We are all vulnerable

what happens if I know nothing about pensions and assume this person is an expert and here to help.

When it comes to certain things I am happy to admit that I just don’t have a clue.

For example, when I take the car to the garage, and with a deep sigh the mechanic tells me that the left widget is falling off and needs replacing I have to believe that what I am being told is correct. The reality is that I just don’t know and I am reliant on the expert to tell me what is wrong and what needs to be done.

I don’t know if I am being ripped off but I do know if I go to a reputable garage then the chances are that I am being given sound advice.

This analogy was tested the other day when I received a call from a company claiming to give ‘free’ pension advice. They were concerned that I was one of over 80% of the people in the UK who had a worthless pension and they were here to help.

Let’s play the game

Normally I tell the caller to remove me from their list but this time I was intrigued so I played the game. They went on to explain that the government changes in April meant massive changes for pensions.

They asked me if I had heard about the changes to which I gave a rather vague response. I went onto explain that I thought I had a pension with Friends Life but couldn’t really remember.

The caller jumped on this and explained that I was almost certainly being ripped off and now was the time to do something about this. I asked how much it would cost and he explained that it was a ‘free’ service. He went on to explain that it was bit like shopping for the cheapest utility provider!

And so the call went on; to be honest I got bored and ended the call after nearly 10 minutes! Perhaps I should have carried it on to find out the end result.

The point of all of this is that I am the expert and therefore knew that I was being fed a sales pitch containing questionable information. But going back to the analogy of the garage; what happens if I know nothing about pensions and assume this person is an expert and here to help.

So what do we do?

These callers prey on the vulnerable (and we can be that person), and it happens across the board whether it’s for example garages, builders or ‘pension experts’.

Personally I believe in the sniff test. If it doesn’t smell right, then it probably isn’t. Why would someone offer ‘free’ pension advice? How do they know I am being ripped off by Friends Life without knowing anything about the pension I have?

It just doesn’t seem right.

It’s the traffic light warning system; red means stop, it’s a chance to think and wait until the green light tells us to go. If we fall into the hands of these people what happens? Of course in this case I don’t know because I got bored and ended the call. But if we align them with the rogue garage or builder then we know the end result will be nasty and costly.

NOTE: This is written in a personal capacity and reflects the view of the author. The post has been checked and approved to ensure that it is both accurate and not misleading. However, this is a blog and the reader should accept that by its very nature many of the points are subjective and opinions of the author. This is not a recommendation to buy any product or service including any share or fund mentioned. Individuals wishing to buy any product or service as a result of this blog must seek advice or carry out their own research before making any decision, the author will not be held liable for decisions made as a result of this blog (particularly where no advice has been sought). Investors should also note that past performance is not a guide to future performance and investments can fall as well as rise.

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