A financial disclaimer is a legal statement about financial information included to reduce liability for the source of that information. Disclaimers are used in a variety of settings to address concerns about legal liability for financial information and associated materials. Finance websites often include such disclaimers, and they may also be used in other publications like magazines and books. In essence, the disclaimer states that the party providing information is not legally responsible for how it is used.
Legal disclaimers usually include several components. In the case of a financial disclaimer, the statement clearly indicates that the material provided is for research and information purposes only, and does not constitute advice or recommendations. Any products referenced or linked in the material are not endorsed by the author and people who choose to pursue particular products or services cannot hold the author liable for any losses or other problems experienced.
The financial disclaimer says it is not a replacement for advice from an accountant or personal finance advisor. Reading financial information does not create a professional relationship and providing financial information for research does not mean that someone is running a finance or advising business. A financial disclaimer also usually includes a note to the effect that while the information is as accurate as possible, there may be errors, and the author is not responsible for those errors.
The purpose of a financial disclaimer is to disavow any responsibility for the consequences of using material provided. If someone reads an article about gold investing in a magazine, for example, and decides to invest heavily in gold, the magazine is not responsible for any losses incurred if the gold turns out to be a bad investment. Likewise, sites providing information on how to manage debt or household budgeting are not responsible for decisions made on the basis of that information.
Printing a financial disclaimer allows a person to provide financial information without worries about legal liability if the information is misused or is not entirely accurate. Information produced for the public is designed to be general, providing an overview, and may not be applicable to every situation. People providing financial information for general research purposes cannot prevent people from applying that information inappropriately or failing to read and comprehend the information, but they can issue a disclaimer to warn people that they cannot be held liable for how the information is used.