Someone who you entrust with your wealth, not only to advise you how best you should make investments, to achieve your financial goals, but more importantly, how you maximise those returns throughout your lifetime, while ensuring your wealth is then passed onto your siblings’ tax efficiently.
They will need to provide a comprehensive service, looking after your Pensions, ISA’s and General Portfolio, minimising the tax you pay, while maximising the available reliefs on offer, as well as providing advice as to how any potential Inheritance Tax could be mitigated.
Why do we pay for any professional service? Ultimately, its because we perceive someone else can achieve a better outcome or result, than ourselves, given their professional qualifications, experience, accessible research and knowledge.
As most Wealth Managers charge a percentage fee for their services, perhaps up to 1%pa of the underlying assets, they only need to enhance your overall returns by an additional 1%pa, over and above what you could have achieved, in order to have paid for their services in full. This should easily be achievable and why any performance is normally compared to a comparative benchmark to justify any fees payable.
Yes, great investment performance, but there is a combination of qualities that are needed. Firstly, you need to listen twice as much as you speak, engaging with a client, enabling them to outline their objectives in life, their needs, their emotional feelings in relation to volatility and market fluctuations. This information is invaluable, thereby identifying how best to fulfil these aspirations, in a manner that mirrors both their attitude to risk and capacity for loss.
Ultimately, they need to be approachable, responsive, professional and above all else honest with their client’s expectations.
There are a number of arguments for both scenarios. A Discretionary service, being where the manager makes decisions without first discussing them with you, will generally involve a higher degree of direct UK equity exposure within a portfolio, investing in individual shares and using collective funds for Overseas exposure. As a result, the degree of risk exposure could be potentially higher. It is also common that a Discretionary service involves the payment of VAT increasing the potential costs.
An Advisory service, being where the manager gains your agreement in advance of any action, would again generally invest primarily in Collective Funds, which pool your money with other investors to spread the risk across a wider selection of underlying assets. This reduces the potential risks and also potentialy avoids the payment of VAT on the advice being received. This of course depends totally upon the adviser’s individual circumstances.
The regulatory constraints placed upon organisations have increased dramatically in recent years, which in turn has placed pressure on some larger firms Investment Managers to increase revenues. Having to take on additional clients, reduces the amount of time each client spends with their manager, unless of course they are dealt with by another member of their team, whereby that personal one-on-one approach is diluted.
Being Owner Managed gives us the discretion to decide if we want to accept a new client, having the autonomy to make our own decisions, based upon time availability and being unrestricted in our investment approach. Avoiding any bureaucracy, ensures we can focus on the job at hand and we have a vested interest in excellent client outcomes.
If you decide to perhaps either transfer your existing investments to a new wealth manager or make a new investment, there may well be costs associated with that initial advice process. This is simply because if an adviser is assessing your overall financial circumstances there is a regulatory requirement by the FCA to complete a suitability report, outlining any recommendations.
We charge a flat fixed fee for this report, agreed with you at outset, based upon your individual circumstances. The minimum fee is £1800. Some advisers charge a percentage of your new investment being undertaken or transferred, which could be as much as 1-2%.
That depends upon how much you value the service you’re receiving. We attempt to charge clients on a fair structure, where you pay for our services on a tiered basis. The more of your wealth we look after the less as a percentage you pay. This structure results in the majority of our clients paying between 0.5% and 1%.
Should a client with £2m in assets under our management really pay twice as much as a client with £1m, no, of course not? If a Wealth Manager is achieving attractive returns, you are more likely to transfer other assets across under their control and reducing the overall percentage fees is regarded good practice.
We have always endeavoured to treat our clients as we would want to be treated, when dealing with any service industry.
We have the time to address clients email queries in a timely manner, providing thorough detailed responses. We make ourselves accessible and endeavour to ensure the clients outcome is always a positive one.
Sometimes it’s a simple as doing what you say you will do, under promising and over delivering, turning up to appointments on time and providing a proactive approach, where you’re the one on the front foot. Maintaining close regular client contact is imperative, with a focus on the word ‘regular’ as a priority. This could be via a variety of communication methods from face to face or video conference meetings to emails, letters, phone calls and newsletters.
If you are looking for advice, then there are a couple of pointers we would make. Always clarify at outset if the adviser is regulated to provide Independent or restricted advice. If the advice is restricted, will that limit the products or scope of advice being provided, now or in the future? Is the adviser recommending their own organisations funds to you, and if so, are they really the best for you, or are they recommending their funds because it’s all they offer?
If an adviser is recommending their own funds, get them to illustrate how their funds perform compared to the top performing funds in the comparative sector. You will then have a clearer idea of what your adviser is proposing and what the potential impact on performance might be. Trustnet is a very useful independent platform for comparing fund performance and a simple way of checking how funds are moving in comparison to others.
We have been trusted by our clients for decades to manage and preserve their wealth, providing a professional and quality service at a reasonable cost.
We are very proud of our investment expertise and portfolio performance, irrespective of our client’s attitude to risk, which we attribute to our experience in the investment sector, having guided clients through many a crisis over the last 30 years.