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Getting Advice on Savings & Investments

If you have money to spare, you need save or invest it wisely.

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Some of the main ways to save or invest your money

If you have money to spare, you need save or invest it wisely. Putting your money aside without risk is often the aim, usually with the chance to earn interest. By Investing your money, there is potential for your money to grow, but the returns are not always guaranteed. Investing is therefore generally more suitable for the longer term money savings planning.

When getting advice on your savings and investments it's important to know what type you're getting and to check that your adviser is authorised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). You also need to understand whether you're getting advice or just 'information'.

It is therefore prudent to investigate your savings and options properly and indeed professionally as it could save you a great deal in the longer term. You still have to evaluate matters for yourself but an informed decision is a safer one. There is a difference between information and advice and the following will help you understand this.

Difference between information and advice on savings and investments.

If you're looking for savings or investment advice it's important to bear in mind a few key points:

  • anyone advising on or selling investments (eg life insurance, pensions, shares, and unit trusts) or mortgages must be authorised to do so by the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
  • some firms are authorised to offer an 'advice' service, while others can only provide 'information' - firms must give you documents explaining which type of service they are offering (read more in the section 'Getting advice on investments')
  • buying with advice puts you in a stronger position if you later discover that your investment was unsuitable
  • the FSA doesn't regulate the sale of savings products, but a financial adviser may help you choose if they're already advising you on investments

Getting advice on investments

Investments may grow but this is not guaranteed - they could fall in value or you could lose your money altogether. Because of these risks it's important to consider getting financial advice before buying an investment. An adviser will look at your individual circumstances and needs before making a recommendation, and will explain any investment risks.

FSA authorisation

Financial advisers may be authorised to offer advice in one or more areas, such as pensions, life/non-life insurance, general investments and/or mortgages. Before making a recommendation, financial advisers must:

  • ask you in detail about your financial situation and needs
  • explain why the product they recommend is suitable
  • give you clear information about the costs

Comparing the service and products on offer

Under FSA rules financial advisers must give you documents carrying the Keyfacts sign. These are in a standard format and are designed to make it easier for you to compare what you're being offered by explaining:

  • the type of service they offer (information or advice)
  • whose products they choose from (the whole market, from a limited range or from just one provider)
  • how you're being charged for the service (fees and/or commission).

(Firms can only say they offer independent advice if they recommend from the whole market and also offer you the option to pay a fee rather than commission.) A financial adviser must also give you a 'key features' document before you buy any investment product (sometimes called a 'key facts illustration' for mortgages). This will describe the nature, aims and risks of the scheme in a standard format to help you understand and compare it to other products. It will also confirm how your adviser will be paid.

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Contact us either by phone on ~ 01244 950 314 (Local Rate), use the quick ~ CALL BACK form or use the brief ~ ENQUIRY FORM, and then simply allow us to assist you with further information without any obligation whatsoever.

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