Financial regulator launches consumer guide

The Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority has launched its Independent Consumer Guide to Savings and Investments.

The Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority has launched its Independent Consumer Guide to Savings and Investments.

This is the second in a series of independent consumer guides to be published by the Financial Services Regulator, aimed at providing practical information for consumers regardless of investment experience or investment capital.

Consumer director Mary O'Dea said: "The savings and investments market can be quite confusing for the consumer. Keep in mind that generally the higher the potential return you are offered,the greater the risk you are taking with your money."

She warned that some products can tie-up money for a considerable period of time and penalties for early withdrawal can be significant.

The guide contains information about the different types of products available including deposits, State savings schemes, property and pooled investments such as funds and bonds.

Each type of product is assessed in terms of the normal investment period, potential risks, charges and access.

The guide also includes a list of questions consumers should ask themselves to ensure they choose a product to help them achieve their personalfinancial goals.

The guide is available at http://www.ifsra.ie/news/nw_recs.asp as well as at local libraries, Citizens Information Centres and Money Advice and Budgeting Service offices.

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