1. Information gathering
The initial meeting is at our cost. The purpose is to gather information about you and your financial circumstances.
This process will enable us to gain an understanding of your future plans, aspirations and objectives. If we are to help you with your money, we need to understand what you want from your money.
In collating your current personal and financial circumstances – it is important that we are ‘able to step into your shoes’ as only then can we truly understand your position.
As part of the process we will collate data relating to your existing arrangements which will in turn need to be reviewed.
We will also discuss investment risk and the impact this has on your money, goals and objectives.
Your adviser will also make observations regarding potential areas of exposure and risk within your affairs along with opportunities and solutions
The engagement letter: this letter will follow on from the above meeting providing details of the work we anticipate carrying out for you and an estimate of our fee for the work.
2. Strategy and recommendation
The strategy meeting: the purpose of this is to devise a strategy to assist in achieving your goals and aspirations, devise a way forward and agree between us how this is implemented.
This could incorporate a review of your existing affairs and existing investment provision, how assets should be allocated, tax wrapper analysis, protection needs analysis, mortgage review, tax planning and assessment of state pension provision.
The suitability report: suggests a strategy or strategies to meet or make progress towards your objectives.
The Statement of Account: by following the above steps the initial advice process has been completed by us and implemented by you and we now expect our initial costs to be met. The fee will not contain any surprises as we will have provided you with an estimate in our engagement letter.
The annual review: your circumstances and objectives will change through time. It is therefore important that plans are reviewed and adapted. Our review process will include:
- a valuation of your investments.
- a review of performance of your portfolio.
- most importantly – progress towards your objectives.
Ideally we would like to meet with you to discuss the progress you have made towards your objectives and discuss any changes in your circumstances or objectives and the impacts of these changes.
We invest your money for you, for your future objectives and ambitions. For example, school fees for your children, their marriage and your retirement and other considerations. We must understand what is important to you, and what your priorities are.
First, it is vitally important that we understand your objectives, prioritising them and the timeframe to which we must adhere; volatility in the investment values is less acceptable if the money is needed in the short term, but the growth potential which is inherent with increased volatility is more valuable for longer term investments to help combat the impact of inflation.
Secondly, we have to understand your personal tolerance for investment risk. This is not an easy area and in our experience a good starting point is the completion of a risk profiling questionnaire. If this is completed prior to a meeting it can be used as a discussion document to ensure that the level of investment risk you are willing to take is fully understood by us. There may be occasions where we need to advise:
- That in order to have a chance of reaching your objective a higher level of investment risk needs to be taken than you may initially be comfortable with.
- That your objective can be met even if you take a lower level of investment risk than your actual risk profile dictates.
Secondly, we believe in diversifying across different assets so that the investment spread prevents the risk of substantial underperformance of one holding affecting the portfolio. We need to take account of your existing investments, and your own views of investing; invariably safer, lower risk assets will dominate recommendations for shorter term objectives, and higher risk assets will have an increased influence in meeting longer term objectives.
Thirdly, we will select the tax wrapper that limits the amount of tax taken by the government, leaving you to enjoy as much of the investment growth as possible. For example, saving for retirement may well point us to a pension fund, investing for your children may well point us to a trust.
Finally, we will look to review the above process with you annually as your objectives, your attitude to risk, and government legislation can change.
We offer a fully comprehensive range of financial solutions to individual and corporate clients including:
Savings and Investments structures
Personal advice tailored for regular savings and lump sums to achieve your future plans such as school fees, rainy day funds and holiday homes etc.
Funding for your “longest holiday” − bespoke solutions for both pre and ‘at retirement’ to meet your objectives now and in the future.
This includes family and mortgage protection, critical illness cover and income protection. We offer comprehensive solutions sourced from the whole of the market by protection specialists.
Impartial advice for all areas of your business to include business protection, employee benefits, pensions, keyman insurance and succession planning.
Getting the Tax Right
All year round tax planning to include strategies with the aim of mitigating Inheritance Tax. A good time to start may be now.