Consumers Seeking an IFA That Specialises in Investment, Savings Advice & Retirement Planning

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Latest figures from professional advice website Unbiased, reveal that personal retirement planning was the number one advice driver (41%) for people seeking independent financial advice in February. The report also showed that nearly one in three consumers (30%) were looking for an IFA specialising in ‘investment and savings’ advice.

“Increasing reports from industry over the current number of people not saving it is positive to see an increase in the number of searches for guidance around investment and savings options."

With ISA season at its peak, the figures show a continued upward trend for consumers wanting an IFA whose area of expertise includes ISAs, OEICs and unit trusts, with an increase from 14% in January to 16% in February, marking an annual high since February 2010 for searches in this area.

Unbiased’s ‘find a mortgage adviser’ search once again revealed ‘first time buying’ as the number one advice driver for February 2011 retaining its position as number one advice driver with 35% of all searches. Although still the second most popular area, interest in re-mortgage advice fell slightly from 36% to 34%, while the volume of consumers seeking whole of market mortgage advice on buy-to-let increased by 3% (from 14% to 17%) since January this year.

Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of Unbiased, comments: “Investing and saving for the future is hugely topical at the moment and with increasing reports from industry over the current number of people not saving it is positive to see an increase in the number of searches for guidance around investment and savings options."

“Consumers need to be making the most of tax efficient saving vehicles such as ISAs. With a maximum investment of £10,200 available, savers should make sure they make the most of their 2010 ISA allowance before tax year end (April 6), no matter how much (or how little) they can afford to invest. While it may seem insignificant now, not saving could have huge implications for consumers' personal finances in the future, finding themselves with no financial buffer to fall back on or in real difficulty when looking to make a significant purchase such as buying a home.

“Consumers looking to find an IFA or whole of market mortgage adviser can carry out a free and confidential search at unbiased.co.uk. An IFA can give specialist advice on specific product areas and recommend solutions from across the whole of the market, rather than just a selection of providers.”

As for the top ten IFA advice drivers, the list includes Retirement Planning, Investments & Savings, Unit Trusts, Personal Stakeholder Pensions, Taxation Planning & Investment Trusts.

And for the top ten mortgage advice drivers, the list includes First time homebuyers, Buy-to-let, Equity Release & Sub-Prime Mortgages.

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