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The GuardianNatWest, is it right to evict a woman on housing benefit?The GuardianThe money comes from housing benefit from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. But when Helena approached her mortgage company, NatWest, for some additional borrowing, she was staggered to be told it would only be possible if she kicked out her ...
The GuardianPensions: could you claim part of a £19bn cash mountain?The GuardianThe Pension Tracing Service (gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details, or 0800 731 0193) and TPAS (pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk, or 0800 011 3797) can both be used to try to locate lost or forgotten workplace or personal pensions. The PTS is a free ...
Telegraph.co.uk'Why didn't Sainsbury's honour its £20-off voucher?'Telegraph.co.ukYou asked Sainsbury's to credit your Mastercard with the missing £20 but it didn't. Finally you were told the £20 would be credited to your online account voucher wallet. You reiterated you wanted it put on your credit card but the credit went ahead ...and more »
Mirror.co.uk6 money horrors to avoid this Halloween - and you'll make yourself richer for itMirror.co.ukIt may be possible to cut the cost of your borrowing by shifting the balance to a credit card which has a 0% initial interest-free period. But there are some factors to consider in weighing up whether it's worthwhile, such as any fees for moving to the ...
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Getting financial advice

It’s time to review your finances and make sure your money is working as hard for you as it possibly can. Somewhere out there are the right financial products for you but unless you have the mind of a forensic detective and understand the complexities of everything from insurance and pensions to hedge funds and derivatives get sound financial advice.

If you don’t already have someone in mind as an adviser one of the best ways to find someone good is to ask family, friends or colleagues for recommendations. You want someone who’s independent so that he or she can give you impartial advice about the whole range of products on offer. If you choose an adviser who isn’t independent they can only advise you on the products they work with. Some advisers specialise; if you want advice on pensions you might want and adviser who is a pensions specialist. Ask about the qualifications of anyone you are thinking of seeing.

The other question you have to ask is about how you pay for the service. You may choose an adviser to whom you pay fees upfront. Fees vary hugely so find out before you book your appointment. Try haggling to get the fees reduced if possible and ask for the first session to be free so that you get the chance to decide whether or not you have a rapport. The other option is an adviser who gets his or her fees through commission which you ultimately pay for because it’s added to the cost of the product you buy. Or you may pay for advice through a combination of the two.

Whoever you choose it’s helpful if you can build a lasting and trusting relationship which will make you both money for years to come. Remember that a financial plan made now needs to be reviewed frequently. What’s right for you in the current climate may not be right once the economy picks up again or if your circumstances change. The degree of risk you’re prepared to take with your savings and investments may be different when you’re single from when you’ve got a partner and children. Getting the right adviser is just the start of the process. 

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