How to choose the best financial products

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The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield asked Warren Ingram (Personal Financial Advisor at Galileo Capital) for tips on choosing a financial product.

Ingram had the following advice:

Life assurance products

You have the option to go direct, through an agent or an independent third party.

If you choose to go direct; shop around with at least three companies, suggests Ingram.

Compare policies very carefully, do your homework and try to do as much research as possible.

Check complaints online and on social media.

If you choose an agent, get at least three to give you a proposal for your requirements.

Tell each agent what you are going to do and ask them for feedback on the other quotes.

If you choose an independent advisor; make sure she is an experienced assurance specialist or someone who is a registered Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

Ideally, you want an independent person who works for a company with a “house view” on assurance products and a methodology for selecting providers.

Investment products

Find out the costs of the product.

Many service providers don’t disclose all the costs, so make sure they reveal everything, in writing.

Specifically, ask them to specify each of these:

  • Administration cost

  • Fund cost

  • Advice cost

Know the benefit of the product (e.g. retirement annuities have tax benefits) and the duration thereof.

Are you tied in?

Is it flexible?

If you’re unhappy; are you able to move and, if so, are there penalties?

Is your advisor receiving an upfront commission on the product and, if so, why?

Are you aware of the risks associated with the investment product and how much you’re likely to lose in a market crash?

For more detail listen to the interview in the audio here.