RP: Hello there. With so many financial advisers to choose from, finding the one who’s right for you is quite a challenge. Brett Davidson runs a consultancy called FP Advance, which helps advice firms to advise their clients better. I started by putting it to him that not everyone needs a financial adviser.
BD: I think that’s fair, I think some people don’t. You know if there’s not much there to be dealing with, you know, the simple things are: pay off your mortgage and get your kids through school. Most people I think would be happy to do that but if there’s a bit more floating around, or you come into some money or you get to that retirement phase and you’ve got, you know, your corporate pension coming through, the world is so complex today, to get in front of someone who really knows their onions, I think can add a lot of value.
RP: When choosing an adviser, it’s important to know exactly what it is you want them to do. So, what are the most important ways in which an adviser can help you?
BD: I think broadly speaking there’s a couple of areas. One is technical, so getting in front of a person who really knows the ins and outs of your issue is, is always really valuable. But I think the biggest stuff where advisers add value is by asking you interesting questions about your values, you know, your beliefs, the things you want to do with your life because it’s finding the meaning in the money that is the real magic I think from a good adviser.
RP: OK, you now know what you’re looking for. What does Brett suggest you do next?
BD: Asking around friends, family, colleagues is a good place to start, you know, your professional advisers, accountants, lawyers, who do they know? But once you get in front of someone, the thing I’d be looking for is, "Do they ask interesting questions?" Because a person who’s bothered to think about the quality of the questions that they ask you, someone, who challenges and provokes your thinking, I think can add a lot of value.
RP: Finally, financial advice isn’t a one-hit solution. So remember, the adviser you choose must be someone you’re happy to have a long-term working relationship with.
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