Looking for a financial adviser? Here are some tips for finding one
News from Tampabay.com:

By Elizabeth Behrman, Times Staff Writer
Elizabeth BehrmanTampa Bay Times In Print: Monday, July 30, 2012

As the economy slowly recovers, some of us are finding that there is money again to spend and save.

So now what?

Should you buy a house? Take a trip to Europe? Squirrel your money away in case the recession returns for an encore performance?

Whatever you decide, a financial adviser can help you determine what goals are realistic and help you achieve them. Advisers can help you handle expensive life events like a divorce or sending your kid to college, or they can simply help you organize your finances as you prepare for the future.

But keep in mind that you’re essentially asking a stranger to help you make your financial decisions.

Here are some tips to help you make sure hiring a financial adviser doesn’t cost you more than just a service fee:

Know what a financial planner does.

Financial planners are not stockbrokers, accountants or insurance agents. They take a look at your finances and help you meet a specific goal — like retiring or buying a house. They don’t do your taxes or give you trading advice.

Do your homework.

Anyone with a calculator can call himself or hersel…………… continues on Tampabay.com

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Are the FSA changes to financial advice good or bad for consumers? Depends …
News from Bitterwallet:

We’re all for progressivity here at Bitterwallet. We applauded the bit in the Opening Ceremony where the grass was ripped up by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and we even let a girl write for Bitterwallet. So long as she’s good.

However, the latest move by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to improve the provision of financial advice is now being hailed as bad for consumers, rather than offering them increased protection and better service.

The Retail Distribution Review (RDR) is “central to the FSA’s agenda of customer protection” and comes into force on 31 December 2012. One of the main changes under the RDR is to prevent financial advice being provided on a commission-only basis, aiming to eradicate the scurrilous advisers who might, possibly, recommend a product not based on its suitability for the customer, but on the amount of commission generated for their own pockets. A laudable aim.

However, the flip-side of this change is that consumers will soon have to pay agreed fees for financial advice. And apparently, we are none too keen on that arrangement.

A new YouGov survey commissioned by Deloitte found that

84% of people are unaware of RDR and that consumers will pay a fee for advice when RDR is implemented on 31 December 2012;

More than half of all consumers (54%) would refuse financial advice if char…………… continues on Bitterwallet

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