Free Financial Advice is Far Too Expensive

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and that especially applies to supposedly free financial advice.

Here’s how to spot them so you don’t get stung.

Cold callers offering to slash your repayments

Most of the time these guys call you just as you’re sitting down to dinner, promising to manage your cash flow and generally get you out of debt. Barefoot’s view is that cold-calling debt consolidation companies should be outlawed. If you want to pay your debts off faster, there are only two ways: either lower your interest rate (if you are able) or make extra repayments. Everything else is sales spin trying to cream thousands of dollars from you that you don’t have.

Car loans from used car dealerships

I’d barely trust a used car dealership to recommend me a car – so why would you let them recommend you a loan? Don’t do it. Sure it’s convenient, but that convenience comes at a cost. Better to do your own research. Buy what you can afford and never get roped into a finance deal at a car yard.

Free financial advice from financial planners

They’re not free when you realise that the person giving you ‘free’ advice is actually a salesperson paid by the companies of the products they push. Don’t listen to their spin, commissions will affect the advice they give. A much better deal is to pay an expensive fee for service advisor. It will save you tens of thousands of dollars over the long run.

Mortgage brokers

These guys operate in much the same way as ‘free’ financial planners. They may do all the legwork for you, but are unlikely to give you the cheapest effective interest rate on the market, because many of the cheapest mortgage providers refuse to pay kickbacks. Better to do your own research and put the rest into the mortgage!

Compare Cheap Car Insurance Quotes – You Could Be Wasting Hundreds of Dollars Each Month

Have you ever wondered why most people don’t compare cheap car insurance quotes? Some people chose their insurance companies by asking family or friends for their company’s name. Other chose their insurance by going with the highly advertised names they heard on TV or the radio. But when asked if they ever compare car insurance quotes, many individuals just give you a weird look like you asked them something strange or ridiculous.

Many have been with their insurance brokers for so long they’ve become close friends. Others will tell you they never speak to the same broker twice because the company is so large they don’t get personal service anymore. It’s come to the point where receiving a letter or bill in the mail is the only correspondence we get from our insurance companies. Think about it folks, when was the last time you received a call or letter from your insurance broker letting you know that your rates were going to be lowered because you’ve been driving well this year? OK, stop laughing I was just trying to make a point.

Nowadays, anyone can go online and compare cheap car insurance quotes before deciding on which company to buy insurance from. It’s no longer necessary to pay the same rates every year without any chance of having your rates lowered. Why do insurance companies raise our rates the first chance they get? My insurance was raised after having a 10 year clean record because I was involved in an auto accident that was proven to be the other guys fault. It was explained to me that my rates went up because I was now considered to be a high risk. Well, I immediately asked where my discount was for my past 10 years of safe driving. You guessed right; the phone went quiet and I was put on hold to speak with a supervisor. After that experience, I found out that many online services would offer me a number of different rates from various insurance companies making it much easier and faster for me to make my decision for buying insurance for my car.

It’s time for all of us to wise up and decide to compare cheap car insurance quotes from other companies. Getting the best rates is now a choice we can make by educating ourselves on which companies are offering the lowest rates in our area for the year and specific model car we drive. Don’t be fooled into thinking that dealing with large national insurance companies will get you automatic discounts and the lowest rates because they have so many customers.

How to Compare Cheap Car Insurance Online

If you are looking to find cheapest possible deal for car insurance, you absolutely must compare the prices from multiple insurance providers. This is the only way for you to make absolutely sure that you do not pay too much for your insurance policy.

How Do You Start Comparing Cheap Car Insurance Online?

It really is so simple to find the insurance company with the cheapest prices that anybody can do it. All you have to know is how to use the internet and if you have found your way over here, you obviously already master that skill. The process of comparing prices for your insurance online is completely free of charge and you get the results immediately.

You start by putting down some information about you, your vehicle and your driving records on a short online form. After this you will receive a list of car insurance quotes from multiple insurance providers. Now from this list it’s very easy for you to compare that which of the companies can provide you the cheapest prices for your car insurance policy.

Why do you need to fill in that information? Well, naturally the insurance companies give different prices for different people. Your age and the type of your car are definite factors when the insurance providers are trying to determine that what prices can they offer for you. Your driving records can also have an affect on the price of your auto insurance policy and that’s why most companies wish to know that.

Does Independent Financial Advice Find the Best Deal For You?

After what feels like an eternity in recession, lenders are still not keen to lend and until the UK general election is over, it doesn’t feel like very much is going to change.

Pre credit crunch times had a mortgage market providing in excess of 25,000 different mortgage deals and loans galore, but today the UK markets have less than 5000 mortgage products on offer to the consumer.

So where did the credit crunch come from and could it happen again?

The US finance markets imploded in the 4th quarter of 2007 due to bad credit on the balance sheets of large financial institutions, which ultimately caused what is known as a credit crunch.

In a credit crunch, lenders stop lending and start hoarding cash because they are afraid of rising bad debts, leading to bankruptcies and loan or mortgage defaults. They charge higher interest rates in a bid to stem the flow of business or reject all but the safest loans.

The UK economy had been flooded with easy to access borrowed money since the mid 90’s, but the credit crunch meant that tightened credit would spell trouble for companies who needing funding in the form of loans to pursue their business plans and the consumer, who had become used to freely spending money they didn’t have, but could easily access on credit cards for expensive purchases such as luxurious holidays and smart cars.

The answer to could it happen again is a simple one, YES!

If an appetite for investment in more risky markets returns, which you have to say it will, then pushing the limits commercially to gain extra percentage market share and profit, could lead to the whole thing happening all over again. Having said that, it will take sometime to get there, as returning confidence to dabble by investors will be slow to return, but good times will return and the painful effects will soon be forgotten.

So, how is the man on the street directly affected?

UK mortgage and loan lenders are releasing more new products on a daily basis and the best mortgage deals of today are soon replaced tomorrow, but the good news is that the deals are getting better and better. The percentage levels that lenders will loan to is increasing and a 90% mortgage, with a competitive interest rate is out there to be found, if you know where to look.

So how do Independent Financial Advisers add value?

Independent Financial Advisers (IFA’s) are well placed to search the market, compare mortgage rates on their client’s behalf and secure a great mortgage rate to suit the borrower’s exact needs. In addition to finance, IFA’s can provide a good value for money service if you are looking to source good quality, value for money, but cheap life insurance cover and pension plans, with advice that is specifically tailored to the individual or families needs.

Financial advice is available in many guises, the internet has led to a plethora of channels being available for the consumer to utilise when seeking help and advice. Finance related price comparison websites have the added advantage of being a one stop shop for all mortgage, loan and insurance needs. By completing your details once, you have the advantage of using their services to trawl the market and find you the best deals available, but there is still an argument for using the services of a local to you, independent financial adviser. The IFA can take the time to understand any unusual circumstances that you may have and tailor their financial advice accordingly and some finance price comparison websites are now offering both options under one roof to facilitate the needs of a far wider consumer group.