How We Are Paid
The start of the relationship
We offer a holistic financial planning service that includes a regular review and rebalancing service in relation to your investments, pensions and other financial arrangements for which we are appointed as your servicing intermediary. In other words, it is a composite professional service that does not simply focus on the implementation and ongoing review of investments, which may differ to the approach you have experienced with a financial adviser, for example.
Before engaging with a new client, we provide an initial confidential exploratory meeting either at our offices or by telephone or virtually, using one of the video platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or FaceTime. Currently, we do not charge for an exploratory meeting and they do not imply any obligation for either party to formally engage.
The purpose of the exploratory meeting is to establish whether we are able to provide value for money for you. In order to answer that question, we will want to gain a broad understanding of your aspirations, concerns, and your circumstances; and you will want to know how we work with clients and have an overview of our approach and be clear about what you will be expected to pay.
When we start work
We appreciate that people have different needs and objectives. Whether we are asked to assist a personal or a corporate client, we treat each in the manner we would expect to be treated ourselves – with professionalism, confidentiality and understanding.
At the start of our relationship, we will co-produce a bespoke financial plan with you and for you. This is included in stages 1-3 of The Financial Empowerment Programme™. Having a documented financial plan that encompasses all areas of your life, creates a sound platform from which you can then make logical and meaningful decisions about what you do with your financial arrangements.
We charge a fixed fee for these first three stages, part of which is paid at the start of the process and the balance is paid at the conclusion of stage three, when we have completed your Strategy Platform™ Report and we have delivered generic advice on your options in terms of any potential changes or implementation work which may be required.
Implementing your plan
This is the stage at which we make the transition from financial planning to financial advice; and commence the process of implementation. Financial advice is also a regulated activity and where we have to cover the cost of regulation, compliance and professional indemnity within our fee structure.
Traditionally financial advice has been paid for by the adviser receiving a larger initial commission or initial adviser charge on transactions (invariably followed by smaller but regular payments, sometimes referred to as ‘renewal commission.’) and funding any prior planning work out of these higher fees or commissions paid.
Internally, we refer to this as the ‘Old World’ and believe that there is always the danger that advisers operating this way will be driven by the need to maximise their fees or commission, rather than meeting the particular needs of their client.
Because you will have already paid an explicit fee for the financial planning work, we reduce our fees for any implementation work that we do for you. We also offer choice and flexibility on how we charge initial implementation fees for regulated and specific financial, investment and pensions advice.
Our fees for any professional work in relation to implementation may be charged as a fixed fee (estimated in advance) a percentage of an amount invested or transferred or on a time-cost basis using predetermined hourly rates for each team member. We also offer choice on how the fees are paid – either by way of an invoice to your business or you personally (depending upon the nature of the professional work) or by way of an initial ‘adviser charge’ that is facilitated through your investment/pensions provider or platform.
Committed to long-term partnerships
We would contend that the vast majority of the value that we provide for clients is through the long-term relationship and the regular service that we provide.
It is vitally important that both your financial plan and any investments, savings, pensions and protection policies are reviewed on a regular basis.
Our ongoing fees are typically charged as a percentage of any funds under influence. We are proud of our compliance record which gives us the confidence to offer a no quibble satisfaction assurance to all clients.
We believe that financial planning is both an art and a science, and this approach has resulted in a growing portfolio of satisfied clients, whose personal recommendations continue to generate the majority of our new business.
Remember, good advice is never expensive and is always good value for money.
Full details of our fees are clearly set out in our Client Agreement, which we are happy to send out to you.