Good news on UK Financial Capability

A major new study published in August 2016 by the UK’s Money Advice Service highlights that people are changing their financial behaviours and developing positive habits to deal with money matters.

‘The Financial Capability of the UK’  points to evidence of how millions of people are adapting to deal with tough economic times, and working hard to manage their money. It says that 49% of adults are concerned about their finances but the evidence also shows how people have become more diligent  about their money matters and suspicious of financial scams.

67% agree that we are ‘very organised when it comes to managing money’. People are also checking bank statements more carefully – 54% of adults say they regularly check all incomings and outgoings on their bank statements to keep track of their money; and 40% look for suspicious transactions.

Furthermore, 85% of adults say they are saving – always a good sign that people are thinking to the future and being more responsible!

 

The Cost of Christmas

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There has been a lot of discussion in the UK  about the cost of Christmas and whether we are spending more than ever over the Christmas period. The answer seems to be in most cases – LESS.

A survey by YouGov at the end of 2015 has shown that UK households spent less in 2015 than in 2014 – £796 on average. (Approx €1000 euros) It is the lowest level since 2012 and a drop of £24 on 2014. People cut back on food, drink and gifts, as well as cards and decorations.

The reason is thought to be fierce competition between retailers and the thought in people’s mind that they really shouldn’t get (further) into debt.

Marc Gander of the Consumer Action Group said: “I’m sure that parents are in a huge dilemma. It breaks their hearts when they get themselves into debt simply to bring their children a little magic and to make sure that their kids feel that they’re not left out or inferior to their friends. I have always thought that this time of the year is really Christmas for payday loan companies. It’s happy Christmas for the parents and the children – and a prosperous New Year for the payday loan industry.

Hopefully the FLY project will add to peoples’ knowledge and understanding of the dangers of payday loans …

What is your Money Personality Type?

This very ‘non-scientific’ quick quiz has appeared on the ‘Money makes Sense’ Financial literacy website in the UK.  It is targeted specifically at Secondary age students but works for older people too! There are 10 light-hearted questions to answer. When you have completed them it gives you an assessment of your attitude to money.

Why not give it a go by clicking HERE!

How to recognize a good financial consultant

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Financial world is complicated and for laic person difficult to understand. Therefor many of us seek out for help of a financial consultant. But how do we know that consultant provides us with quality service?

Below you can find some useful tips how to recognize a good financial consultant:

  1. Consultant is not a sales representative

Sales representative usually represents one company and cannot give you an objective comparison of different products. Financial consultant on the contrary, seeks various solutions for different needs of its clients and offers more products from multiple companies.

  1. Informs and explains

The consultant should be able to explain proposed solution and know its connection to your personal goals. He should be able to justify the choice of specific products and offer alternatives. He should not speak only about benefits of proposed products, but also highlight risks and possible drawbacks.

  1. Listens and then proposes solution

Financial consultant first listens. He should identify your plans and goals, financial possibilities, ongoing contracts. Financial consultant never comes to the first meeting with the offer of specific products and plans.

  1. Certification

Financial consulting is legislatively regulated and consultants must follow a series of strict rules. Invest time to verify your consultant.

  1. Set emotions aside, use your head

Be realistic and don’t be very credulous. If financial consultant promises you unrealistic profit, flaunts with the guaranteed appreciation and refers to the development of the financial market during last years, be very careful in your future cooperation.

  1. Force and time pressure does not belong to financial consultancy

Good financial consultant is not only punctual, but also gives you enough time to think about the proposal and the decision. A good consultant does not come with “now or never” offers.

  1. Details are important, be critical

Be active, strict and ask questions. Feel free to book an appointment with consultant in his office or at a neutral location (e.g. in a quiet café). Financial consultancy has not been doing on the couch in your living room for some time.

  1. Is brand determining? Often, yes…

Is the financial consultant working for one of the big consulting company? Search for references, experience and independent awards.

  1. Learning as the basis of the good consultant

Do not hesitate to ask a financial consultant on his experience. How long has he been in business? What is his education and which courses did he complete? Remember that financial products are rapidly changing and only consultant who is “in the picture” can give you a good advice.

  1. You CAN say no!

Nobody can force you into the contract signature. If you have doubts, find out more information, ask someone knowledgeable of your surroundings, take time to decide. If you have any concerns, you can always say no.

How to recognize a bad financial consultant? 

  • Financial consultant strives to contract signature on one of the first meetings, puts time pressure
  • Consultant does not give you advice, but instructs you what to do
  • Consultant hides risks and presents only product benefits
  • Formulations like “it’s too complicated for explanation” or “you don’t need to understand this” should warn you

Resources: http://www.investujeme.cz/desatero-k-vyberu-dobreho-financniho-poradce/