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Bank has my head spinning

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ClareA | 01:17 Fri 07th Oct 2011 | Business & Finance
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Went to the bank with details of my impending legacy & they have my head in a whirl. They've several income-generating 'products', as I believe we must call them, but to be honest it looks to me as though the Post Office offers a better return over three or five years. I want about £10,000 easy access, and about £100,000 staying put for some years, generating interest. I'm fairly risk-averse, though aware that 'widows and orphans' ultra-safe accounts will generate virtually nothing.
Has anyone been in a similar situation to mine? What would you recommend, if you've had to make similar decisions?

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Make an appointment to speak to an Independent Financial Advisor. The bank will only be interested in selling their products, whereas an IFA should obtain a complete analysis of your risk profile and suggest the correct investment vehicles for your needs, which should be spread over several products. Remember to ask about their charges and what levels of commission they get from any investments they recommend!
At the moment any investment which is linked to stock market values is potentially extremely risky. (If the problems in Greece can't be sorted out the stock market could fall by 50% or more).

£100K in NS&I Income Bonds isn't going to give you a fantastic income but £145.83 per month will still come in handy!
http://www.nsandi.com/savings-income-bonds

Chris
Question Author
Thank you both - the bank has admitted that some of what they will recommend has a commission for them, but that they'll always say which products do and which don't. And yes - there was an element of linking with the stock exchange - though they're at pains to say that this isn't 'really' gambling on it - it's merely 'linked'. Well, what else is it then, but gambling on shares?

twix123, I'm a bit hard put to distinguish what's an IFA from what isn't. They all seem to have some agenda, so how do I tell them apart?

Chris, before I go and look, can you tell me what NS&I is - National Savings and Investment Bonds?
Question Author
Thanks, Chris, I've bookmarked the page.
Do shop around - park the money in your bank by all means, but don't feel you must buy from there. You could put your maximum allowance in a cash ISA for easy access (lousy rates, but the money's readily available).
Clare, Independent Financial Advisors should be that, independent, whereas advisors sitting at a desk in a financial institution, whether a bank, building society or insurance company, will be tied to that company and always recommend their products in favour of anything else.
You should find IFA's listed in your local Thompson or Yellow Pages.
IFAs will almost inevitably suggest that at least part of your money goes into equity linked investments - i.e. shares and bonds. If you are really risk averse then in the present state of the markets (as Chris says) it is probably not wise for you to put any money into equity linked.

You could instead put it into a variety of savings accounts. Interest rates are low but your money is safe provided you make sure you never have more in any one organisation than the FSCS maximum guarantee (currently I think about £85K). (This limit does not apply to N S & I, which is fully Government backed.) You could compare interest rates for different types of savings account on the Moneyfacts website www.moneyfacts.co.uk & click on the Savings tab.
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Thanks to boxtops, twix & themas - all advice gratefully received!

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