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Managing my investments
Managing my investments

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2.4.7 Where to transact and when to seek advice

Two key questions to ask when making investments are ‘where do I go to transact business?’ and ‘should I seek advice first?’.

In terms of where to go, as noted in the previous sections, investors are currently spoilt for choice. Traditionally, investors would go directly to a financial services product provider like their bank, building society or insurance company. Alternatively, a financial adviser could be employed – both to provide advice on the placement of investments and to carry out the practicalities of completing the acquisitions or disposals of assets.

In the contemporary world, the internet provides the medium for fluid investment management transactions. This makes for ease in terms of the selection of investments and for transactions, although investors will need to consider whether advice is needed before keying in the instructions to an investment platform.

The issue about advice is something all investors should consider carefully: am I really sufficiently knowledgeable about the attendant risks and returns to make investment choices?

Following the introduction of new rules in 2013 requiring investment providers to be fully transparent about their costs, the proportion of investors deciding to invest privately, rather than rely of advice, has increased. A poll of investors by the online investment platform, Interactive Investor, found that one in five now prefer to make their own investment decisions, having previously relied on an adviser to assist them (Sunday Times, 2014).

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Listen to the views of retired investment director and fund manager, Anthony Nutt, on the issue of when to take advice. Then, in the next section, we’ll run through a check list to help you form your own view of this important matter.