Finding a trustworthy financial adviser in France
Finding a financial adviser can be challenging, particularly in a country that you have just moved too. Not every individual needs a financial adviser, but for those who do, working with someone who has the right blend of experience, knowledge and holding your best interests at the forefront of their proposition is integral.
Do I need a financial adviser?
This depends on your circumstances.
For example, for people who don’t have many assets and most of their income is from guaranteed sources (such as state pensions), the value an adviser may add could be limited. Comparatively, if you have substantial pensions/investments, it can pay dividends to utilise an adviser to help manage them and navigate your retirement.
Furthermore, people with little knowledge of investments and finance can benefit from advisers expertise. Investments can be complex, and selecting the right types of funds for your situation – whether that be a pension or a shorter term goal – takes some nuance.
What does a financial adviser do?
A good advisers role is varied and takes scope of your whole situation. Some of the main tasks involves:
- Retirement planning
- Managing pensions/investments
- Advising on protection requirements
- Cash flow forecasting to illustrate your financial situation in the future
- Estate planning
A client may go to an adviser with one issue, but the good ones dig deeper into understanding your whole situation and provide advice on the different areas.
What makes a financial adviser trustworthy?
Clients build up investments over a lifetime, and putting these investments in the hands of someone else takes a massive amount of trust. In the world of offshore investing in particular, trust can be challenged. Compared to the UK, the offshore industry is much less regulated which opens the door for rogue advisers whose only intention is to make a quick fee on your funds.
The types of characteristics of a trustworthy adviser are:
- Having your best interests as their main priority. You can usually tell what is someone’s best interest by how they are communicating with you. If they instantly provide a solution before understanding your needs, it’s usually a red flag.
- Clear and transparent fees. What an adviser is charging you should be clearly disclosed and understandable. This is predominantly provided through charging on a fee based model – an upfront and ongoing fee. The alternative is a commission based charging structure, where the adviser is remunerated by the provider for recommending their product. This may seem attractive as you are not paying any fees from your fund, however, you need to ask yourself the question, which product advisers are going to recommend; the one in your best interests or the one that will pay them the most?
- Remunerated on an ongoing basis. This may seem counter-intuitive as once they have provided their initial advice, you may be wondering what you are paying them for. However, by having an ongoing relationship in place, advisers are incentivised to grow your wealth and not just sell you a product and leave.
- Independent. Independent means advisers are not tied to any provider or product, and they can search the whole of the market for the best solution. This is an important difference as they can find the best product available based on cost, performance and reputation.
What types of questions should I ask prior to working with a financial adviser?
It’s important to ask the tough questions to advisers. You want to be comfortable prior to working with them. Key questions to ask are:
- How are you paid? If I’m not paying for the advice, how are you being remunerated?
- Are you an independent or tied adviser?
- Do you operate on a fee or commission basis?
- What areas do you advise on?
- What value will you add on a long term basis?
Get in touch
If you are a French resident looking for a financial adviser, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We can assist in many different areas of financial planning and look to add value through our unique approach to offshore financial advice.