How do I know in an IFA can help me with my specific needs?

Most IFAs will specialise in one or two areas. This means that there is an element of hit and miss about finding one that will have the specific knowledge that you need. You need someone with the correct qualifications.

Qualifications come in 2 forms. An Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) should be qualified through a combination of both exams and experience. The technical knowledge is tested through passing the appropriate exams. The IFA must also work regularly in that field so they have the relevant experience.

Overall it’s like dealing with a doctor. In general it will always be better to deal with a specialist rather than a GP. However continuing with the medical analogy the GP should be the first port of call. In certain simple cases they will be able to help. If they can’t help then they will know which expert to pass you onto.

All good IFAs will have relationships with other financial experts. Your IFA should be your first stop when you are looking for help. They will assess the need and either deal with it themselves or refer you on to a trusted contact.

You therefore need to make sure you choose a good “GP”!! One who is local will make things easier. A personal recommendation will always be the best. The 3 key words are LIKE, TRUST and RESPECT. You want to deal with someone who fits that criteria. You will then have the peace of mind to know that the most suitably qualified person is sorting things out.

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