What do you want?

In a recent survey of 300 readers*, people said they wanted the three things from their Financial Adviser: Transparency, Trust and Tailored advice.

Topping the list was a lack of transparency: particularly when it comes to fees and many took issue with the level of fees they were being charged, and the way these were applied.

Readers were frustrated at not being able to find an adviser prepared to charge fixed fees for investment advice.

And in the same survey, many confessed they did not know if their adviser was restricted or independent – but, they wanted them to be independent and recommending products from whole of market.

One reader who responded to the survey said that he would be prepared to pay more for good advice. He worked in the US for about 30 years, and had a “stellar adviser” who he paid $250 an hour for two hours of financial planning and tax advice a year. “She required you to bring your last tax return, family budget, list of assets and your  financial goals and concerns to the interview,” he said. “She was informed, incisive, raised alternative ideas, was non-time wasting and did not recommend particular funds or investments. I would have paid her, and would pay anyone in the UK who was as good, three times as much per hour,” he said.

Trusting their adviser was the most frequently mentioned term, but clarity, creativity in their thinking, honesty, independence and being a good listener were all qualities that readers named in their longer answers as adding value. Other readers stressed they wanted an adviser who understood their individual goals and circumstances and provided “personal, individual, thoughtful advice”.

In a survey of 13,000 people this year, the Financial Conduct Authority found that only 39 per cent of UK adults trusted financial advisers to act in the best interest of their clients.

Word of mouth In contrast, those who have found a good adviser they trust wanted to shout about them. When we asked readers how they found their current adviser, just over one-third said it was a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend. Almost a quarter of readers said they followed the personal recommendation of a family member, colleague or other financial professional, such as an accountant.

Top 10 topics raised by clients:

– Pension/retirement plans
– Brexit
– Tax planning
– Fees
– Recent market volatility
– Investment returns/growth
– Am I doing the right thing?
– Financial planning
– Inheritance tax
– Risk mitigation/capital preservation

*FT Money survey of 300 readers