4 important qualities your clients should look for when choosing a financial planner

I was recently talking to a client who had been referred to me by a local accountant. They were telling me how they had been looking for a financial planner for some time, and how the potential advisers they met weren’t quite right for them. It was only on the recommendation of their accountant that they found Delaunay.

It brought to mind a recent FTAdviser article I read, which revealed that 1 in 5 adults in the UK struggle to find a financial planner who can cater to their needs.

The chat got me thinking about the qualities that make a good financial planner – so here are four “green flags” your clients should look for when doing their due diligence.

1. Relevant professional experience

If your client is seeking advice from a financial planner, they’re likely looking for a professional whose expertise they can rely on.

At the heart of all financial planning services is a commitment to helping people manage their wealth and achieve their long-term financial goals.

However, there are many different routes to becoming a financial planner and every individual will have developed a unique set of professional experiences that inform the services they offer.

So, it might benefit your client to ask the following questions before choosing a financial planner:

  • Have you previously worked with clients who have similar needs to mine?
  • What is your approach to financial planning?
  • How long have you been practising as a financial planner?
  • What qualifications and certifications do you hold?

Answering these questions could help your client select a professional who can meet their unique needs.

Imagine your client is concerned about retirement planning as a self-employed professional. They might feel more comfortable working with a financial planner who has helped business-owner clients with similar needs.

If your client knows that they need professional financial guidance but they’re uncertain about what kind of advice they need, a holistic financial planner can help…

2. A holistic, goal-oriented approach

One of the key criteria the client I recently chatted with had was that he was looking for someone he could build a long-lasting relationship with.

Instead of providing product-led advice that meets a specific, short-term need, the client was seeking a holistic approach where his needs and longer-term aims were at the centre of the process.

A holistic financial planner will take the time to get to know your client and look at their finances in the broader context of their life goals.

Indeed, personal goals are the backbone of effective financial planning – from short-term goals such as saving for a luxury holiday to long-term goals like funding a comfortable retirement.

Additionally, a holistic financial planner will usually provide ongoing support, rather than one-off advice. This can allow them to regularly review and adjust your client’s financial plan in line with their current circumstances and aspirations.

Read more: 5 ways goal-based financial planning could benefit your client

3. Reputation and credibility

The best financial planners let their reputation do the talking for them. What’s more, your client may feel more confident working with someone who has been personally recommended to them.

So, speaking to friends and family or asking for a recommendation from a professional may be a good way for your client to get a sense of whether a particular financial planner might be a good fit for them.

They could also check online sources of reviews from previous and current clients, such as the Vouchedfor Guide to Top Rated Financial Advisers or Google reviews.

This information could not only shed light on the overall service your client might expect from a specific financial planner, but it may also provide insight into what specific experience they offer and the type of clients they have worked with previously.

Similarly, case studies might help your client get a feel for the qualities and values a financial planner has.

Read our client stories to learn more about Delaunay Wealth.

4. Excellent communication skills

Successful financial planners focus on building long-term relationships with their clients. This requires excellent communication skills, including:

  • Active listening – Fully engaging with what your client is saying rather than merely waiting to speak.
  • Explaining complex matters in simple terms – Using language the client can easily understand, rather than bombarding them with technical financial jargon.
  • Being transparent and honest – Openly and clearly communicating information such as the services on offer, professional experience, and fee structures.

So, if your client contacts a financial planner, they might want to ask about their preferred methods and frequency of communication, while taking note of whether they receive a timely and considered response to their enquiry.

Get in touch

If your client would like to work with an experienced financial planner who takes the time to listen to their needs, we can help.

Please email us at mail@delaunaywealth.com or call 0345 505 3500.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.