What Do We Do?
1. Help people live the lives they want (within their financial resources). We encourage and support change, for example moving from a highly paid but unfulfilling career, spending more time with their families, travel, philanthropy or achieving a particular goal.
2. Devise a financial plan to achieve the points in 1.
3. Arrange investments and financial products to achieve the financial plan. For those who already have investment managers and IFAs, we are happy to work alongside them rather than do this ourselves.
For some it is a 'financial GP' and 'hand-holding' service. For others it is more analytical and perhaps a second opinion.
- Regular reviews (usually annually) keep everything on the right track.
- We are proactive - for example if a change in law affects your Will we instigate the appropriate changes.
- Some people find money worrying - but with our help they can overcome their fears.
We are financial planners and don't take on one-off projects such as school fee planning or pensions, although we do advise on them as part of an overall plan. We don't think any single subject should be treated separately.
How Do We Do It?
First we establish what you and your family want to achieve with your lives and devise a financial plan around this.
We take into account:
- Income and expenditure (current and projected future) - shortfall or surplus?
- Lifetime cash flow forecast: We establish how much capital you need for the rest of your life, taking into account factors such as earnings and pensions, potential inheritances and downsizing home in retirement. This helps you make lifestyle decisions such as whether you can afford to change to a more enjoyable but less remunerative career (many people do not enjoy what they do and find it difficult to change direction) or gift money to your family.
If there is a shortfall it establishes how much more you need to earn and over what period, or alternatively by how much your expenditure should reduce. The point is you will know the direction your finances are going in and be in control of your future.
- Protection/insurance: for example, do you have too much or too little life cover and is it the right type? Should it be in trust?
- Education: how much will it cost including university and how best to pay for it? Do you want to help fund grandchildren's education?
- Investments: are they suitable and are they achieving what you expect? Are they benchmarked to a stock market index or (more realistically) to cost of living increases? Are they only with one manager (risky and poor diversification)? Is the risk appropriate?
- Banking and cash management - does your bank provide a good service? Are their rates competitive? Is your money secure?
- Wills and inheritance tax (IHT) planning: trusts can provide protection against divorce, idleness/profligacy or bankruptcy. A well thought out Will ensures your money goes to the right people at the right time. Is your approach to IHT for your family to inherit the maximum or do you want to pass on a particular asset for example, a picture collection or an estate? IHT should be part of the overall plan.
- Planning for future generations - this is part of IHT planning but concentrates on how families best deal with money passed down to them.
- Most suitable type of mortgage or financing.
- When to take pension benefits? Should you take tax-free cash, buy an annuity or opt for drawdown? What if your pensions exceed the lifetime allowance?
- Setting up charities or foundations and getting family involved.
Working With Other Advisers
We are happy to work with your existing advisers such as solicitor, accountant and investment adviser, or we can provide our own contacts if required.
We frequently liaise/work with other family members eg. a widow may want her children to be involved.