FAQSSome of the questions we get asked…
How do I get the ball rolling?
It’s quick and easy, with no fuss.
We will then arrange to meet you for your free, no obligation initial discussion, so you can see how we can help your financial needs and aspirations.
Are you Independent?
There are two classifications of firms; Independent and Restricted. To be classed as an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) certain regulations must be complied with. We have access to all the products in the market-place and we must consider all options when providing advice. Restricted advisers on the other hand will have access to only a selection of providers or a limited range of products.
Could you tell me what you do?
We are ‘lifestyle planners’ for individuals and businesses and aim to translate your needs and aspirations, whether it be concerns about pension provision, investment performance or protection, into real solutions, by working out a long term plan to achieve them. Click on our What We Do page which provides more details.
How often should I meet with you?
Annual reviews are normal for our clients, although some require us to simply implement a strategy for them, with no further reviews requested. Ongoing reviews allow us to adapt your financial plan as your situation changes, to help you achieve your aspirations. Click on our What We Do page for more information.
What makes you different?
We are a Chartered Financial Planning firm, with our Directors being individually Chartered Financial Planners and achieving Fellowship status of the Personal Finance Society, which is an aspiration all firms and advisers try and achieve. This shows that we have committed to the highest levels of technical knowledge and understanding through professional examinations.
Moreover, we will help you create a financial life plan which brings your goals to life and provides answers to your all-important financial questions. We are by your side, regularly reviewing, for example, the performance of your pensions and investments and checking that they still meet with your objectives.
How do you charge - or rather – how do you get paid?
There are different types of charging structures for the different services we offer, these are both initial and ongoing charges. This is explained in detail in our Client documentation and will be discussed with you fully before we incur any charges on your behalf.
Simply put, for an initial charge we may take an upfront charge for the work we undertake which can be deducted from the investment fund, and for ongoing advice we could arrange to deduct a fee by regular payments. In some instances we can be paid via commission however this is only for protection policies. Either way, your initial review meeting is no obligation and free of charge.
How much do you charge, can you give me an example?
We ensure our fees are fair and competitive, straightforward, easy to understand, and are fully disclosed in our Client documentation - so you know exactly what you’re paying for.
For example, if you were to invest £50,000 lump sum you would incur a 3% initial fee of £1,500, and with a £150,000 lump sum, you would incur an initial fee of 2%, or £3,000. We do apply a maximum fee for very large investments. We would also charge a report writing fee of £1,000.
Should you decide not to proceed with our recommendation, you will only have to pay for the personalised recommendation report.
In relation to ongoing advice, to review your financial goals once a year with an annual client review, we have a minimum fee of £850. To follow on from the above examples, if the value of your investment was £50,000 we would charge our minimum fee, ie, £850. If the value of your investment were £150,000, we would charge a 0.85% fee, ie, £1,175. Again, we apply a maximum fee for very large investment portfolios.
The minimum fee for an annual review is £850.
Please see our What We Do page which provides more detail on how we can help you.
Could you describe your ‘average’ client?
We would never describe any client as average, as each has their own differing set of needs and planning requirements, but we understand sometimes clients like to know how we can help, as different firms may specialise in serving different kinds of people.
For example, if you have a large financial portfolio you may overwhelm an independent financial adviser who is used to dealing with smaller investments. Likewise, many advisory firms specialise in protection only and are unable to provide a wealth management service.
Many of our individual and corporate clients come to us for our expert pensions and investments lifestyle planning service, inheritance tax planning and/or protection advice, to safeguard their family or meet their business needs.
Please see our Case Studies page, to give you an indication of how we have helped clients with similar aspirations.
What support functions do you have available?
IFA firms come in all shapes and sizes. Larger and well established firms like CFPML have specialist teams of people supporting David, Toni and Brian, allowing them to focus on serving our clients.
IFAs working for smaller firms, or individual IFAs, are likely to do most or all of the support work themselves and may struggle to provide the same stability or service levels as a larger firm.
Please see Who We Are which gives a snapshot of each of our employees’ job profiles qualifications & expertise.
Are you Chartered? If not, why not?
Yes we are!
Being Chartered demonstrates a commitment to professional standards and continued professional development. In order to become Chartered, a minimum level of qualification and on-going training must be achieved, and then verified by the Chartered Insurance Institute.
If your existing IFA firm does not hold Chartered status, or perhaps you are looking to select an IFA firm for the first time, you may want to ask why they don’t have Chartered status.
What do I do if I am not happy with your service?
Whilst very unlikely, we have an internal complaints procedure in place, with highly qualified and experienced support staff assisting on all matters to ensure that we strictly adhere to the Financial Conduct Authority’s guidelines on consumer protection.
If you are unhappy with how we have investigated a complaint, this can be referred to the Financial Services Ombudsman, who are an independent regulator who will investigate the complaint from both sides and decide on a resolution. All these details are fully disclosed in our Client documentation.
To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.
I’m interested, what are the next steps?It’s quick and easy, with no fuss.
…we will then arrange to meet you for a free, no obligation initial consultation, following which:-
- We listen to your needs, ambitions and life goals and form a life plan to meet these.
- Establish your attitude and understanding of risk.
- Review your current plans and/or investments.
- Undertake whole of market research to identify appropriate solutions.
- Assess the potential impact of key events on your finances, we do this through cash flow modelling.
- Provide a personalised report and recommendation/s to meet with your life goals.
- Arrange a meeting to discuss the recommendations and how to quickly and simply implement them, with your agreement.
- Depending on the level of service, you may then require our full wealth management service, annual ongoing advice review as detailed in our Services page.
- Remember, our highly qualified and experienced life planners are here to help you and put you in an informed position, so you have confidence with your financial arrangements moving forward.