Why would I need a financial adviser?
There is a mis-conception that financial advisers are only for the wealthy. However, they are there to guide you through all your changing circumstances throughout your life. As circumstances and lifestyles change so do your financial needs and objectives. It doesn't matter how much money you do or do not have, with correct financial advice you can keep on track whatever life throws at you.
Your adviser will firstly want to understand which products you have, your current financial position, your goals and how you feel about taking risks with your money.
This will help them to recommend a financial plan and products that are right for you now and in the future.
Here are some questions that you might want to ask us before deciding whether to proceed.
Are you approved by the FCA?
We are regulated and approved by the FCA, and you can check the Register to ensure we are.
If you use an adviser that is not approved by the FCA, you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.
Our FCA registered number is: 465610
What experience and qualifications do you have?
The FCA has increased the minimum standards of qualification that financial advisers have to meet to ensure their knowledge is up to date.
Advisers now have to be qualified at Level 4 or above of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (equivalent to the first year of a university degree).
Professional advisers also need to obtain an annual Statement of Professional Standing (SPS).
All of our advisers are fully qualified to at least level 4 and have up to date SPS. Please ask us to show you our qualifications and SPS.
What type of advice do you offer?
Financial advisers can offer ‘Independent' advice, where they can consider products and providers from the whole market or ‘restricted' advice, which is limited to certain products, providers or both.
All of our advisers offer Independent advice from the "whole of market”.
What are your charges?
It is important to understand what fees and charges you will pay for advice and when you will be expected to pay.
We will agree with you how you will pay for the advice you receive. We will often give you the option of whether the fee can be taken from your initial investment rather than being paid up front.
We will outline if there is a fee for an initial consultation.
If you are not clear about the costs at any stage please ask us. Professional advice is very valuable and we want you to understand the costs as well as the benefits.
We have a duty to tell you upfront how much our advice and service costs.
How do you assess my financial needs?
We will outline to you the process that we use to decide how to advise you and what to recommend to you.
We will ask questions about your current provision, your circumstances, plans, goals, attitude to risk, and any expected changes.
Our advice does not necessarily lead to a product sale. Our role is to assess your needs and show you how to reach your goals. This service is paid for by you rather than being dependent on you taking out a product
How do you assess whether a product or investment has the right level of risk for me?
We will explain what we consider your risk profile to be and how each recommendation or product fits in with this. We use specialist tools and detailed conversation to assess this for each client.
If you think you are prepared to take more or less risk than we suggests, please ask us to explain how we decided your risk profile and whether it should be changed.
It is important to us that you are confident that our advice is right for you and you should be happy to ask any questions that you want to.
Do you offer an ongoing service and how much does it cost?
As well as providing an initial recommendation, a core part of our service is regular review.
This might be an annual review to check the value of your investments and consider any changes to your circumstances, checking your risk profile, make sure you are not missing tax saving opportunities, improving the tax effectiveness of your portfolio etc.
You do not necessarily have to use the ongoing service but if you decide to we will explain the options and fee involved.
How often should I review my investments?
Most experts suggest that at least once a year is sensible to ensure your investments are in line with your risk profile.
There are often budget changes that will add or remove tax allowances – it is important to review these regularly to make sure you don't miss out.