan for achieving them. You need a financial adviser you can trust to partner with you along this exciting journey. So many lives have been positively affected by good, sound financial advice, but often the process can feel complex and some people feel that advisers may not always have their best interests at heart. So how do you go about finding a financial adviser you can trust?

1. Personal recommendation

Chat to colleagues, friends and family. Often, the easiest and most effective way to finding a suitable financial adviser is through word of mouth and a positive, personal recommendation.

2. Qualifications

Find out if the financial adviser is authorised by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) to do business in this capacity. What are their qualifications? They should ideally have a Diploma in Financial Planning and be a Certified Financial Planner. Understand whether they are really independent or if they represent a particular company or product, which will sway their recommendations to you and what financial products they can and can’t sell.

The Financial Planning Institute (FPI) or The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) can provide you with a list of professionally certified financial advisers

3. Experience & references

Ask for a reference or to speak to some of their other customers. You want a financial adviser with experience but someone still young enough to understand your needs and life stage.

4. Service standards

How often will you meet with your financial adviser? It’s important they complete a thorough financial needs analysis at the outset, followed by an annual review of your plan to ensure it continues to feed into your financial goals.

5.Fee structure

Make sure you have a clear understanding of how your financial adviser will be remunerated.


Many financial advisers specialise in certain areas e.g. investments, retirement or general financial planning. Make sure their area of specialty aligns with your particular goals and needs.

7. Connection

A good financial adviser will listen to your needs and desires, give you guidance and put together a financial plan that will help you achieve your goals. They will always offer products that are right for you and relevant to your particular life stage.

Choose an adviser you have a good rapport with; someone who takes the time to explain the basics to you, and what your various policies mean; someone who makes sure you understand how much you need to save for retirement and why. You want an adviser who will build a long-term relationship with you, not someone who’s just interested in completing a sale.

A good financial adviser cares about you. They’re interested in you and your life – they’re aware of your dreams and ambitions so that they can help you reach your financial goals and ensure your financial security throughout life’s journey

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