Caption: The Evans family are clients of FMB, you can read about them in our client stories
All companies have a budget for marketing and FMB is no different. We took a view some years ago, not to use it to pay for listings on external websites. We do have a free listing on Unbiased, the portal for consumers. This is a website to find a financial adviser which is often pointed out by journalists at the end of a feature about personal finance, for example in the Daily Mail money section. You won't find us easily though, in order to be really visible we would have to pay a monthly subscription.
Similarly, Vouched For is a website, rather like Trust Pilot, where clients can post a review. It costs a monthly amount for each financial planner and as we have nine, it's a considerable sum of money. I wouldn't rule it out, there is nothing wrong with these websites per se, but to see The Times advert by Vouched For listing the best financial planners is a little disingenuous. Many firms saying their advisers are listed as top rated according to the Times or the Telegraph is not strictly correct. This may sound like sour grapes and I am not suggesting the advisers listed in the "advertorial" are not worthy, just that unfortunately there is no definitive list of great people as useful as that would be.
There was also some concerning information from the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI) last week as reported in the Financial Times. Apparently 103 advisers were claiming falsely to hold Certified Status. "According to Jacqueline Lockie, head of financial planning at the CISI, the main reason for the jump was a number of people having stated they were Certified Financial Planners on various adviser search websites."
There have been similar issues with Unbiased where firms and advisers have not been honest about their credentials or not kept them up to date. I can understand why these sites would seem useful to consumers as we all like to make easy comparisons when we are making buying decisions, however, choosing a Financial Planner or Adviser is not like buying a pair of shoes. Sometimes you need to dig deep and get to know a bit more face to face to help you decide on what could ultimately be a lifelong partnership. We always meet with people to explain what we do. Every member of our team is featured on our website and the only reason the profile would not be accurate is the Marketing Team can't keep up with the number of exams these guys keep passing! If you want a recommendation you can't beat asking family and friends.
If you do want to leave us a nice review of course you are more than welome to do so on our Google business page, Facebook page or indeed drop us a message. You can see some great client testimonials here on our website!