3 of the Best UK Websites for Free Investment Advice
A new year is upon us and many will be taking that as inspiration to get their finances and investments into better order than they perhaps have been. For those with larger investment and pension portfolios especially, it may be worth setting aside a budget to pay for professional advice from an IFA. However, with average hourly rates charged by IFAs around £150, and a worthwhile consultancy likely to involve at least 3 or 4 hours to set a plan for the year, that may not add up for smaller investors.
Luckily there are a number of very informative resources for free investment advice that UK tax payers can take advantage of. These help explain clearly the tax efficiencies that can be taken advantage of by Brits, through government-backed investment and pension products such as ISAs and SIPPs. They also offer recommendations and advice on the kind of investment products that are generally suitable for retail investors of varying profiles. Some are government resources and others private. Let’s take a look at some of the best:
Pension Wise (www.pensionwise.gov.uk) is a UK government resource for free investment advice around pension products and tax rules. As well as neatly arranged online content that explains concisely the different pension options available to UK tax payers and citizens the site also gives invaluable guidance on how to maximise pension-related tax efficiencies. Information on the different options available, and rules, when it comes to accessing pension pots is also provided.
Additionally, a free 45 to 60 minute pensions advisory session can be booked via the Pension Wise website. This can be conducted either over the phone or in person with a local Pension Wise advisor if convenient and preferable.
The Money Advice Service
Another government resource, the Money Advice Service has a wider remit than Pension Wise. The website provides a rich resource of content covering advice and options on personal finances, savings, investing, pensions and tax questions. Online calculators to help clarify figures around debt consolidation, mortgage interest payments, compounded investment returns and more also feature. Different investment products are also explained in layman’s terms.
Unlike the first two resources covered, Boring Money is a private business initiative rather than government resource. While the business does make money from the sponsorship of part of the content provided (the content itself is independent, the page or section is sponsored), Boring Money can be considered as objective a privately-run free investment resource as there is online.
In the words of founder Holly Mackay, Boring Money: “can’t give you regulated financial advice or learn about your individual circumstances and make personal recommendations. But we can explain the issues, make some suggestions and also tell you who we think is any good”.
The website does so in a way that cuts the jargon and helps retail investors understand that sensible investing and saving can in fact be relatively simple.
Please remember that financial investments may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.
There is no obligation to purchase anything but, if you decide to do so, you are strongly advised to consult a professional adviser before making any investment decisions.