Who they are Members of The International Stock Exchange of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and bound by that body's rules to ensure fair dealing.

What they offer Advice on buying and selling shares and British Government stocks. Advice on buying and selling some other more specialist investments, such as traded options and corporate bonds. Some also offer advice about unit trusts, their own unit trust and Personal Equity Plan schemes, investment research, and general investment advice.

What they charge Commission when they buy and sell on your behalf - usually between one and two per cent of the price paid plus VAT with a minimum commission that might be around £45, say. Some brokers offer a cheaper 'dealing only' (`execution only') service which means they'll carry out your buying and selling instructions but give no advice. For investment management, there will be a fee of, say, one per cent a year of the value of your investments.

Who they are authorised by TSA.

TIP - Traditional stockbroking services are often expensive, especially if you buy and sell relatively small amounts of shares, but charges vary a lot, so shop around. The big banks and some building societies offer stockbroking services which may work out cheaper.

Insurance Advisers

Who they are These may be company representatives or independent advisers. Anyone can use the title 'adviser' or 'consultant' but 'brokers' must be registered with the Insurance Brokers' Registration Council (IB RC) - this lays down its own rules regarding conduct of business. Brokers must give independent advice.

What they offer Advice on insurance and pensions. Some also offer tax advice, unit trust advice, and an investment management service. Some insurance brokers advise on and arrange general insurance, such as car insurance, holiday and household insurance (see Section ).
Insurance Advisers

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