The internet is a source useful information and can give you free access to expertise from an array of fields. But unfortunately this is often lost amongst the swathes of nonsense and misinformation. For every accurate answer made via a message board or forum there’s a landslide of inaccurate ones.
But the look hard enough and there are not only sites which give you access to a wealth of information but also allow you ask the experts your questions directly online, for FREE. And that is where you could save a fortune small fortune.
Personal finance / financial advice
When it comes to financial advice I would always advocate seeking independent financial advice but there are sites which allow you to ask experts questions directly.
Moneytothemasses.com – My own site. Packed full of articles, guides and tips, Plus you can ask questions (via the box in the right hand column) on topics from investing, mortgages, property, pensions, insurance, money saving, debt, savings and tax.
Cashquestions.com – Run by Annie Shaw. This site allows you to ask money questions of a panel of financial journalists and experts.
Also have a read of my article Where to get free financial advice.
pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk – This is an independent voluntary organisation that is grant-aided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They provide information and guidance to members of the public on all pension matters, covering state, company, personal and stakeholder schemes. And they run live Q&A sessions every month.
Tax & Accounting
AccountingWEB.co.uk – is an independent online community for accounting and finance professionals in the UK . But they also allow members to ask questions which their expert members will answer.
www.taxvol.org.uk – This site is an independent free tax advice service for older people on low incomes who cannot afford to pay for professional advice. Again visitors can pose questions.
Car buying & Mechanics
Honestjohn.co.uk – I can’t speak highly enough of this site. I love it. Let’s get one thing straight, I know nothing about cars but with the help of the information and guides on this site I was not only able to confidently find and buy a second hand car (and avoid the usual pitfalls) but I even had one garage owner ask if I worked in the trade as I looked over a car. I kid you not!. You can even ask Honest John and his in-house mechanic (Alan) questions directly. This site has personally saved me a small fortune.
bubsydogdiy.com – with fewer people moving home and tighter budgets more and more people are turning to the internet for DIY tips and advice. This site is run by Sylvia Marshall and not only provides guides and tips but also answers reader questions, apparently receiving as many as 3,000 a day.
Quora.com - The official line is that “Quora delivers you answers and content from people who share your interests and people who have first-hand knowledge — like real doctors, economists, screenwriters, police officers, and military veterans”. Or in other words allows you to post questions which people knowledgeable in those areas answer. The original premise was to be a hub of experts answering questions. My only criticism is that the site is US dominated, but there are still lot of UK experts on here.
Of course if you are aware of any other sites offering FREE direct access to expert knowledge then let me know by adding a comment below.