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The process of advice follows a clear set of guidelines:

  • The purpose and the time period over which the objective is to be achieved need to be clearly determined: capital to fund a future sabbatical or university costs will need a differing approach from the deposit for a first property or provision for potential nursing home fees.
  • Your ability to gain access to your investments along the way needs to be assessed, and the potential taxation environment needs to be taken into account.
  • An assessment of the amount of risk you feel comfortable with in order to achieve a potential target is also a vital part of the process.

The selection of the financial vehicle for the investment also follows a set process. The factors considered are:

  • The financial stability of the investment house both now and in the future
  • The charging structure of any particular package in relation to others in the market and a cost benefit assessment of any special features
  • The range of fund links available and the performance of the fund managers including viewing the level of risk the manager may be taking in achieving their performance

The recent closure to new business of Equitable Life highlights the value of our approach when coupled with our review service. After many months of discussion over the suitability of a "With Profits" fund investment and the discretion held by the Life Company in such an arrangement, one opportunist investor, at a review meeting, agreed a fund switch to other funds of the Equitable. This action subsequently protected the client from the 10% penalty, applied by the Equitable to all "With Profit" policyholders wanting to switch funds or the six months loss of growth that was also applied. This one change saved the client over £40,000.