There are numerous areas where financial advisers can add value to their clients. Here we have broken them down into three branches …
- Money – portfolio, investment and risk management value
- Goals – financial, protection and planning value
- Confidence – trust, coaching and wellbeing value
Managing your money branch
- Sequence of return risk mitigation – there is a pernicious risk that few investors are aware of. It can have a massive impact on how long your pension fund will last – in the worst case it could reduce your income by nine years or more. We can help you plan and take the simple but effective steps to mitigate that risk.
- Investment due diligence – we conduct rigorous due diligence on all your investments and research all the funds and products that we use. With over 9000 instruments in the UK, we save your time whilst giving you peace of mind. Few investors are aware of a feature called pre-funding. We look at the most efficient platforms to hold your investments to make sure that tax refunds and time delays are minimised.
- Portfolio management and rebalancing – we use sophisticated modelling tools to try to maximise your return for a given level of risk/risk tolerance. We are seeking better potential performance without the downside. We also keep your portfolio up to date and keep up to date with developments and lower cost solutions.
- Investment and platform cost savings – reducing costs and boosting efficiency can compound up to big differences over the years. We have access to portfolios that cost from 0.4% per year versus the average managed fund of 1.37% per year (source: Money Management). Wrap platforms can add real value and make portfolio management easier.
- Diversification – "don't put all your eggs in one basket". A well-diversified portfolio can deliver the returns that you seek with a lower amount of risk. We use sophisticated tools to help you achieve the returns you need, within the risk tolerance you have.
- Tax efficiency – we use all applicable tax reliefs and allowances each year, thus helping your money grow faster. Estimates suggest that this could boost returns by 1% per year – so on a £100,000 investment that would be £1,000 per year.
- Risk assessment – risk is a complex subject with many dimensions. Our expertise and structured questions will help you navigate and understand risk to ensure the solutions we recommend meet your needs.
Achieving your goals branch
- Pensions freedoms – the freedom to draw your pension benefits was introduced in 2015 and were initially trumpeted as offering great choice for consumers. But it has become clear that planning and managing income from a pension pot is far more complex than initially thought. Understanding sequence risk and asset class returns vs inflation; establishing a sustainable withdrawal rate; managing life and health longevity; and planning cashflow over four decades is well beyond most investors – especially as they move into later life.
- Intergenerational and charity planning – student debt and rising house prices have put huge pressures on the next generation so it is little surprise that parents and grandparents want to help but what are the most effective and secure routes? How do you gift but retain family control? What are the tax implications of gifts or a house purchase?
- Estate planning, wills and Power of Attorney – managing the transition of wealth from one generation to the next is a complex area. We have many years' experience in this area and work closely with other professionals.
- Reducing debt – many people try to save while at the same time have credit card or other expensive debt. We can help build a short-term plan/budget that combines reducing debt, building rainy day savings and looking to the future.
- Avoiding common pitfalls – sticking to a plan can be hard when markets are up or down substantially – and humans are proven to be poor at making good decisions. Research shows that investors may be losing up to 2% per year by falling into common traps – we assist in avoiding these.
- Insurance and trust planning – using trusts, wills and other strategies we can make sure your money ends up in the hands of the people you want, when you want. Poor planning can see up to 40% of your hard-earned savings or life assurance paid to the tax man.
- Financial goals – when Alice asks the Cheshire Cat, "Would you tell me, please which way I ought to go from here?" the Cat replies, "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to". It is the same for all of us – the first stage in achieving your long-term financial goals is to have clarity of what they are.
- Cashflow modelling – people find it hard (or impossible) to project returns, costs, inflation and their income needs into the future – we use powerful but simple tools that will illustrate this for you. Seeing a picture of your future "money in and out" can really put into perspective how your plan is progressing.
- Liaising with your accountant / solicitor – our experience of working with accountancy and solicitors' practices gives a great knowledge of tax and legal matters – both personal and corporate.
Giving you confidence branch
- FSCS and PI Insurance cover – we can look at how best to maximise your protection under the Financial Services Compensation scheme (FSCs) so your investments are "safer".
- Our experience – we have many years of experience in dealing with the ups and downs of financial life – we can help with a business sale, planning a legacy or receiving an inheritance.
- Coaching behaviours – humans have evolved to survive over many thousands of years. Unfortunately, we have also learned some bad habits and biases in the process. Part of our role is to act as a coach – helping you avoid these mistakes and guide you to a better future.
- Holding your hand through difficult times – divorce, death, redundancy and making wills are all stressful times. We have experience, expertise and understanding to assist and guide you through them.
- Expertise and qualifications – we have built our expertise over many years. We are fully qualified financial advisers, regulated by the FCA. And we are required to maintain minimum standards and conduct regular Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Keeping up to date with all financial matters allows us to give you the best possible advice.
- Achieving your goals – we help work out and achieve your financial goals. We ask you questions in a relaxed but structured way; we help you understand risks and opportunities and we build a clear plan for your future.
- Making the complex simple – while we are experienced and well qualified, we never forget whose money we are looking after. The simpler we can make your plan the more likely you are to stick to it – and that's a key measure of our success.
- Building trust in your financial future – understanding your objectives allows us to be alert to opportunities – new products, new tax freedoms, better strategies. We are your eyes and ears in the ever-changing tax, legal and product markets.
If you are an IFA and would like a word version of the “Value Tree Sales Aid” to use with clients please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org