Despite record sales of unit trust and personal equity plans last year, the number of people who have funds remains low - at about 1.5 million.
Autif believes that about 21 million people could benefit from investment in unit trusts. People telephoning Autif's unit trust hotline will be supplied with three guides - one booklet will give an introduction to unit trusts, another will provide the potential investor with a guide to choosing their first fund, while the third will provide a directory of funds, with names, addresses and telephone numbers of unit trust management companies.
Autif is also offering potential investors further help in selecting a unit trust.
If, after they have received the starter pack, investors want to go ahead and invest then they can phone the line again and they will be given a list of independent financial advisers in their area.
Autif hopes to supplement the information service over the next few months by providing a series of specialist fact sheets on particular subjects, such as personal equity plans and international unit trusts.
The unit trust hotline is on 081- 207 1361 and is open from 8am until 11pm seven days a week.