We talk to our clients a lot about ‘the journey’. That means something different to each of our clients. Why? Because we each have our own, very personal, destination.
Our job is very simple, to understand that destination, and then plot a financial path to help you reach it.
Simple it may be, but as Lao Tzu said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
That initial step must be taken by you; we can’t do it for you. But once you take that step, we’ll be with you on that journey for as long as you need us by your side.
Before we can start your financial planning journey, we need to understand each other. We use our first meeting to share experiences, ideas and values.
This first meeting is important for us to jointly establish if we can add real value to you. It is held without obligation and at our expense.
If all goes well at our initial meeting, we will start to create a picture of your life. This will include:
- Your aspirations for you and your family
- Your personal goals and ambitions
- Your financial worries, concerns and problems
- Any planning you have already done or considered
- Your appetite for risk
As well as understanding these questions we’ll also collect the facts. Relevant information about your family circumstances, your income, your spending, your current financial situation and so on.
We will also discuss, where relevant, where your money is today, whether that be deposit accounts, investments, pensions, and the like.
Following this information gathering stage, we will then use our expertise to analyse your situation and compare your goals and objectives, with the reality of your financial situation.
We will highlight shortfalls and suggest ways to bridge them. We will point out hidden opportunities and discuss with you, a route for the future.
We will do all we can to ensure that you don’t have to worry about your financial future.
The next step on our journey is to turn your agreed strategy into an actionable plan. Bringing our expertise to bear, we will begin the process of creating a Personalised Financial Life Plan.
This starts with us producing:
- Income and Expenditure Statements for now and the future
- A lifetime cash forecast based on those statements
- A net worth statement based on your assets and liabilities
We then carry out a market leading psychometric risk profiling test. This explores in more detail your risk tolerance and allows us to recommend the right investment options.
Using these outputs we can compare to your aspirations and goals to see what, if any, gap needs to be closed.
If there is no gap we will discuss with you any missed opportunities or other potential ideas to further enhance your position.
If there are gaps we will discuss the pros and cons of:
- Opportunities to close the gap based on different scenarios
- Potential financial products that may assist
- Investment opportunities and ideas
This is not about us telling you what to do. This is about using our many years of experience in these matters to help you understand your options and opportunities. This is after all, your plan, not ours.
After this session, we will write to you summarising what we discussed and agreed as an approach. This gives you the chance, and time to digest, consider, and if necessary clarify and discuss with us further.
Once you are happy with your financial plan we will start taking the steps needed to implement it.
You are under no obligation to implement your plan through us, but given the process we have come through together, most of our clients do.
Where appropriate, we will prepare and process all the paperwork, liaise with any financial product providers and take you through any policy terms and arrangements.
We are also happy to work with existing accountants or solicitors if you have them.
Financial planning is an ongoing process.
As your circumstances change or if there are changes to external factors such as tax or legislative changes, we will reassess your strategy.
As a matter of course we offer:
- Annual meeting with an adviser
- Face-to-face meetings at any time by arrangement
- We will monitor and advise you on all aspects of your investment portfolio to ensure you remain on track for achieving your goals. This will include portfolio monitoring and reweighting of any asset allocations to relevant benchmarks
- Online access to your information 24/7
- Unlimited phone and email contact with our advisers
- Regular updates from us on relevant investment, tax or market information
- Administrative services if you require help with any paperwork
That last part is vital, we’ll keep that plan under constant review. Being knocked off course by just a few degrees can mean you ultimately end up miles from where you need to be. A regular review will help to pull you back and keep you aiming true.
We firmly believe that the best financial planners are those who specialise in working with only certain types of clients. That way they build an in-depth knowledge of the financial challenges, issues, problems, and of course, solutions, of those groups.