Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Useless Financial Advisors

My wife and I have decided to make a gift of some money, each month, to our grandson, now 1 year old, rather than buy expensive presents  for birthdays and at Christmas.
We know what we can afford, it is within the allowance which we are permitted to give each year without incurring estate duty, we know we want to put it into a suitable equity fund as it will be there for eighteen years and one of us (or his aunt) would be trustee for the account until he is of age.
You would think this would be quite simple, that everybody would want our money for a nice long period, and that there must be many other grandparents in the same situation, but there you would be quite wrong!

First stop the Halifax where I bank. We opened a child savings account here when he was born and put in the maximum allowed for a year on which we got 6% interest. However at the end of the year it was transferred to an account which now pays B. all! So I asked the simple question, "how do I transfer this, as his trustee, to an account paying more?" Ah you'll need to see our financial advisor.
Which was where the trouble started.
Firstly he wanted to know all about our financial status, my pension details, other income, etc. "Why/" Well I need this to be able to give financial advise and ensure that you can afford it and that it is the right investment for you. "But it's not for me but my grandson, and if we can't afford it we will stop paying in". He then wanted to discuss inheritance tax, the main objective of which seemed to be to persuade me to put some largish sum into a trust for my children so that if we survived 7 years they would have tax-free money to pay the estate duty; alternatively to persuade me to take out life insurance to cover the cost (ie pay the bank instead of the Revenur!). We gave up

Next the Nationwide where we have some savings. Here they were only able to offer the Government inspired Child Trust Fund which we wished to avoid, as his parents are themselves putting money into this and I wished ours to be separate.

I've looked on-line for suitable investments, but everybody wants to arrange a visit for their financial advisor. They can't accept the possibility that I know what I want to do and simply want to know if they have a suitable account (or vehicle which seems to be the in-word).

We have local branches of HSBC and Barclays, so I'll visit them when I get a chance, but  my experience to date seems to indicate that it will be a total waste of time.

Seems we might as well put the money under the mattress!

1 comment:

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