Investments

We offer a range of financial advice services, however, the majority of our work is with investments and portfolio management, and investment planning for those nearing retirement. We achieve this effectively by working closely with the client and the investment managers concerned, involving the client with the investment decisions and ongoing monitoring in the future. This ensures that a satisfactory outcome is achieved.

We start with a blank sheet of paper and an open mind. We take a far-sighted holistic view and consider all likely eventualities to ensure that the client's needs are satisfied; with this approach we expect to secure for our clients financial security and peace of mind.

As Independent Financial Advisers, there are many investment strategies we could recommend, but for larger sums we normally prefer to incorporate the use of an appointed investment manager to act strictly within our guidelines. The advantage of this approach is that it gives the combined expertise of both Financial Adviser and Stockbroker to create a bespoke investment strategy with a two-tier investment management system; and this with optimum tax-efficiency. This approach has many benefits and safeguards, including that of reducing risk, and therefore has a greater likelihood of achieving success.

Once the investments are in place, we monitor the portfolio to ensure that it performs satisfactorily and continues to suit the client's needs. This would involve the investment manager when necessary, to make adjustments according to market conditions. No important investment decisions are made without our agreement. We normally involve the client with these discussions, including meeting the investment managers concerned. This gives reassurance and involvement with investment decisions.
Portfolio review

We are frequently asked to review an existing portfolio of investments to assess whether they are still appropriate and performing satisfactorily. Circumstances change, and we consider the clients overall situation and future expectations, together with any change in attitude to investment risk. Finally, these considerations should be viewed in conjunction with tax-efficiency, both during lifetime and upon death.

In reviewing an investment portfolio it is important to consider the following:
  • What is the main purpose of the investment?
  • Is income required?
  • Does the investment suit my outlook on investment risk?
  • Has the portfolio performed satisfactorily?
  • Are the underlying investments or funds appropriate?
  • Is there a suitable overall spread and balance to the portfolio?
  • Is the portfolio suitable for the current requirements?
  • Is there any particular time-scale involved?
  • Is the portfolio tax-efficient?
  • Should I be planning for Inheritance Tax (IHT)?
  • Who will be the beneficiaries of my assets and have I made appropriate provisions in a Will?

We will be pleased to carry out a brief analysis of an existing portfolio, and report verbally without charge

Pensions

We carry out periodic reviews of pensions to ensure that the funding is adequate and the underlying investments are suitable and performing satisfactorily. However, most of our pension work is assisting clients with taking the pension benefits at retirement. This is a time when important decisions have to be made in order to maximise pension benefits.
  • In reviewing your pension it is important to consider the following:
  • What pension income will I realistically need in retirement?
  • What is the value of my pensions, including those with previous employers?
  • Will my pension be adequate?
  • What are the options for my pensions when I retire?
These are the issues we expect to address when carrying out a pension review, in order to ensure that no pensions are 'lost' and to assist in making retirement comfortable and secure.

Financial Security

Financial security is brought about by many factors, including building capital and pension benefits during working life. It can also be about securing what you already have, and about life insurance and securing income if you are unable to work.

Achieving financial security is about creating a framework of measures to minimise financial risk and managing your affairs in a way that secures your future. All this, as well as minimising tax during your lifetime and upon your death.

Tax and Estate Planning

Not necessarily an interesting subject, but certainly more appealing than paying unnecessary tax. Frequently, excessive tax is paid throughout a lifetime, both on income and also tax on investments. But the main area of unnecessary tax is Inheritance Tax (IHT). There are various means by which this can be avoided, but these are becoming increasingly unreliable or fraught with other problems. Some solutions are costly in themselves, others have possible undesirable consequences. Each case is different and should be analysed accordingly.

If you believe Inheritance Tax might be a concern, simply add up the value of your entire estate (including insurance policies) and ring us if you believe you might have a problem.

Note: Not all Tax Planning is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.