When looking at savings and investments, some people choose to do it themselves, some want to pay others to advise them and manage things for them and some do a bit of both.
The world of investments is complex. There are many people fully employed to evaluate investment opportunities and to manage investments for a living and there are plenty of providers trying to sell their investments to new clients. There are also now more resources than ever for people who want to invest themselves with many online investment platforms, a proliferation of comparison websites, every major newspaper now has a 'money' section with ratings and commentary on different investments.
However, there is a vast difference between information and advice and there are significant risks in not recognising the difference - what is suitable for one person may be quite unsuitable for the next, yet advertising and journalism delivers the same messages to everyone.
In our business we work with many people who are planning their retirement. Many have managed their own bank accounts and some elements of investment throughout their lives. But when it comes to managing their retirement lump sum, they recognise the risk of getting it wrong and extending their part-time hobby to what will need to be a full-time job to ensure they have a financially secure retirement for the whole of their retirement.
As this recent news article shows, the use of the word 'bet' highlights the risk of getting an investment decision wrong. This investor 'bet' on a certain outcome from the recent UK election and it backfired with him suffering loss. But as he had done it himself, he has no-one to blame or hold accountable than himself.
Few people would try to operate on themselves if they needed their appendix removed. Few would try to design and build their own car. Few would try to draft a conveyancing document without involving a solicitor. We recognise the need for expert advice in many things but this should also apply for the big money decisions in life. Some things are too important and people work too hard to build up their retirement savings so they should see the value in taking expert advice to give reassurance of not only not getting it wrong but in getting it right.
'The shock election result meant my bet on the pound tanked' James Bartholomew 1 July 2017 • 7:11am It has been a bad month for me: a double-whammy of losing money and underperforming the FTSE 100 index. At the time of writing, the index of leading shares is down a modest 1.3pc on the month but my shares are down more than 5pc – nearly four times as much. So loss and embarrassment have added to a thoroughly depressing time. Why have I done so badly? Because my portfolio is concentrated on UK-oriented shares rather than focused on the big multinationals that dominate the FTSE 100 index.