Internet Investor

Lots of lip service is paid to the worth of independent financial advice. But it has to be the rightindependent financial advice. To ensure that we get truly independent guidance we should be preparedto pay. That should help guarantee that the financial adviser will not be pushing a particular productsimply because it delivers a nice juicy commission.

Lots of lip service is paid to the worth of independent financial advice. But it has to be the rightindependent financial advice. To ensure that we get truly independent guidance we should be preparedto pay. That should help guarantee that the financial adviser will not be pushing a particular productsimply because it delivers a nice juicy commission.

This sounds fine, in principle, but how many of us are prepared to sit down with a fee-based IFA andwrite out a cheque in return for their opinions? Not many, I would guess. Which only goes to showthat we need to change our mindset. For example, according to one fee-based IFA, the cost of adviceand execution for a personal pension would total £439. This might sound like a lot of money,but compare it with the £1,440 which the same service could cost you if you went with anadviser working on a commission basis.

Of course, you would not actually have to write out a cheque for the latter sum to your adviser but youwould be waving goodbye to what amounts to a substantial proportion of your first year's premiumpayments - seeing them go into the adviser's pocket rather than working for you.

These figures come from the newest kid on the block, Sort. Although Sort is by no means the onlyIFA with a presence on the Internet, I believe it may well be the only IFA which operates solely incyberspace, through its website and via the telephone.

Sort, which is regulated by the Personal Investment Authority, offers independent advice but will notdirectly sell you any products. If you decide to buy after taking the firm's advice, you have the choiceof approaching a product provider directly, using another financial adviser or a discount broker. If youdecide to take the latter route, bear in mind that Sort has itself negotiated discounts of up to 85 per centon commissions with discount broker Direct Investor. You may be hard pushed to beat that for value.

So, assuming you want to get your finances "sorted" what will it cost? Sort's full financialHealthCheck is £99 and specific product advice is £79. You can contact Sort 24 hours aday on the Internet and by telephone between 8am and 8pm weekdays (10am to 4pm weekends).

The key part of any interaction with an independent financial adviser is the so-called "fact find" inwhich you explain your current financial situation and aspirations. You can complete a "fact find" atyour leisure online and then e-mail it to Sort. Once it has been received you will get what Sort calls itsFinancial Decision Kit which will be e-mailed back within 48 hours.

This is a detailed jargon-free analysis which will outline all your options, as well as product pros andcons. The Kit will also provide you with comparisons of the best deals on the market and list theproducts which Sort believes are right for you.

If, at any stage of the proceedings, you decide you want to deal directly with a human rather than viayour computer, you may also call Sort and talk to a qualified financial consultant to discuss the Kit andensure that you understand the contents and are able to make an informed decision. If,at any stage, youare not happy with the service or advice which you get from Sort, the firm offers to refund your fee.That's not a bad deal.

Sort: www.sort.co.uk

Sort Direct: 0800 0283020

Robin can be reached at RobinAmlot@aol.com

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

    £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

    Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

    £23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

    MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

    Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee