LONDON, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
For the first time, a brand new website is offering free access to investment planning tools to help consumers avoid expensive guidance costs from financial advisers.
Changes to legislation by the Financial Services Authority from 1 January 2013, means that financial advisers will have to transparently charge for services - such as risk profiling and cash-flow planning software - where previously the charges were bundled together as adviser commissions and fees.
The new website, http://www.money-guidance.co.uk, launched on 11th June 2012 will offer these services free of charge to help consumers build their own investment profiles before making meaningful investment decisions.
Philip Dodd - author of the website and a financial services professional for over thirty years - is adamant that investors need a planning framework. The price of accessing this is currently expensive, therefore pushing up adviser fees to unnecessarily high levels.
Dodd commented: "With commission structures largely disappearing at the end of this year, advisers are being told to `segment clients or perish'. So, with a large swathe of investors being cast adrift, their choice will be between a trip to the bank or a `do-it-yourself` strategy. It is essential that investors equip themselves with greater knowledge and techniques - after all, it`s unlikely there will be anyone more interested in their financial well-being than they themselves."
A recurring theme of the website is the need for the investing public to focus on driving down costs. This means avoiding the practice of buying last year`s winners in favour of a disciplined, longer term strategy, which ideally uses index-tracking funds. It also involves investors saving fees through doing more spadework themselves, and not relying exclusively on financial advisers to provide the lead.
The site also makes topical financial information freely available, as evidenced by the regularly-updated "Media and Research" and "Blog" sections.
For more information see http://www.money-guidance.co.uk.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- http://www.money-guidance.co.uk offers access to the highly-rated risk profiling system, FinaMetrica, as well as to Voyant`s sophisticated cash flow life-planning software, entirely free of charge.
- The change in legislation on 1 January 2013 is that the Financial Services Authority will be implementing the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) which, among other things, will ban the payment of commission in its present form and ensure that payments for advice emerge as a result of Adviser Charging - i.e. a contract for services between the adviser and the client, rather than the adviser taking commission direct from product providers without the need for the client to sign this off directly (as at present).
- The RDR will also insist on minimum (QCA Level 4) qualification standards for advisers, one consequence of which will be the exodus of thousands of advisers who cannot meet the requisite examination standards.
SOURCE Money Guidance