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Why Seek Financial Investment Advice?

Jun 14, 2008
If you know more or less all there is to know about investing directly in stocks and shares, or in collective forms of investment, or the management of your investments, or the tax implications, or the pros and cons of offshore investing, then you might not need much more in the way of financial investment advice. Unless you happen to be one of those very rare individuals, however, you will almost certainly benefit from the sound and impartial financial investment advice of a professional, independent financial adviser.

Types of Investment

Direct Investment

Your choice of investment types fall into two basic categories - direct investment in the shares of a particular company or its issued bonds or, in the case of government-issued bonds, its "gilt-edged stock". The price of company shares, of course, will fluctuate as they are traded on the stock market and the dividends to which you are entitled as an owner of those shares will be determined by the performance of that particular company.

In the case of bonds issued by a company, or gilts issued by the government, however, you will be assured of the rate of interest on what is effectively your loan to that company or the government, and you will be assured of the full return on your investment once the bond or government stock reaches its maturity date. Because of these in-built certainties, there is a lower risk inherent in the investment in corporate bonds or government gilts, and the returns, therefore, tend to be lower than in the more volatile market for shares.

Both corporate and government bonds can be traded in the market, however, before they reach their maturity date. During this time, their price will be determined by the prevailing rates of interest in the stick market, compared to the rate attached to the bond itself.

"Collective" Investment

If you want to avoid putting all your eggs in the one basket of a particular company's shares, it is possible instead to spread the risk of your investment by pooling it (with other investors) into a range of different investments. In this case, the pooled investment is managed by a professional fund manager, who makes decisions on the range and types of investment. Such collective schemes fall - again, broadly - into three different types: unit trusts, investment trusts and Open-ended Investment Companies (OEICs).

Once you have reached this level of investment decision-making, however, the vast range of unit trusts, investment trusts and OEICs available can open up a veritable Pandora's Box of choices. In order to avoid making potentially very costly mistakes or rash investment decisions, therefore, this is the stage at which - if you have not done so before - you should consult an independent financial adviser.

Summary

Financial investment advice is wisely taken because of the sheer range of investment vehicles available:

* These fall into the two broad categories of direct investment or "collective" (pooled) investment;

* Direct investments include the purchase of stocks and shares or corporate or government (so-called "gilt-edged" stock);

* The principal types of collective investment are in unit trusts, investment trusts or Open-ended Investment Companies (OEICs);

* Whatever your personal intuition regarding the best investment type for you, however, the best financial investment advice is going to come from an independent financial adviser.
About the Author
Steve Wright is Managing Director of Wrightway Financial Consultants, Independent Financial Advisers specialising in Pensions, Investments, Mortgages and Insurance. One of their major areas is financial investment advice .
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