Our financial adviser cost us our life savings

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One couple lost their £350,000 nest egg due to bad advice — and the firm involved has yet to refund them


David and Sheila Solomon were looking forward to a comfortable retirement, having saved into pensions for more than two decades and paid a financial adviser to help them make the right decisions. Now, however, thanks to his advice, their £350,000 savings are worth just £3,000.

Their adviser — Paul Herd, a partner at MFS Partnership in Plymouth — invested almost all their money in a single, unregulated, “high-risk” fund in 2010, despite being told they were “cautious investors” who intended to retire just four years later.

MFS Partnership admits it owes the Solomons about £500,000, based on a calculation stipulated by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), as this is what their fund would have been worth had they been properly advised. Yet six months after the damning verdict, they are yet to receive a penny.

The Solomons’ story raises questions about the difficulties of providing for the future and how anyone can know their life savings are in good hands.

This is not the only question hanging over Herd’s advice. In another FOS ruling, MFS Partnership advised an 82-year-old woman to invest £99,000 of her £125,000 savings in the same high-risk investment as the Solomons. She has subsequently died. MFS said Herd was also her adviser and she also had a “low attitude to risk”. The FOS found in her favour.

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