Beware of Greeks bearing gifts
We've written about this before (in fact, it was the first post on the blog, and the reason RetireJapan was born).
I received a very pleasant message from someone the other day asking about writing a guest post for the blog or posting in the forum. They offered to provide people with a free overview of their UK pension situation, followed by some tailored advice. This seemed interesting but also a bit too good to be true.
We exchanged emails and it turned out this person worked at one of the investment firms that target expats. They were completely pleasant, professional, and even self-deprecating throughout, so I am not going to write their name or the company they work for in this post.
However, this does illustrate very well how no-fee advisors get the initial meeting with potential customers (marks?). They offer to give you some advice for free, then get your confidence, then sell you some horrendous financial product.
Follow the money. If someone is providing a service for free, you need to ask why. They are probably getting paid somehow, and if you don't know how much the fee is there is a good chance that you wouldn't like it ;)
Be careful out there! Remember you can always post in the RetireJapan Forum to see what other people have to say about a potential investment before making it. The reason this site and community exists is to help us all make better decisions going forward.
How about you? Any stories to tell? What investments do you regret or are happy to have passed on?