How we work
When you ask us to give you financial advice we use a tried-and-tested process called the ‘Financial Advice Process’ which, depending on what you want to engage us to do, consists of either three or four specific, very defined, steps.
We’ll review and assess the information we’ve got from you, devise a strategy to meet your goals, gather information about the best products and services to use and compile everything into a detailed proposal. This step can be quite lengthy as we may have to get information and quotes from a variety of organisations across the whole market place. We’ll then meet you again to discuss our proposal, explain our recommendations and answer any questions you may have.
If you accept our recommendation we’ll then put the proposal into action. This could mean setting up a pension scheme, investing assets or arranging a mortgage on your behalf. We’ll keep you up to date with progress as we go along. It’s quite possible that, once we’ve competed this step, we’ll also have completed what you wanted us to do (but we hope you come back to us another day).
The fourth and final step only applies if you’ve asked us to create a long-term plan, for example: setting up a pension scheme or investing assets, and you want us to monitor it and make sure that it’s delivering the best possible result. If you ask us to provide an ongoing service we’ll keep in touch regularly to let you know what’s happening, make recommendations for fine-tuning and advise you of any relevant changes in the market.
We’ll meet you; we’ll listen to what you want to do, identify and understand your goals, gather the information we need, agree the cost of what you’d like us to do and discuss payment options. This step is designed to be interactive as it also gives you the opportunity to talk to us, to further your own understanding and ask questions about what we’re going to do, why we’re going to do it and what to expect as a result.
Our providing an ongoing service is, of course, optional and it won’t apply in some circumstances, for example: if you’ve asked us to arrange a mortgage. But we hope that when you conclude your business with us we’ll have impressed you enough for you to want to use us again.
There’s much more detail about the Financial Advice Process in our literature: for more about the process as it applies to pensions, investments and insurance please see our Personal Client Agreement brochure and for more about how it applies to mortgages please see our Mortgage and Protection Agreement brochure. However, here’s a little more information.
At the very start of the process our adviser will introduce themselves and explain how we would like to work with you, the services we can provide and the costs involved.
Depending on what you would like us to do we’ll start gathering the information we need to be able to help you. We’ll certainly discuss your current financial situation and, if you’re thinking about a long-term plan that involves pensions or investments, we’ll explore your financial objectives and timelines. If you’re interested in business protection, we’ll discuss what you want to protect along with the various risks you may or may not be aware of. If you want a mortgage we’ll talk to you about that.
It’s usual for us to want to try and get a complete picture about your circumstances as quite often one thing will affect another. If you ask us to provide advice about a specific area of financial planning then that’s what we’ll do – however, the advice we give may be different to that had we been given the opportunity to carry out a full review of your situation or considered other areas of financial planning at the same time.
As it’s important for us to understand your needs we’ll discuss everything with you in some detail. It’ll be useful if you’ve prepared in advance, but we’ll let you know what you need to think about or bring with you before we meet.
If you want us to help you with investments we’ll need to assess your ‘attitude to investment risk’. This is a statutory obligation and helps us understand how much risk you’re willing to take with your capital. To do this we’ll ask you to complete a simple psychometric risk assessment questionnaire which is the first step in establishing your personal risk profile. It’s an industry-standard test that’s been developed over a period of time and is surprisingly accurate.
Having decided which services you’d like us to provide we’ll need to agree how you would like to pay for them. There are a variety of options depending on what you’re engaging us to do; you can ask that we don’t exceed a specified budget limit without receiving your written consent and we won’t charge for work completed without your prior agreement.
After the Consultation stage your adviser will assess your objectives, review your current financial plans, policies and any commitments, gather any further information that’s needed and work out your attitude to risk from your answers in the risk assessment questionnaire.
A large part of the Advice stage is gathering information about your pensions, investments or insurances from your existing service providers; identifying new or alternative products and services and analysing and assessing their performanace in relation to your objectives.
As independent financial advisers we research and consider all products and services from all providers across the whole of the market. Although our advisers will have a good idea of what’s going to work for you, once they receive information from the provider they may have to ‘model’ it to make sure it’ll meet your objectives. Having done so, your adviser will then be in a position to select the investments, product wrappers and product providers most suitable to your circumstances. This can be time consuming but considering all the options available is an important step and has to be right first time.
Having gathered information and assessed it, our adviser will then be able to devise an investment strategy or definite proposal based on what you asked us to do and the information you gave us. It’ll provide a detailed review of your current circumstances, analyse your options and recommend the most suitable course of action, specifying products and services. It’ll be a complete solution, tailored specifically to you.
We cannot guarantee that we can meet all of your financial objectives and goals but we can work with you to help achieve them.
If you agree with the strategy we recommend, the next step is to put it in place. We’ll ask you to sign acceptance of our recommendation after which we’ll go ahead and implement the plan.
We’ll complete the various application documents that may be necessary; we’ll submit them, monitor their processing by the receiving organisations and ensure you receive the relevant policy documentation.
Depending on what you asked us to do, and what our recommendation proposed, it may be necessary for us to carry out more complex planning tasks such as those involved with setting up trusts or estate planning.
We’ll keep you informed of progress and make sure you know exactly what’s happening while the proposal is implemented and everything is put in place. Once that’s complete we’ll ask you to sign your acceptance and, depending on what you’ve asked us to do, we’ll move on to the optional final step.
It’s quite possible that if you’ve asked us to do something very specific, for example, find commercial finance or arrange insurance or a mortgage, then we’ll have fulfilled our commitment to you – but we like to build long-lasting, trusted business relationships with our clients. If you hadn’t asked us to provide an ongoing service, hopefully we’ll have impressed you enough to do so.
If the financial strategy we’ve recommended and implemented is something long-term, for example, set up a pension scheme or invest assets on your behalf, then periodic review and management may be desirable. Long-term financial investments need to be reviewed to ensure their performance continues to both meet your immediate needs and work toward your long-term goals, being managed to adapt as your circumstances change over time.
If you ask us to provide an ongoing service we’ll set up a detailed service schedule setting out the policies being monitored, how they’re monitored and how we feed information to you. We’ll certainly need to meet you periodically to:
- reassess your financial situation
- review your financial objectives and goals
- identify any further financial objectives
- discuss the performance of your investments
- ensure the continued suitability of your current investments
- monitor your attitude to risk
- review your existing investments against changes in your attitude to risk
You’ll have access to your adviser should you have any queries between meetings; they’re only a phone call away. You’ll also be offered the facility of having your own, personal, 2plan wealth management website where you can view your investment portfolio and, if available, get real-time valuations online.
1 One-off advice
Our advice will be appropriate based on your requirements and circumstances at that time. If you ask us to provide advice on a one-off basis we cannot ensure that it remains suitable at a later date unless you specifically ask us to do so. You can ask us to do this at any time but doing so may incur an additional fee.
How can One Financial Solutions help you?
We advise on a wide range of financial services including protection for both you and your business, general and business insurance, savings and investments, commercial finance, pensions and auto enrolment, employee benefits, profit extraction and mortgages: our aim being to offer you ‘one solution’ for all your financial needs.
We provide truly independent financial advice, sourced from the whole of the financial marketplace, for individuals and commercial businesses throughout the United Kingdom.
Please call us on 020 3714 9565 for a confidential conversation about how we can help you, or ask us to call you by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .