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Scared of money - don't be!

(12 Posts)
heather123 Sat 22-Oct-11 09:16:09

I was always sceptical about financial advisers but I took the plunge and had a 2 hour meeting with one! What a relief! They know the best places for your money, can help with all your pension queries and tell you how much you will be getting when you retire. I can now plan things to make sure I get myself sorted out. At 58 I have to think about these things. Highly recommend it.

em Sat 22-Oct-11 09:43:48

Just make sure your financial adviser is independent and establish at the outset whether or not they are paid commission on sales. This sometimes proves more expensive than paying an upfront fee. I am just a little more sceptical after a couple of significant investments held over a 10year term proved a bit disappointing and the advice I was offered about annuities was not good. I looked at the open market options and found a better deal. You can't put all of the responsibility for your cash into someone else's hands - you really do need to keep yourself informed. Pension forecasts can be obtained simply (and free) from the DWP. By all means discuss your concerns with an IFA but please make the decisions yourself. Money is not something to be afraid of!

FlicketyB Sat 22-Oct-11 23:03:45

I would suggest the 6 following rules for judging the wisdom of investments

1) Do not use any Bank Financial Advisor. They only offer you that Bank's products even when there are products more suitable for you provided by other suppliers. Ask yourself why most mis-selling claims involve banks

2) I would also pass on a rule that my daughter drew up
"Do not invest in any financial product that you do not understand"

In other words if you do not completely understand what exactly every penny of your money is going into dont put your money into it. Almost all of the mis-selling scandals have arisen because people have brought complicated investment products which, usually their bank, advisor has promised have all sorts of benefits but which the investor hasnt fully understood. Read all the small print and if you do not understand it dont invest in it. it.

3) Do not be greedy. If your building society is only paying 3% anything offering 7.5% is risky,no matter what the person trying to sell it to you says.

4) Beware property investment, particularly overseas property, unless you know the country, and understand the property market there and have actually seen the property you are investing in and have had all the details independently checked out by a British lawyer with experience in that country. Never, in any country including the UK accept a sellers estimate of rental value and the availability of tenants without checking it out yourself with several local estate agencies. Make sure any mortgage is sterling based. Never take out a mortgage based on an overseas currency.

5) You would not put all your money on a horse you had only heard of from someone who cold called you to give you a sure tip for the 3.30 at a race course you have also never heard of so do not buy shares or other investments from a cold caller who rings up offering you shares in a company you have never heard of but whose shares you are told will rocket in value in the next year. They wont.

6) Never throw good money after bad. A bad investment doesnt come good because you invest more.

glammanana Sat 22-Oct-11 23:19:18

heather123 as em stated in her post be very careful with regard to annuities,DH and I asked on the open market and got a deal worth over £2K more per yr than with the company reccomended by a Financial Advisor,I would not use one that is tied to any Bank either as FlickertyB states.FAs can be very convincing as it is their money they are earning so they will be your best friend in the world,and we all know that there are no friends in business.take care thanks

em Sat 22-Oct-11 23:25:04

Spot on FlicketyB. If it seems to good to be true it probably is. And I agree - never invest if you don't fully understand the product - and be very aware that if you ask a question and still don't understand after the second explanation, the chances are they don't really want you to understand! I asked a simple question in my bank the other day about fixed-term bonds for GC's and was reassured to get a direct and honest answer that they couldn't offer anything suitable as kids are under 16. I was not pressed to make an appointment with one of their advisers so left to continue my quest elsewhere!

Barrow Fri 28-Oct-11 11:22:44

I have had meetings with 3 financial advisers and whilst they all promised wealth and prosperity in my latter years on closer inspection THEY were the ones who were making money.

One wanted 3% to set up the investment then 3.5% per year to look after it. On making further enquiries the investment provider also wanted 3% to set up and 2% to look after it. So in the first year the investment would have to earn 11.5% just to break even - I gave that one a wide berth!

The second also wanted 3% to set up and then 2% per year. With the investment provider wanting similar sums.

The third didn't want set up fees but the investments recommended held more risk that I wanted and when I queried this he said that I had to look on it as a long term investment, around 10 years. I am 62 so a 10 year investment seems a little strange!

I have decided to invest in Fixed Rate bonds - I know the return isn't what the FA's were promising but at least I know the money is safe and I am not paying any outlandish fees.

gma Fri 28-Oct-11 11:35:34

Just a thought about financial advisers.......If they are as good at their job as they profess to be WHY are they still working and not living a life of luxury in Jersey???????
Always go with your instinct and if you do not understand it...leave well alone wink

gangy5 Fri 28-Oct-11 15:55:41

My worry is spending about £30,000 on buying the freehold of my flat. I got well along the route of extending the lease at first and then realized that it wouldn't cost much more to purchase the freehold and be shot of any payments - management fees, ground rent etc.
Has anyone else been in the same position? I am reluctant to spend any of my capital as the only income I have is the state pension but I do have to do something and neither way is cheap.

Barrow Fri 28-Oct-11 17:40:24

Buying the freehold of a flat can be fraught with problems. If it is in a block which is a mix of private owned and council owned then the Local Authority could say the roof needs doing or the whole place needs rewiring and you would have to stump up a share of the cost.

If all the flats in the block are privately owned then you have to consider if there are any communal areas, if there are then it would be adviseable to set up a Management Company to deal with these areas amd also insure the block which would still mean a yearly fee (although as a member of the Management Company you would have more control over what those fees are). If it is a large block the fees would obviously have to be such that there would be enough money in the "kitty" to cover any emergency repairs which could be expensive. If it is in a small block then you could just get together with the freeholders of the other flats and discuss it with them.

It does mean that one person would have to be prepared to take on the administrative side of the Management Company or you could employ a company to do this for you, which would incur fees for them. They would also most likely have a number of tradespeople they would use to carry out repairs and such and whilst this would mean less worry for you it would be adviseable to keep an eye on it because there have been cases where the costs have been inflated.

Sorry if this seems a bit depressing but these are things which need to be considered. You just have to try to work out whether it would be cheaper to buy your freehold and set up the Management Company or whether it would be easier to stay as you are.

I would suggest you consult a Solicitor before making any decisions.

Mishap Fri 28-Oct-11 18:15:22

I keep all our dosh in online BS accounts and change them every year to get the best interest rates in the starter offers. Often had advice to do other things with it, but I understand this system and that is the best bonus of all - I know what I am getting and it all makes sense to me. I am sure there are ways I could make more money, but I am happy with this and that is what matters - and I have instant access to the money if I need it. Not that there's much of it!!

I simply do not trust financial advisors; and certainly not the banks. We get regular calls from our bank trying to get us to "buy their priducts" and I find it most irritating. I succumbed and went to an interview with them once as they kept ringing, and they made me furious! First of all they kept trying to get me to open a business account (totally inappropriate for the small amount of freelance work I do) and then they looked at my account on their screen and commented on our insurance arrangements with another company - I tore them off a strip and said that my financial details were not there for them to use as a selling opportunity and it was none of their business who I got my insurance from!

gangy5 Fri 28-Oct-11 20:47:42

Many thanks Barrow for your comments. It's always helpful to get other peoples thoughts on the matter.

goldengirl Sat 29-Oct-11 16:32:24

I'm really lucky with my financial adviser. He looked after my dad and then my mum and now me. He actually speaks a language I can understand and his letters also are in plain English. All questions are taken seriously and answered and he keeps me well informed. I can't ask for more than that. He's from a well known organisation and I really feel I'm getting my money's worth. My previous fa was a 'FA' and really I should have reported him but that would have made me even more stressed. Fortunately my current guy sorted the mess out firmly but calmly. One less thing to get wound up about -for the moment anyway grin