Do-it-yourself investing is becoming increasingly popular nowadays, but if you have a significant sum of money to invest, or have accumulated a large investment in your ISAs or pensions and want to change tack and start drawing an income for your retirement, you may prefer to get professional advice.
Your first step is to make sure that you choose an adviser or wealth manager who is not tied to just one company so you know they have access to all the best products. Also, be prepared to pay a fee. Since 2013, all advisers have been legally obliged to charge a fee.
If you want to find an adviser or wealth manager that you can meet face-to-face, there are websites such as www.unbiased.co.uk and www.vouchedfor.co.uk that can provide you with a list of advisers in your area. The Wealth Management Association (WMA) also has a search facility on its website (www.thewma.co.uk). Try to meet with at least three firms before you make a decision. You need to be sure that you will feel comfortable in an ongoing relationship with an advisor/wealth manager.
If you have a relatively small amount of money (many wealth managers will not accept clients with less than £100,000, and some have much higher limits) or you want to keep your costs down, you could use an online discretionary wealth manager, sometimes referred to nowadays as ‘robo-advisers’.
These services are available to investors with as little as £1,000 to invest. The way they normally work is that you are asked to complete an online questionnaire to establish your investment goals and attitude to risk. You will then be recommended a portfolio of funds, often low-cost trackers.
Typically these services use funds. Investors who are interested in a portfolio of investment trusts could consider IpsoFacto Investor.