Nearly all financial advisers use some type of fact-finding process when first meeting with clients or prospects. However, these questions usually focus on assets and net worth and do relatively little to uncover who the clients really are. In contrast, our process consists of seven categories—only one of which concerns assets.
We create a Total Client Profile for each prospect or client during our initial Discovery Meeting. To build the profile, we ask a series of questions around seven major themes so that we can understand where you are now, where you want to go and what the gaps are.
We will meet with you to discuss your requirements. With your agreement, we will prepare a cash-flow model and current situation report that will outline your current financial position, highlight your future
objectives and consider your attitude to risk.
We will then analyse your current position and based on our extensive knowledge of financial markets, we will diligently research potential solutions for your needs.
We offer advice on an “Independent” basis.
This means that we provide unbiased, unrestricted advice based on a comprehensive and fair analysis of the relevant market, giving due consideration to the full range of retail investment, pension and life products available in the marketplace which may be suitable for you.
When we have all the information we require, a full Financial Planning Report will be devised to paint a clear picture of your current position and outline a clear and thoroughly researched recommendation for the solution we believe to be in your best interests.
Having devised your Financial Plan, we then create an Investment Plan for you. Setting the correct asset allocation is a fundamental foundation of our Investment Plan. In order to set the right asset allocation, we have detailed conversations with you about your goals, as well as your financial situation, risk tolerance, contribution and spending levels, and time horizon. Having a clear set-out investment plan will allow us to protect you against the common behavioral pitfalls.
The Importance of the "Right Plan"
Knowing where you are today, is just the first step in making a Financial Plan. However, it is not knowing where you are, but understanding where you are going and how to get there, that is the real key.
Having the right financial plan in place, is a key element to ensuring that our on-going advice will help you get to where you want to be. That is why we use powerful cash flow planning software, which helps us to establish the following: -
Where are you now?
Where do you want to be?
What are all the ways to help you get there?
Of all the possible ways, which is the most suitable for you?
For example, it helps answer questions such as "when can we retire?" or "how much can I spend for the rest of my life, without needing to worry about running out of money?". These questions have important considerations and may impact the types of solutions that may be appropriate.
The 2 videos here, demonstrate how the software can be used to help you visualise your goals and what you need to do to ensure you achieve them.
"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where—" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"—so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
Extract from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
For clients still working
If you have retired
Once you feel that you are in a position to make a fully informed decision to proceed and you have given us your consent to do so, we will begin the process of implementing our recommendations. We will assist you in completing all of the relevant forms and ensuring your applications are processed by the relevant investment houses and providers in a timely manner.
Cost-effective implementation is a critical component of our proposition and it’s based on simple arithmetic: gross return minus costs = net return. Every pound paid in charges is a pound off your potential returns – and that’s true in up markets and down. Moreover, just like returns, costs compound over time. So, creating a cost-effective portfolio on day one could really reap rewards over the long-term.
We offer a face to face, web, or telephone review meeting at least annually which we will contact you to arrange. The review will include a review of your circumstances, goals and investment performance, together with a review of your attitude to risk to identify changes in your profile and to confirm the ongoing appropriateness of your portfolio against your attitude to risk.
We will also include an annual rebalancing of your portfolio, if required. Because different assets perform differently, the initial weighting will drift over time. Typically, because equities outperform bonds over the long term, the equity weighting would be likely to increase at the expense of bonds. And because equities are riskier than bonds, the result is a portfolio that is riskier, than we would have originally planned.