We believe that the only way to plan effectively is to seek to understand our clients goals' and desires. It is only when these are clearly understood by both the adviser and client alike that a full and complete holistic financial strategy can be put in place.
Financial planning should be a continually evolving process throughout life and that is why it is essential that plans and goals are regularly reviewed.
After their domestic property, a pension fund is often an individual's largest asset and so should be one of the bedrocks of retirement planning. Consequently it demands careful planning and proper management.
Since April 2006 pension legislation has seen some radical changes, the bulk of which we believe are extremely positive and give people a real incentive to save for their futures. Pensions have changed radically over the last 20 years or so and now are low charged, flexible and with increased investment facilities. For many of our clients self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs), which offer an extremely wide range of investment options (any investment permitted by HMRC) and so allow a degree of control, prove to be a very attractive route.
As part of our planning process we would seek to use all the available tax reliefs when formulating our clients retirement plans. This, coupled with the option of self investing and independent fund selection, puts our clients on the right road to achieve their goals.
Introduced in 2015, Pensions Freedoms brought wider choice, increased flexibility and accessibility but added yet another layer of complexity and so it is essential that professional advice is sought when exploring one’s retirement options.
As part of any financial plan a contingency reserve should be maintained. The size will depend on one's objectives and circumstances.
In addition to an emergency fund, we also view savings as short to medium-term holdings and as a low-risk part of a portfolio; it can help reduce your overall risk if you hold other more volatile asset classes. You will have to bear in mind that, over the longer term, your money may lose its value because of inflation.
Where appropriate all available allowances should be considered and so as part of an overall planning process blending tax efficient deposit based investments is an important consideration.
Investment for private clients and trusts
Over the years the range of investment types, asset classes, funds and financial products available to private clients has increased immeasurably and the choice can now be overwhelming. Consequently it is important to seek professional advice.
We believe that the only way to formulate the right strategy for our clients is to take a totally holistic approach. Depending on a client's own attitude to investment risk and capacity for loss, we will construct an asset allocation for their entire portfolio and appropriate to their circumstances. A complete investment solution should encompass a multi-facted approach and seek to utilise tax breaks where appropriate in order to maximise returns.
After many years in the industry we now favour more process driven investment strategies that focus on trying to control volatilty and deliver better risk adjusted outcomes for our clients.