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Advising clients in the aftermath of US tragedy

Last week&#39s mass murder in the US was among many other things the most savage attack on the world&#39s financial system in its history.

Fund managers and brokers were among those suffering the greatest losses. London as a financial centre, a target of terrorists in the past, felt all the more keenly that New York is a sister city.

It is now time for IFAs to turn their attention to their clients&#39 needs.

Last week, it was suggested everything had changed. This may be true politically but is less clear for stockmarkets although the criteria for many investment decisions has been turned upside down.

No one is suggesting panic selling but over the next few weeks the markets should be left to find their own level. The investment decisions and sentiment of retail investors must play their part in this.

When facing a client, IFAs must, as always, apply best advice. As with any advice, the client is free to take his or her own decisions, so if an investor wishes to leave their money with a company or fund to do the right thing they can.

If there is a dramatic fall-out, there is no reason why the British public should not follow the lead of many American investors and use some spare cash to buy shares to help underpin the market.

But families&#39 lifetime savings should not be risked to prop up companies. It should be left to the world&#39s financial institutions and governments to coordinate any necessary bailouts.

But harsh as it may seem, the dictates of best advice remain the same and in the long run the best for everyone&#39s prosperity in the face of such an unprecedented threat.

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