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FSA guide to find good advice

The FSA has issued a series of top tips to help consumers avoid being

stung by rogue financial advisers.

The FSA says the guidelines are designed both to warn consumers off

unauthorised advisers and help them get the most out of authorised ones.

The tips already feature on the FSA website and the regulator hopes their

publication will draw attention to the site&#39s other contents.

DO&#39S

Check the adviser is authorised before you do any business with them. The

FSA central register can give you the answer.

Shop around and see more than one adviser before you make up your mind.

Make sure the adviser takes the trouble to get to know your circumstances

– if they don&#39t find out about you, they can&#39t give you the right advice.

Read the documents you are given – including the small print – before

agreeing to anything.

Ask questions about anything you don&#39t understand – don&#39t be put off by

jargon or technical information.

Check forms before signing – especially if the adviser has filled them in

for you.

Remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

DON&#39TS

Don&#39t buy investment products if the adviser is not authorised – if you

do, you won&#39t be protected if something goes wrong.

Don&#39t do business with the adviser if you feel uncomfortable with them –

for example, if the are pushy, evasive or do not give you straight answers.

Go elsewhere.

Don&#39t sign up to a deal unless you are completely happy with it.

Don&#39t be afraid to go away and think it through.

Don&#39t make out cheques or hand over cash to the adviser unless it is for a

pre-agreed fee for their services. Any money towards your investment should

be paid to the provider for the product.

Remember – if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

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