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Best financial advisor Ireland

We ran the rule over financial advisors right across Ireland, to come up with the best financial advisor in Ireland by type and area.

The best financial advisor Ireland recommendation is based on the moneysherpa’s 4 financial advisor tests. 

  • Are they competent? – What returns have they delivered for clients and what is their experience.
  • Are they comprehensive? – Do they offer the best funds available in the market.
  • Are they compromised? – Are their incentives aligned with their clients.
  • Are they cheap? – Are they cost effective versus other advisors in the market.

These tests are based on our deep research into the key things that make the best financial advisor. Before even getting on our best financial advisor list we also check for authorisation, qualifications, indemnities and complaints.

If you want to get in touch with one of moneysherpa’s recommended financial advisors click here.

best financial advisor

Our pick for best financial advisor overall is DFP, Doohan Financial Planning. DFP scored well in our tests getting the highest rating overall of 3.6 out of 5 as shown in our top 3 ratings below. They have shown rapid growth in the last five years with over €350 million of client investments now under their management.

DFP3.66.9% average fund growth last 5 yrs, highly experienced and qualified teamleading funds, wide selection of assetscommission equal on all fundsinitial:
0<€500K 1%>€500K
FUM:
1% <€500K, 0.9%>€500K
NA = Data not currently available/published, FUM = % charged per € Funds Under Management per year

On our first test competence they score well growing their clients’ investments by almost 7% on average every year over the last 5 years. This coupled with a very experienced investment team lead to them coming out on top for overall competence. 

They also stacked up well on being comprehensive, although they don’t offer access to all funds in the market they do offer a selection of the highest performing ones. 

Our third test, not being compromised, is all about the advisor’s incentives and although DFP do receive commission, they get the same across all funds so there should be no conflict of interest with their clients. Finally DFP also came out competitive on cost. Making DFP our pick for best financial advisor and a great choice overall.

The best financial advisor for you will also depend on your particular advice needs. Read on if you want to know which Irish financial advisors rated best for each type of investor.

Our best financial advisors in Ireland by type

4 things to look out for when choosing the best financial advisor

How do moneysherpa rate financial advisors?

Best financial advisor, the verdict

We have also reviewed best financial advisors by region here.

Our best financial advisor Ireland by type

A recent study by Forrester split people seeking financial advice into three broad types [2]

  • DIY’er, confident in financial ability and happy to go it alone.
  • Validator, confident in overall financial direction, but wants to check and fine tune with advice.
  • Delegator, less confident or time poor, but know financial planning is important so outsource it to someone they can trust.

Here’s our recommendation for each type seeking advice so you can work out the right advisor for you.

  • Best financial advisor overallDFP
  • Best financial advisor for validators with €1M+ and alternative investment needs – TBC
  • Best financial advisor for validators upto €2M with mainstream investment needs – DFP
  • Best financial advisor for delegators with needs up to €2MDFP

Here’s how the ratings broke down in each of our categories, the key data for each financial advisor and the key reasons we selected each category winner.

Best financial advisor Ireland overall

AdvisorRatingCompetenceComprehensiveCompromiseCost
DFP3.66.9% average fund growth last 5 yrs, highly experienced and qualified teamleading funds, wide selection of assetscommission equal on all fundsinitial:
0<€500K 1%>€500K
FUM:
1% <€500K, 0.9%>€500K
NA = Data not currently available/published, FUM = % charged per € Funds Under Management per year

DFP is a good all round choice, with strong investment performance of 6.98% growth in the last 5 years, this compares to a market average at a similar risk profile of 6.4%. At the very least you would like your financial advisor to help you get a return in line with market performance, but the real test is if an advisor can consistently beat the market over time. 

It’s telling that DFP were one of the few financial advisors able to pass that test. This coupled with an investment team that includes the former Chief Investment Strategist at Davy, Ireland’s largest stockbroker, led to DFP leading the pack in the most important of our 4 tests, competence. 

After all if someone is advising you on your money, you want clear evidence they actually know what they are talking about.

Although they are a multi-agent intermediary, which means they get paid commissions by providers for the products they sell, they avoid the biggest drawback of this bias, by keeping their commissions they receive the same across all the products they sell at 0.5%. 

This should mean there is no incentive for them to give you a bum steer on which funds you invest in.

The other major pitfall of this model is limited product choice, sometimes multi-agent intermediaries offer the products that pay the highest rates rather than those that give the best returns. Again DFP seem to avoid this trap by offering the best performing funds including the Davy Select platform and Zurich Life. 

On price they are pretty much in the middle of the pack with 1% pa charged on funds below €500K and 0.9% on larger funds. 

The leading score on competence, whilst not dropping many points on the basis of cost, comprehensiveness or being compromised, makes DFP the best financial advisor choice overall. 

Best financial advisor Ireland for validators with alternative needs

However, if you have a large investment and you want your portfolio to include more exotic asset classes, then an fixed fee financial planner is probably the best option for you.  

If you have a large amount to invest the independent financial planner fixed fee model offers good value.

Another advantage of the independent financial advisor model is the range of funds they can offer. With no need for existing commercial agreements in place they can help you access any asset class. The Independents are a good option therefore if you are looking to invest in what is know as alternative assets, eg: Collectables like vintage wine, Crypto currencies or Peer to Peer lending.

As ever with the Independent financial advisors, the biggest difference is that you are crystal clear that they will give you independent advice. These advisors are not allowed to call themselves Independent if they accept any commissions from 3rd parties.  

The data on the Independent financial advisors performance is a little thin on the ground currently. This doesn’t mean they don’t do a good job for their clients, but we haven’t been able to get hard evidence of actual returns performance so far. We are expanding our reviews all the time so check back soon for our updated recommendations.

If you have a large amount to invest and are looking to make investments in assets outside of the mainstream, Independents have three big pluses not being compromised, low cost and good comprehensiveness.

If your interests are more mainstream then see our top picks below.

Best financial advisor Ireland for validators with mainstream needs & for delegators

If you want someone to just take care of your money choices for you or value having a sounding board to check you are doing the right thing, then these providers are for you. 

If you are looking to invest in the major asset classes, such as the stock market, bonds, commodities and property, the recommendations here are also a good fit. 

However, if you don’t need to eyeball someone to validate your financial choices and are happy to go it alone you can go straight to our DIY’er recommendations below.

AdvisorRatingCompetenceComprehensiveCompromiseCost
DFP3.66.9% average fund growth last 5 yrs, highly experienced and qualified teamleading funds, wide selection of assetscommission equal on all fundsinitial:
0<€500K 1%>€500K
FUM:
1% <€500K, 0.9%>€500K
NA = Data not currently available/published, FUM = % charged per € Funds Under Management per year

In this category the most important thing is the investment performance. The advice from your advisor will play a big part in the investment decisions you make. 

DFP’s performance in the last 5 years has outstripped the other advisors we have reviewed and the market in general delivering 6.9% returns pa versus 6.4% in the market overall. 

DFP also perform well on cost for funds in the more typically range of €100K-€500K with 0% upfront fees and 1% pa ongoing, so for a fund of €250K the yearly fee works out at €2,500. 

The fund selection including Zurich life covers all mainstream needs as well and their policy of ensuring they get the same commission from all funds mean you avoid the potential conflict of interest that arise with some commissioned advisors. 

The combination of leading competence, comprehensive mainstream offerings, flat commission and percentage based fees on-going only makes DFP a good choice for most people looking for mainstream financial advice. 

Best financial advisor Ireland for DIY’ers

If you are an experienced investor or are comfortable with managing your money without financial advice then a self directed investment platform or roboadvice platform may be a better fit for your needs. Roboadvice platforms available in Ireland are limited currently, so the best option currently is probably a self directed investment platform.

As you are making your own decisions then your best option will be a comprehensive platform giving you the flexibility you need, coupled with on-going low charges.

There are many options available offering varying degrees of comprehensiveness and cost, including degiro.ie, interactive investor and davyselect.

4 things to look out for when choosing the best financial advisor 

The quality of advice you receive can make a big difference to your financial outcomes and therefore your life outcomes. So it is an important decision which is worth researching carefully.

There is a wide variety of advisors and advisor types out there, here are some key things to look out for.

Are they competent?

Is the advice you are going to get any good. Although it’s by no means perfect, the best way to judge this is on their track record. For example, how have the funds they have invested current clients actually performed versus the market. What is the experience of the advisor and investment team.

Are they comprehensive?

If they are a multi, restricted or tied agency what range of options do they have available. Have they got access to a wide range of funds and how did they pick them? It might be that they are only restricted in products that aren’t relevant or that they have weak options where it matters to you. 

Are they compromised?

In Ireland commissions are still allowed, but commissions have to be shared with clients. Does the commission your advisor receives potentially sway their advice or does it align with your interests as a customer? 

Are they cheap?

Given the importance of getting good advice and its potential impact on your financial outcomes,  this is the least important of the 4 factors. However, if the advisor is competent, comprehensive and not compromised why not drive a hard bargain before signing up? Often advisors have some flexibility on the pricing they first propose to you.

How do moneysherpa rate Irish financial advisors?

At moneysherpa, we weight the 4 criteria above, plus some additional ‘hygiene’ factors to come up with an overall recommendation score for each advisor in your area.

  • Competence (40%): Based on past performance and advisor experience. 
  • Comprehensive (30%): Based on access to the best funds and financial instruments.
  • Compromised (20%): Based on the alignment between your interests and the advisor.
  • Cheap (10%): Based on pricing data collected by the moneysherpa team. 

Hygiene: Based on authorisation, indemnification, complaints data and qualifications

To feature on our best financial advisor lists agents have to pass all of our ‘hygiene’ tests.

Best financial advisors Ireland, the verdict

Whether you are a DIY’er, Validator or Delegator we hope this article helped you cut through the fog around financial advisors in Ireland and help you choose the right option for you.

Overall, for delegators and for validators with more mainstream needs DFP came out on top as the overall best financial advisor. Establishing a clear lead in the ratings with their strong performance proof points and strength of their investment team. 

All this makes DFP a good choice for the majority of people looking for financial advice in Ireland. 

We have also reviewed best financial advisors by region here.

Best Financial Advisors

We review financial advisors on competence, comprehensiveness, independence and price. 

moneysherpa recommended advisors stand out from the crowd.

  • 6%+ Funds Growth Per Year
  • Strong Selection of Leading Funds
  • Qualified & Experienced Teams

Click below to get in touch with one of our recommended advisors.

 

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