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Advisers letting 'tail wag dog' on property

Financial advisers and accountants leave decision-making to clients when investing in property as they “don’t know enough” to assist them, according to a property investment consultancy.

The Successful Investor managing director Michael Sloan issued a statement yesterday saying clients are not getting the advice they need from professional advisers when discussing investment properties and advisers are letting the “tail wag the dog”.

“Most accountants and financial planners don’t know enough about investing in property to assist their clients,” said Mr Sloan.

“They leave the decision to the client, and many clients are getting it wrong.”

Mr Sloan also cautioned that with any purchase, the rule of ‘buyer beware’ applies to selecting suitable investment property advisers, warning advisers to be wary of companies with “unscrupulous operators” before recommending them to clients.

Mr Sloan also said advisers should indicate to clients that standard “residential property in a standard residential area” is the safest investment option.

“Investors should stay away from student accommodation, buying in the US, holiday accommodation and other niche properties,” said Mr Sloan.

“Unless they are experienced in property they should also stay away from commercial property, because even well-placed commercial property can lie vacant for months, putting a strain on finances,” he said.