Understand how financial planning works, what you can expect from us at each stage of your journey and how we ensure you have the greatest chance of success in realising your financial goals.
We very much see the start of our relationship with clients as the start of a journey, and our role as “co-pilots” to your destination of choice.
We’ll help you identify where you’d like to arrive in terms of your lifestyle and your finances, make a plan to help you get there via the quickest, most convenient and understandable route possible, and then accompany you every step of the way, helping you reroute if things change and you need a new plan.
Unlike many larger firms, we don’t channel our clients into set pathways, or use “off-the-peg” solutions. We offer a more bespoke service, tailored to your specific needs and with the flexibility to adapt to your changing life circumstances and needs, as well as the changing wider world, with creativity and speed.
However, we recognise that you may like to know what will happen, particularly in your initial meetings with us. The information below is intended to help you understand how we work and what you can expect from us.
When you make contact with us to discuss your requirements, we will offer you an initial meeting at our cost, to discuss your needs and our services.
During this meeting, we will complete a comprehensive fact-find and agree your financial goals and objectives. We will also establish your attitude to and understanding of risk.
We will then undertake a comprehensive review of your current plans, investment and assets, and help you decide which service is the most appropriate for you should you wish to continue working with us.
If you wish to engage our services, we will ask you to sign the Client Authority Form and confirm your agreement to the fees before any work begins.
What we do for you in the planning stages of our work will depend on the outcomes you wish to achieve. However, it will typically include the following:
Establishing and prioritising your goals for the short, medium and long term. This is very important in allowing us to measure all your current arrangements and forecast outcomes against those outcomes you want to achieve.
We will help you to understand your assets, any investments, pensions and policies you have, and their structure, tax efficiency and whether they are appropriate for your circumstances.
We will ask you details of your income, expenditure and liabilities and examine these to identify whether it is in your best interests for these to be retained, restructured or repaid.
We will then typically produce a lifetime cash flow analysis for you, which will project what you can reasonably expect your future income and expenditure to be over the course of the rest of your life. Cash flow forecasting allows us to carefully examine the impact that different life scenarios may have on your projected lifetime cash flow position and recommend alternative courses of action where your financial security could be at risk.
We may discuss estate planning with you, identify tax planning strategies that you could be utilising, and will, importantly, discuss how you feel about risk.
Where we believe it will help you achieve your aims, we will design an investment strategy for you, researching, selecting and recommending suitable providers for your investment, pension and/or protection needs.
We will present all our findings and recommendations to you in a face-to-face meeting and give you ample opportunity to ask all the questions you need to be able to decide on the path you wish to take.
If you decide that you would like to proceed with our recommendations, we will implement those changes you want to move forward with. We will undertake all the resulting administration as agreed, co-ordinating with your providers and absorbing the hard work, so you don’t have to. Of course, we will keep you informed of our progress at every step with regular communication.
We believe we can add the most value to our clients’ lives when we are able to build long-term relationships. By doing so, we can support you along the journey and be there if life presents challenges that necessitate a change to your plan.
If you opt to engage with our ongoing support, you can expect:
- Reviews – on an annual (or bi-annual as agreed) basis we will reaffirm with you our understanding of your objectives and risk strategy, confirm to you the current portfolio values and performance, and undertake a fee and ongoing service banding review. We will review funds and recommend any changes required. We will confirm ongoing suitability and recommend any changes required.
- Face to face meetings as agreed.
- Assistance in gaining online access to portfolio valuations where available.
- Telephone and email access to your adviser and/or other team members as required.
- Ongoing monitoring of investment funds.
- Ongoing and regular due diligence reviews of providers.
- Occasional financial planning updates where relevant such as investment comment, legal or budgetary changes.