Each month we publish the best comments, emails and letters from our readers. Here are the best of August 2017:
This month’s star letter: ‘Why is financial advice so expensive?’
I have always enjoyed reading Moneywise, and this month (August 2017) was no exception.
I can resonate with your Stat of the Month ‘Taking financial advice makes you £40,000 wealthier’. A few years ago, my husband and I were able to use an independent financial adviser (IFA) and it was a very good decision indeed. From the advice we were given, we were able to make some good financial choices. It certainly didn’t make us £40,000 wealthier, but the investments recommended have really helped us out.
A few years later and, due to the changes in how IFAs charge – via fees rather than commissions, we are no longer able to afford an IFA. I would like to start up a pension, but cannot find an IFA who can help me for under £500. I cannot afford that outlay. It seems that the wealthy will continue to be wealthy and the poorer part of the community will continue to struggle.
We don’t earn much money but what we do earn we are wise with (hence my subscription to Moneywise). I would like to be wiser and I read a lot and listen to radio programmes regarding money, but when it comes to making important decisions about choosing funds for my pensions I know that I am out of my depth. This is an important decision and I want to choose wisely. I cannot afford to make the wrong decision. If anyone knows of where I can seek good pension advice for a reasonable cost, I would love to know.
Moneywise says: IFAs provide a wealth of expertise and peace of mind on financial issues, however, as you mention, this advice does come at a price so you need to weigh up if it’s right for you. If you’re struggling for ideas about how to invest your pension, you may find our Pension Awards helpful.
What Moneywise does with your data
Moneywise says: One reader asked us why they needed to submit their name, address, age, financial situation, and more when completing our Home Finances Awards 2017 survey. While the overall findings of the survey are made available to the companies (should they want it) so they can better understand your frustrations and deal with your issues, your personal details are never shared with any third party.
‘BA is no better than the cheap frills airlines’
Having read the article about easyJet in the June 2017 issue, and other airline stories, I conclude that BA (British Airways) stands for Bucket Airline – it is no better than the cheap frills airlines. Last November, I flew on a long-haul flight from South Africa. Due to a disability, I paid extra to book seats together for my husband and myself. The seat my husband had was broken and a male attendant was not too interested, but a female attendant was unsuccessful in sorting it out so she found another seat on the upper deck. While this caused anxiety for me, at least my husband could get some sleep for a few hours.
We wrote to BA and requested a refund of the £50 we paid for the seat, but it wrote back offering a £20 voucher as compensation. I again asked for a refund, but it replied that it does not maintain the aircraft itself and therefore it can’t accept any liability for poor maintenance. The £20 was a goodwill gesture that is the maximum it pays to any passenger. I did not pursue the £20 as I have no intention of travelling with such a badly managed airline again.
‘If you want to retire early, you can make it happen’
W e can all retire early, but you have to make this happen yourself rather than relying on state handouts. Private pensions? No, these are one big rip-off in my opinion. For me, it was buy to let, which I got into in my 30s while still in the day job. I do not receive my state pension for another year, but I retired from work aged 54. What it all boils down to is what you want from life and how hard you are prepared to work for it.
Andrew Townshend/via online comments
New Jane Austen £10 note
Moneywise says: We tweeted our followers asking: “An image of the forthcoming £10 note [out this month] featuring Jane Austen has been released today – do you like it?” We had the following responses:
@chrisluckyluke: Yes, can you send me a few, please?
@iamcornishpasty: She looks like she has a Malteser tucked away in her cheek there.
Write to us
Each month the reader with the best letter wins a £50 M&S gift card.
Write to us (including your name, address and telephone number) at
Letters, Moneywise Publishing, Standon House, 21 Mansell Street, London E1 8AA.
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