Going Direct To A Company

Who they are Many life insurance and unit trust companies are happy to deal with you direct, though if you do this some companies will pass your name on to an adviser for you to deal through.

What they offer Obviously, they will try to sell you their own products, so you should deal direct with a company only if you know exactly what you want or are happy to invest in just that company's products. Their services may include advice about the relative merits of their products and whether they are suitable for you, general information about financial markets, retirement planning services, investment management within their own range of unit trusts, say.

What they charge Whatever charges are built into the products (which you'd also pay using an adviser). Usually a flat fee or, say, a quarter to a half of one per cent for a unit trust management service.

WARNING The cost of paying commission to independent advisers is built into the charging structure for

a company's products. You pay the same charges whether you use an adviser or go to the company direct.

Who they are authorised by LAUTRO and IMRO.

TIP - Unless you have a special reason for going to a particular company, get advice and quotes from several before making a choice.

Building Societies

What they are Many building societies have decided to take advantage of the freedom given them under the Building Societies Act 1986 to offer a much more extensive range of services than the ones they traditionally specialised in. They are still mainly providers of mortgages and deposit-type savings accounts. But their other activities also include selling and recommending life insurance and pensions - either the products of one company or on an independent basis.

What they offer Advice in connection with mortgages, including related life insurance and pensions, more general advice on, for... see: Building Societies

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