FAQs – About us

Q: Why should I pay any fees when most financial advice is free?

Financial advice questionsA: Despite what many would have you believe, there is no such thing as “free” advice. As is the case with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Nevertheless, it is commonly thought that advice which results in the purchase of a commission paying product is “free”. Some of the problems that flow from advice based solely upon commission payments are:

  • conflicts of interest between financial adviser and client may arise – the adviser is limited to recommending a solution that pays him commission
  • valuable advice may be required but overlooked where it does not lead to the purchase of a commission paying product – e.g. tax reduction help, trust advice, or management of existing investment portfolios
  • large commission payments from wealthy clients may be employed to support the cost of advising less wealthy clients

 

Q: What are the differences in your approach?
A: The differences in our approach are:

  • we are able to offset most of our pre-agreed fees on investments with commissions paid to us by product providers
  • we will fully discuss all payment options with you at our first meeting – should you decide that you prefer to use the commission option, we will fully disclose all commissions earned when recommendations are made to you. In most cases fixed fees are agreed upfront and any commission generated is refunded back to clients
  • as fee-based planners, our role is that of trusted adviser and not financial product salesperson
  • we wish to create long-term relationships with our clients, working with them and understanding both their private and business lives, enabling us to offer comprehensive and integrated help and guidance without bias

The results of poor advice can be far more costly than the fees we charge.

Q: What is special about your services?
A: The following are points we consider most important:

  • our holistic approach to financial planning – treating all aspects of your financial life as part of a connected plan – recognising the connections and where possible finding financial solutions that deal with more than any single financial planning issue
  • the emphasis we place on life planning for the future and regularly reviewing your situation
  • our long term approach to client relationships – you will always deal with the same adviser unless you agree to a change
  • relatively high staffing levels to ensure a higher than usual level of service – we are prepared to accept a lower profit margin to achieve this
  • a highly structured approach to the way we carry out any analytical work on your behalf
  • early adoption of the latest technology and approaches to business systems – we have developed our own unique computer software tools to help us ensure you receive an efficient and effective service
  • our range of skills and experience – our advisers have more than 20 years experience each in the financial services industry
  • our programme of continuous professional development and determination to be competent, reliable, proactive and helpful
  • all our fees are pre-agreed with you so you know exactly what it will cost you before we start working on your behalf -any commissions are refunded back to you directly or used to reduce the premiums on your plans
  • our quality of service guarantee

Q: How will your services benefit me?
A: We recognise that people care most about growing their wealth as quickly and safely as possible without wasting money along the way.

  • we help you find ways of growing your wealth at a faster rate and more securely
  • we help you recognise and reduce the inherent risks of life and markets in a way which considerably improves the likelihood of your success
  • we help you do this by selecting the most appropriate strategies
  • we help you choose and manage the best value products available

Q: What happens at an initial introduction meeting?
A: An initial meeting will last approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. At our FREE initial meeting we:

  • introduce our service
  • obtain an overview of your circumstances to determine how we can help
  • provide you with enough information to enable you to decide whether you wish to utilise our services

This meeting is held entirely at our expense and without obligation. At the close of the meeting, should you decide to proceed, another FREE in-depth “fact finding” meeting is scheduled. Here, we obtain full details of your current circumstances and help you define your financial planning goals and objectives.

Q: How much time will be needed to look after my affairs?
A: As an individual client, once the initial series of meetings is concluded, we may require as little as one meeting each year. If you are a retired client, meetings every 3 years may be all that is necessary. However all clients affairs are reviewed by post every year. This together with all telephone based advise is also delivered at no extra fee. Although this does not seem sensible from our point of view, it is better to deliver this advice at no extra charge than unravel mistakes made by clients put off from calling us for advice, by a charge.

Q: What sort of guarantee do I have on the quality of your service?
A: We want you to be delighted with the work we do for you, and are therefore pleased to offer an unconditional service guarantee. If our service falls short of your expectations for any individual transaction, we will refund any amount that you consider to be appropriate, up to the total fee for that transaction, irrespective of our views.

Q: What areas of the country do you cover?
A: We generally cover clients within 1 hours drive of our office in Royston, Hertfordshire. As such most (but not all) of our clients are based in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Essex and London.