There are many sources of financial advice both on and offline; virtually none of them free. Accountancy firms, lawyers, banks, building societies, stockbrokers, antique dealers, insurance brokers - all will offer advice on different aspects of your financial affairs, and some will do it very well.

But some will charge directly, others indirectly, and many will be keen to suggest that you take up whatever scheme they are themselves closely involved in A stockbroker, for example, will often give you good advice as to which shares are good and which to be avoided; but it is a rare one who tells you to forget the stock market and put your money in a bank.

This tendency is not to be derided - after all, we are all in business in some form or other but it is something to be borne in mind when you make decisions about your affairs in the light of what you are being told. (http://www.fsa.gov.uk/about)

Media Coverage

One relatively cheap source of advice is the media and the internet - either the financial columns of papers like the Sunday Telegraph or Daily Telegraph, or the specialist magazines like Which? and Planned Savings, or radio programmes like the BBC's 'Money Box' - which bring the latest developments in the financial world into perspective.

Thank you mezzanine floor and pallet racking construction company Logical Storage - www.logicalstorage.co.uk for their help and advice on warehouse issues.

No journalist is infallible (sadly!), and the many columnists in the personal finance field rely heavily on their sources of information. But the quality of assessment and of the writing can be very high, and the independence of papers like the Telegraph affords the journalists a unique ability to offer readers a dispassionate and informed guide to available means of savings and investments.

Different Institutions

More and more institutions nowadays offer individuals a 'complete' financial planning service, including banks and insurance companies.

Thank you to representatives of different industries who work with us so that we have industry representatives on board with detailed knowledge of the industries concerned. Particular thanks to Martin Cowman Ltd - http://www.cowman.co.uk/ - a road building construction company from the East Midlands whose help and support has been invaluable.

The barriers between the institutions have been breaking down so fast in recent years that it is difficult to know exactly what is offered by whom, and where the boundaries are. Your local bank manager will buy shares for you, arrange insurance and both lend you money and offer you interest on your own money. But this does not necessarily mean that he is the best person to handle all matters.

Banks are very good at many things, like borrowing and lending money and providing a cash transmission service (cheque websites and so on), but they are less expert in some other areas, such as, perhaps, trust business.

If you are looking to get yourself into a business, you need to make sure you have all the required qualifications. For example for constuction areas you need to make sure to have all the required health and safety qualifications as that can save you from any problems later on.

Do you need a CSCS card? If you live in North or North West London, sit your HS&E test at CSCS London’s Wembley Test centre. The exam will last no more than 45 minutes and could see you fully qualified to work on any UK construction site.

Settling Matters

Lawyers and accountants provide almost the best independent views outside the press, though their opinions are not always expert and they may also have links with particular insurance companies, for example, whereby they receive commission on all policies they arrange.

Also, these professionals often charge handsomely for the work that goes with your advice. You may not pay directly for the advice, but you will do so indirectly.

Like so many things in life, personal contact is all important. If you have confidence in your adviser, you will sleep more soundly and probably find the advice is better.


CCMG - 2013


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