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cold called by Avacade offering free pension review

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cold called by Avacade offering free pension review

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bill_the_busbill_the_bus Forumite
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Had a call from a company called Avacade offering free pension advice. Tracing my pensions and Serps (i opted out on advice) and offering a free pension review. They do not charge me just take a commission from any company i may wish to change over my pension to.

Something i have been looking at doing anyway as i have a frozen pension with Comet that i would like to move.

I dont like being cold called so have tried researching and can find little info on them. Has anyone had dealings, good or bad, with this company?
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  • jem16jem16 Forumite
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    They do not charge me just take a commission from any company i may wish to change over my pension to.

    Whihc is a charge to you.
    Something i have been looking at doing anyway as i have a frozen pension with Comet that i would like to move.

    What kind of pension is it? If it's a final salary pension it would be a very bad idea to do so.
    I dont like being cold called so have tried researching and can find little info on them. Has anyone had dealings, good or bad, with this company?

    Reputable financial companies do not cold call. Avoid them.

    If you want a pension review see an IFA - use https://www.unbiased.co.uk fo find one in your area.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    They do not charge me just take a commission from any company i may wish to change over my pension to.

    That isnt good. We are just 2 months away from commission being banned and most firms have moved to fee basis but you get these old dinosaurs taking commission. What is worse is that most modern pension contracts are not actually commission basis but fee basis. So, they are telling you porkies. There is no commission. Whatever they get paid is deducted from your pension fund.
    I dont like being cold called so have tried researching and can find little info on them. Has anyone had dealings, good or bad, with this company?

    No decent FSA regulated company cold calls. Most pension cold calls are actually scams. So, best avoid it.

    In your case, you appear to have had one of these "potential" scams. There is no company called Avacade on the FSA regsiter. An internet search suggests it is one of these unregulated schemes which any normal person should avoid.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • It's quite easy to confuse matters RE: Fees and Commission.

    Fees will still be able to be taken from the fuind (rather than from the investors pocket directly) and so can still be seen as a 'commission'.

    The difference from 2013 is that the 'fee' must be pre-determined based on the service you're providing - and not a percentage of the total investment.

    The reason is those with big funds were being charged more than those with a lower fund - for the same service, because it was a set rate of 3% of the fund, for example.

    The downside I can see is that Lower-velue investors will end up paying more....
  • LintonLinton Forumite
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    I have done my standard checks on such websites and as far as I can see this one does look OK - its a first!. Dates and registration details are consistent, there are full contact details which look genuine, the text hasnt been cobbled together from elsewhere etc etc.

    On a technical point I would be interested to know why this isnt a Collective Investment Scheme. If it was such a scheme it would need to be registered with the FSA otherwise it would seem that it shouldnt be marketed to retail consumers. I couldnt find such a registration. See FSA website

    As to whether it would be a good investment I have no idea. It certainly looks highly risky to me in that it would seem to be dependent on:
    1) The global forestry market
    2) The market in individual species
    3) The economic/political/social stability of specific 3rd world countries.
    4) The skills of individual local staff
    5) Climatic conditions in specific geographic areas
    6) The health of individual trees
    etc etc

    Were anything to go seriously wrong in any of these factors it would seem you could make large losses.

    So if I were to go into this type of investment at all I would ensure that it only formed a very small part of my total portfolio.
  • jamesdjamesd Forumite
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    It's an unregulated investment. It's not supposed to be promoting them to general consumers at all, so the mere fact that it's making the phone calls makes it clear that it's a company you shouldn't do business with.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    Refering back to post #1 it says "Had a call from a company called Avacade offering free pension advice.".

    The fact is that they are not authorised under UK legislation to give pension advice. Also, saying it is free is also wrong because you would pay for it within their unregulated investment scheme.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • LintonLinton Forumite
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    From what we have been told by the OP and comments by james and dunston they could be breaking the FSA rules. Yet they are making no efforts to hide who they are, where they can be found and the fact that they are not FSA regulated, quite the reverse. This is very different to what we see on the crude scam websites.

    They are also making public statements on pension issues - see here and here

    On the matter of advice - does it make a difference that they say they do it "through one of their partnered Independent Financial Advisors" rather than actually advising themselves? Can an IFA be partnered with an investment supplier without concerns on conflict of interest?

    I am certainly not advocating that forum members treat the investments with anything other than extreme caution and would agree that you should have nothing to do with cold-callers. Rather I am interested in exactly where the boundaries lie.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    If a company cold calls you and says they can give free pension advice then you take that as them giving you free pension advice. Not then using a third party to give advice which will result in some form of payment being made to that person.

    If they cold call saying they can get someone else to give advice then that is a different matter.

    Also remember that many of the less honest schemes use unregulated introducers saying all sorts of dodgy stuff who then use a genuine firm to facilitate the movement into SIPP with no wrong doing done on that side of things (the recent case in the media found the regulated firm did no wrong but the introducer firm had).

    It is quite possible that the unregulated investment side operates fine and is genuine and in this case, that side seems fine. It could just be a cold calling sales rep that is misrepresenting the way it is done.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • I have just received cold call from a company called avacade about looking up old pensions, wanting to come round to home or work asap for me to sign some papers, is this a scam ive never heard of them.

    can anyone give me info on this company please
  • bill_the_busbill_the_bus Forumite
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    all i can offer is when they phoned back to arrange a call i said i was not interested at the moment and they accepted without any pressure which makes me think they are genuine.
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