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This content is for information and inspiration purposes only. It should not be taken as financial advice or investment advice. To receive tailored, regulated advice regarding your investments and financial goals, please consult an independent financial adviser here at Suttons IFA in Sale, Manchester or wider Cheshire area.

It is easier than ever to communicate across the country via text, email and online messaging. Yet there is still something to be said for local, face-to-face advice from a good financial adviser. Research by Openwork in 2019, for instance, suggests that over 70% of customers had doubts about “D.I.Y robo-advice” services and as many as 3/5 people (even younger people) prefer financial advice from a human adviser.

Here in Sale, Cheshire, there are many options when it comes to finding local financial advice. However, which qualifications should you look for? Which areas of competence and experience should you bear in mind? Here at Suttons IFA, of course, we would prefer that people in Sale, Manchester and the surrounding areas come to us for advice. Yet we appreciate that there needs to be a good mutual fit, and that no single firm will be right for everybody.

In this short guide, therefore, we offer some thoughts on how you can find a good local financial adviser here in Cheshire. We hope you find the content helpful and invite any questions. If, after reading this, you would like to speak with us about your own financial plan, then we invite you to book a free (no obligation) consultation here at Suttons IFA via:

T: 0161 969 1703


Restricted & independent financial advisers (IFAs) in Cheshire

The language of the industry is important when it comes to seeking financial advice, as it can greatly affect the quality and suitability of the advice you receive. Broadly speaking, there are two main types of financial adviser – restricted and independent.

The former type is usually limited in the range of solutions they can offer to you. If you need help with your investments, for instance, then a restricted adviser might only be able to offer a subset of options from the wider market. St James Place advisers, for instance, at the time of writing in 2020 are often limited to only offering you funds from St James Place.

An independent financial adviser (IFA), however, can survey the entire market for you and help you find the best option, at a good price, for your distinct needs and goals. This is the kind of advice we offer here at Suttons IFA, and we’d recommend this type of advice as it gives you broader choice and flexibility.

Regardless of which type of financial adviser you choose, the firm in question should always be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can check this on the FCA register by looking up the company number. Please make sure to verify this for your own protection, as it gives you more consumer rights, later on, should things, unfortunately, go wrong.


Areas of competence

Not all financial advisers in Cheshire offer the same set of services. Some do not help with mortgages, for instance, because they do not hold the necessary qualifications. Here at Suttons IFA, we can help with mortgages since members of our team hold the CeMap certification. There are also financial advisers which specialise in niche areas, such as final salary pension transfer, which might affect your choice of business.


Fees & payment structure

Most financial planners and advisers in Cheshire are likely to offer you a free initial meeting, without obligation. This allows both parties to get to know each other, establish rapport and determine mutual suitability. From there, however, the payment structure might differ depending on the firm. Whatever the precise arrangement, nonetheless you should be made completely aware of how payment works, from the very beginning of the process.

Most financial advisers are likely to charge you a percentage fee. For instance, you might pay 1% at the beginning to become a client, and then an annual percentage charge for ongoing advice. Others might charge a fixed fee for a specific service (e.g. pension advice), whilst other financial advisers might charge you on an hourly basis.



Last, but certainly not least, it’s a good idea to check the industry awards, certifications and professional qualifications held by the financial adviser(s) at the business in question. At the very least, a financial adviser is required by the FCA to hold a ‘Level 4 qualification’, which is usually a diploma such as the Diploma in Financial Planning (DipFP) or the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning (ADFP).


Social proof

Beyond these important steps, it’s also a good idea to do some due diligence. After all, you might potentially be partnering with your financial adviser for many years, dealing with sensitive areas of your finances and wealth. Therefore, consider checking the following:

● Past success stories, client testimonials and case studies. Are these forthcoming and available on the financial adviser’s website, for instance? Is there a set of Google Reviews which you can look over?
● Thought leadership is a good sign of a financial advice business which is active, knowledgeable and competent in the areas you need help with. Do they have a regular, authoritative blog, for instance, or a regular client newsletter to keep people informed?
● Does the financial adviser’s visual identity and overall brand appear trustworthy, unique and of a high quality? If the business has put considerable effort and care into creating a good impression to prospects and clients, then it suggests they take their work seriously.



If you would like to know more about financial planning or wish to discuss your own financial goals and strategy with us, then we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Please get in touch using the details below, to arrange a free, no-commitment financial consultation with a member of our team:

T: 0161 969 1703