If you have seen the value of your savings, investments or pensions drop because of the effect of Coronavirus (Covid-19), then it’s easy to feel worried and panicky about what to do.But there is help available.
Need to know
- These decisions aren’t easy – even for the experts – so if you are not sure what to do, take advice from a regulated financial adviser whose job it is to know what the next best steps are and who can give you a personal recommendation based on your needs and circumstances.
- Regulated financial advisers are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and must follow strict rules when giving investment advice. This includes only recommending a course of action that is suitable for you – which might mean doing nothing. But they can only give advice after they have collected enough information about you and your financial circumstances to understand what’s in your best interests.
- Being regulated not only means following FCA rules, but also means the advice they give is covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. So, if something goes wrong –or you are not happy with the advice you have been given – you are protected.
Useful to know
- Not all advisers will deal with people with smaller investments – but many will. If you enter the amount of your investments into our Directory, you will only see a list of Advisers who are happy to deal with you.
- Currently you won’t be able to see an Adviser face to face – but most are happy to deal with you by video link or by phone (even those that normally see you in person).
- Once you decide on the firm you want to use, ask them to send you a copy of their Fact Find document before you have your first meeting. This will give you a good idea of the information they need to collect about you – and will save you money as you can fill this out in your own time – not in their time.
- Advisers can give you ‘focused or streamlined’ advice – which means they can just talk about one particular element of your finances. For example, if you are worried about the value of your investments falling, you could just ask them to give you an opinion on the funds you are invested in. Or – if you want them to look at all aspects of your finances, they can give you “full advice”.
- The first meeting should be free – choose an Adviser who will give you at least an hour free. After that Advisers will charge either a percentage of the investment/pension they are advising you on, or by the hour. Or some will charge a fixed fee for specific advice like transferring a pension or recommending which funds to invest in. Don’t be embarrassed to ask how much the advice will cost. It’s important you are clear about cost and how it will be paid before you commit.
Action to take
- Use our Adviser Directory to search for regulated firms and advisers .
- Don’t just pick the first one on the list. We recommend speaking to at least three different firms to see what they can offer. It’s important you feel comfortable and trust the advice they give you, so, it’s worth taking some time to find the right one.
- If you already know of a firm you would like to deal with, just check they are regulated before using them by going to the FCA’s Registeropens in new window.
- Never deal with anyone who contacts you out of the blue – only deal with firms you have researched and can trust.