Accountants

Who they are Not investment specialists, but they may offer investment advice as an adjunct to their main business, or might refer you to an investment specialist. All accountants must give independent advice.

What they offer Varies - for example, tax planning, advice on general investment strategy, sometimes investment management services, and contacts with specialists such as stockbrokers. Large firms, in particular, may offer a very comprehensive range of investment services through specialist in-house departments.

What they charge Usually their normal fees which are based on the time spent on your case. If they arrange insurance, unit trusts or share purchase for you, they may receive commission. They must tell you about any commissions they receive and in practice will often set off at least part of any commissions against the fees charged.

Who they are authorised by Through membership of one of their professional bodies - the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, or Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, which are Recognised Professional Bodies. Accountants with substantial investment business may also belong to FIMBRA.

TIP - Check that the accounting firm you go to has the particular specialist knowledge you need before asking them to handle your investment business.


Solicitors

Who they are They are not generally investment specialists but many either offer investment services as an adjunct to their normal business or can refer you to an investment specialist. All solicitors who offer such services give independent advice.

What they offer Varies - for example, advice on ways of passing money on, tax planning, advice on general investment strategy, sometimes an investment management service, links with specialists such as stockbrokers. They might also be able to help with mortgages, and some general insurance such as house buildings insurance, as a corollary to... see: Solicitors


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