Investment Advice

Deciding what to do with your money has always been difficult but recent economic conditions have made a difficult decision harder.  The right advice can be invaluable.

In the period before the credit crunch we enjoyed relatively good savings rates and many of us, particularly those in retirement, found our savings income very pleasing.  

These days it can be difficult to find savings products which provide us with an inflation-beating rate, particularly for tax-payers.  Those of us relying on our savings to provide for us in the future may find the same amount of money is worth considerably less when the time comes.  Those of us relying on our money now may find they are depleting their savings instead of spending the interest.

For these reasons many people are now considering investing, perhaps for the first time.  Many of these people may be reliant on their lump sums to provide for them and their families now or in the future.

You may feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Do you keep your funds as cash and face the risk that inflation will erode them over time or face the uncertainty and risk of investing?  If this is your dilemma our investment planning advice can help you pursue the gains you need within the level of risk and uncertainty you can afford to take.

Investing doesn't just mean "stocks and shares"

When people think of investment they often think of the stock market and alarming headlines, but stocks and shares are only one type of investment asset.  Other types of investment asset are available 
such as cash, bonds and property, with varying expected risk levels.  Diversifying or "spreading your bets" is normally a vital part of investment planning.

Furthermore, protected or guaranteed investments may be available - these are investments where the provider offers a form of guarantee.  Typically they offer lower growth potential than non-guaranteed investments but for some clients they can be appropriate.

For example, some investment providers may offer investments which guarantee a fixed minimum income for life, no matter what the performance of the underlying fund.
Others might offer a guarantee of capital after a fixed term.

Our Investment Process 

ISAs - Bonds - Unit Trusts - OEICs - Investment Trusts - Offshore Investment - Annuities

We follow a strict investment process which requires at least two meetings.  Before we begin in earnest however we will have a chat with our client, by telephone or face to face, to ascertain if investment or financial advice is right for them. It's not unusual for us to recommend that clients do not invest. For example, if they have possible upcoming expenses which may require them to make early withdrawals from their investment or if they have a mortgage they could pay off instead.

1.  Factfinding

The first step of the process is to complete a thorough factfind with the client.  This normally takes 1-2 hours and may need us to do some extra work behind the scenes, for instance contacting the providers of any existing investments (with the client's written authorisation) for exact information.  This factfind ensures that we know as much as possible about not only the “hard facts” of the client's situation but also the “soft facts” - their opinions, hopes, concerns and preferences.  

e would assess and, where possible, quantify the financial goals the client wishes to achieve, the risks which mighty stop them achieving them and how these risks may be minimised.  We would also identify concurrent needs and goals, assess how these may conflict and help the client prioritise where necessary. We assess the client's tax situation in order to ensure any recommendations are as tax-efficient as possible.  This might mean using a client's ISA allowances year-on-year, using investments which make use of any unused capital gains tax allowance, or investing in tax-deferred solutions like investment bonds.

2.  Researching

When we have as detailed an understanding as possible of the client's circumstances, needs, goals and preferences, we would then commence our research.  This normally takes a minimum of two weeks but can take longer depending on the complexity of the case.  We complete this in-house using our software and or web-based professional research tools and databases and may also engage with providers of potentially suitable investments.  Lastly, we have every client recommendation checked by a our compliance services agency prior to presentation.

3.  Creating a Portfolio

After completing our research we then recommend a course of action and an investment portfolio to best meet our client's needs.  Our approach to portfolio planning is of course driven first and foremost by our individual client's needs, but as a general rule we will prioritise prudence, diversity and consistency:

4.  Ongoing Reviews

It is important to keep track of investments and adapt them to changes in the economic climate, our client's personal circumstances and their changing preferences.  We normally recommend annual reviews and quarterly statements but this may vary on a case per case basis.

Next Steps

If you wish to take advice on a new or existing investment portfolio or simply wish to discuss the options, do feel free to contact us.

Telephone:   02920 009 479 

Or you can message us from this website by clicking here.