What can you do for my finances to put me in a better position?
I like to look at what you “want and need” for the future and the present, and would look to work with those priorities at the heart of what I recommend financially.
Being in a better position would include being better prepared for the future, this could be in the form of planning ahead for an event that you may need a lump sum for, or planning your estate for much further on in life, so that there are no financial shocks for you and your family.
If you recommend different firms to invest in-how do I know they are reputable?
All of the firms I recommend are fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)(as I am),which means they (and me!) have to comply with the rules the Authority sets down as the industry standard. If any of these companies fall short of these rules, they will be investigated and depending on the rule break could be subject to a financial penalty and possibly worse! Your money depending on how much is invested, and in what financial products, is fully backed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
The companies themselves, will have been thoroughly researched from the whole of the market and if recommended, will provide my client's with the best financial products available for their circumstances, and the level of risk they are assessed as having.
Do I need to take my pension now or can I leave it?
If you are 55, still have plenty of energy and don't feel the need to start drawing on your Pension, then it’s absolutely fine to leave your money invested in your pot giving it a better chance at growing. However, if you are at all in doubt, you should get Independent Financial Advice to talk through your options, so that you are better informed of the choices that you have.
Is a pension really worth it-I might die tomorrow
A regularly paid, regularly reviewed Pension is really worth it! Yes, you may die tomorrow and if that is your motto then a Pension may not be for you. But think about the possibility of living? Could you exist on the State Pension when you retire? Could you survive on that comfortably? My guess is that the answer to that is probably no. My state pension is forecast to be around £145 per week at 68. Not a lot is it? This will pay for the very basics in life, and wont allow me to enjoy my retirement as I would like. I want to go to Vegas! Fat chance of that on £145 per week.
Should I take my 25% tax free cash in my pension now?
That's a really difficult question to answer without having a really good chat with you about your financial situation. To be sure you are doing the very best thing, you really need to get some Independent Financial Advice. If you don’t do this you may end up paying too much Income Tax for the year, and in reality end up losing some of your hard earned cash!
How do I know you are trustworthy?
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) who is the regulator, my regulator, says that I must go through checks to find out whether I am a “fit and proper” person to give financial advice. The checks I have been through are to do with honesty, integrity and reputation; competence and capability; and financial soundness. Once these checks have been completed, and proven-I am then able to become a Financial Adviser-which of course they have, and I am!
I also have a proven track record in giving advice in the Legal Sector, where my salary was paid for by government so that I could give free legal advice to people on very low incomes. This work experience has given me great ethics to the core of my advice giving, so will always give you my very best whatever your net worth.
How do I know you are only recommending I do things to get the commission?
Well first of all, that just doesn’t fit in with the FCA rules about being “fit and proper”. Just recommending something for you to get commission is a highly unethical practice. Unfortunately, this practice may have been done in the past giving the industry a bad name, but not anymore with Financial Services being one of the most highly regulated areas of Industry in Britain. Plus, since 2013 advisers cannot be paid a commission if they give you advice about:
Retirement income products such as annuities. Instead they must charge you a fee for the advice.
However, if you’re getting advice on: mortgages, equity release, general insurance (like travel or home insurance) or protection insurance, such as term life insurance, advisers can still be paid commission.
Are you allowed to advise on anything and everything?
No, not everything. If I don't have the right “permissions” to advise on a certain area, I will definitely know a reputable regulated adviser who can.
I have a large pot of money sitting in a current account and don't have a clue what to do with it, what would you immediately advise?
I would immediately advise that you come and see me!
If you couldn’t do that immediately, I would say generally speaking, that it would be good to pay off any high interest credit debt as soon as you can. Then book an appointment with me to assess your circumstances.
I've just inherited a large sum of money, and have been presented with an inheritance tax bill! help!
Great about the Inheritance, bad about the IHT bill. If your dear departed had taken some independent Financial Advice lots of things could have made this situation so much better.
An IFA could have helped your relative to write a Will
An IFA could have looked at exemptions that could have helped to reduce your tax liability.
An IFA could have advised your relative on IHT exempt gifts
An IFA could have looked at getting some Life Assurance to help pay off that IHT bill on your relatives death.
An IFA could have looked at using Trusts to help reduce or get rid of your relatives IHT liability.
But they didn’t, so learn from their mistakes! Seek Financial Advice in a timely way..and no, I’m not after any commission.
I am very Green orientated and would not like to invest in anything unethical, how can you guarantee this happens?
I can guarantee this happening because I have access to Ethical investments that take Environmental responsibility by their policies on environmental, social and governance issues, and embrace sustainability. These investments tend to exclude funds that have anything to do with Armaments, Pornography, Animal Testing, Human Rights Abuse, Tobacco production, environmental Damage, Gambling, Alcohol, and Nuclear Power. Would this do for you?
I'm worried about my money, can I call you?
Yes, absolutely. Just maybe not at 2am in the morning.
If there are economic dips such as the credit crunch we all experienced in 2007, then you will get a receive a personal call from me to talk through your current situation.