If you wish to invest your money to potentially obtain higher returns that can help you keep pace with inflation, or if you need a hand with retirement planning and/or estate planning, a financial adviser could help you make an informed decision.
If you have little knowledge of financial products and limited experience when it comes to making a decision about investing your money or planning for retirement, a financial adviser could put your mind at ease while offering valuable advice.
Historically, many accounting firms gave clients advice on investment matters. However, increased regulation has meant that very few accountancy firms now give financial advice themselves.
It is a myth that you need “lots” of money to seek financial advice. Some firms will have a minimum required to work with you but anyone can engage with us at Bigmore Associates. We can offer simple savings advice right up to the more complex asset management advice.
Investing successfully on a consistent basis needs time. Employing a longer-term time horizon takes timing of investment markets largely out of the question. If it is the right time for you personally to invest, then don't worry about the current market price level or short-term expectations.
There is an abundance of financial products available and during your lifetime you are likely to need various products for a variety of reasons. A financial adviser is an experienced professional that will have a large amount of industry knowledge on the financial products available. Many people believe that only the very wealthy require a financial advice, but in reality, anyone can benefit from one. A financial adviser can help build and protect your assets and ensure that you are making the most from your investments and can identify your individual options and advise you which is the best tailored solution in organising your finances and planning for the future of your family.
Budgeting is the cornerstone of all financial planning. If you don't know what you can afford or what you might need, any plans you make could leave you far short of where you want to be in future. Budgeting is a valuable action and should be regularly revisited.
You will be asked to gather as much financial information as you can in advance of the meeting. This is a good time for you to outline the issues that you would like to discuss. We aim to get under the skin of your finances and help you identify your personal and financial goals, needs and objectives. We ask that you provide any relevant documents or statements. A breakdown of your income and expenditure.
The initial meeting is free of charge. We will look at your current financial position, including your existing investments, assets and liabilities and income and expenditure needs. We will also discuss your personal appetite and tolerance for risk and your capacity for loss.
Using the information we have gathered at our meeting, we will forward a proposal to you, giving an outline of what we can do for you and our costs and charges. If you agree with the proposed strategy, we will send you a tailored document setting out the services we will provide to you and the costs of our advice and ask for your agreement to proceed.
Face to face meetings, phone calls, and written communications are at the heart of your relationship with your adviser at Bigmore Associates however developing a financial plan and implementing strategies to help you achieve your goals also involves hours of preparation, strategic thinking and research.
Your investments can be withdrawn from the provider with 10-15 working days notice, however products such as pensions may have restrictions on when you can access your funds and there may also be taxation on some withdrawals. We don’t charge for full withdrawals, however should you need an ad-hoc withdrawal from your investments, there may be an administration charge for us to give you advice on the withdrawal, this will depend on your service level and the type of plan.
The return that you can expect depends on when you invest and the level of risk you're prepared to take. The conventional wisdom is that the greater risk you take the greater the potential return. Please note however, that investment returns cannot be guaranteed and past performance should not be seen as reliable guide to future returns.
Although returns on investments such as stocks and shares and bonds tend to be higher than cash deposits over the longer term, this cannot be guaranteed and the return that you get depends on when you invest and what level of risk you take.
Although not a guarantee, for what we would consider to be a medium risk investor we would look to target a long-term return of 2% above the long-term rate of inflation after charges.
Financial advice is a relationship and as such both parties won't always agree. Ultimately you have the right to do whatever you chose with your own finances and advisers won't stop this. Just make sure you explain all your reasons and listen to your advisers views before acting to avoid unwanted or unforeseen consequences.
All policies or products a financial adviser recommends has a cooling off period in case you change your mind. Ongoing financial adviser services can also be stopped with no notice period so you will not be tied into ongoing services you no longer require.
Independent Financial Advisers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. As a result you have protection through the financial ombudsman service and the financial services compensation scheme.
We offer advice on financial and estate planning, mortgages, employee benefits, wills and LPAs and payroll and pensions.
We currently have 5 service levels:
- Premier Wealth
The service level you fall into is determined by the amount of funds you have under management with us. Starting at Primary and going up to Premier Wealth, the more funds under management you have with us the lower the ongoing charges will be. You will also be entitled to more services that we can provide to you as you go up the service levels.
For new clients we charge an initial fee to do a summary proposal on the areas where we feel we can add value, should you then proceed with the recommendations that we make, this fee is then offset against our tiered charging structure for new business. All costs are fully disclosed to you before we begin with our recommendations.
Although advanced qualifications could be a helpful means to determine if a financial advisor is competent, our view is that true expertise goes way beyond just a qualification. It encompasses, in many cases, decades of experience working with clients from all walks of life to gain a deeper understanding of what a client needs from a financial perspective and what the best solution could be to achieve those goals.
Initial adviser charges are paid for a review of your existing plans, to set up new plans, to top up new plans (at a discounted rate), for Inheritance Tax planning or for more complex planning such as Lifetime Allowance calculations.
You pay ongoing adviser charges to receive a continual level of service that may include, ongoing monitoring of the funds within our portfolios and regular marketing commentary, regular valuations, an annual meeting (or more frequent depending on your service level), an annual summary, including updated cashflow modelling and costs and charges summary, changes to contributions or withdrawals, access to our client portal, ad hoc telephone and email support from your adviser and client services team and introductions to other professional services. The level of service you receive is decided by the service level that you engage with.
Charging an ongoing fee in % is fairer, as it would be based on the value of your funds, whereas a fixed fee might turn out to be costlier when markets are underperforming. We do have fees for hourly rates, but in almost all cases the amount of research we need to do spreads over various days, which is why it is in the client’s advantage the charging structure we have in place.
The best financial plans are those that are reviewed regularly. Once your plan is implemented, we will add you to our review and valuation schedule according to your service level. To ensure that your plan remains suitable for you and is on track to meet your objectives, we will meet at least annually to review your circumstances and progress.
Yes we do, however as a minimum we will meet with you over zoom/teams/skype and ask you to show us your identification documents.
You can view your plans through Intelligent Office’s Personal Finance Portal, Plus most providers provide their own platform to view plans.
All our systems that hold client sensitive data have secure logins that only authorised people can access. We do everything we can to make sure personal data is kept secure and have processes and systems in place to use this data safely.
We will find you a new adviser from our dedicated team.
There are many ways we help vulnerable clients, such as offering additional face to face meetings that will include clear and concise reports and advice. These meeting can also include a friend or family member.
We also provide in-house training to all our staff on how to support vulnerable clients.
You can obviously disengage our services, but if you are looking for an escalation, you can raise a complaint with the Ombudsman.
We will complete regular cash flow models and review meetings in order for us to help with your retirement needs and objectives.
We will regularly complete cash flow models to prevent this from happening, but if this was to occur we will provide many alternative options for example; equity release.
No. You can carry on working for as long as you like, and can also access most private pensions at any age from 55 onwards. From 6 April 2028 this will increase from age 55 to age 57.
The annual allowance for the current tax year (2022/2023) is £40,000. However, you will only get tax relief up to 100% of your annual earnings or up to £40,000 whichever is the lower amount. You can contribute over £40,000 however anything over the annual allowance will be subject to tax charges.
The lifetime allowance is how much you can build up your pensions over your lifetime while still maintaining the full tax benefits. The current lifetime allowance for this tax year (2022/2023) is £1,073,100. If all your pensions you have accumulated exceed the lifetime allowance, you will then incur tax charges.
Some state benefits such as the full basic state pension are based on your national insurance (NI) contribution record. For example, you need 35 qualifying years of NI contributions to receive the full basic state pension which is currently £185.15 per week or £9,627.90 per annum.
Other state benefits such as child benefit, and universal credit are means tested which means that what you are entitled to will depend on your individual circumstances, including your level of income and/or savings.
With regard to the state pension, his majesties revenue and customs (HMRC) have a helpful online calculator to work out when you will be eligible to start claiming your pension.
In relation to means tested benefits such as universal credit, when you will be able to claim will depend on your individual circumstances. The Department for work and pensions (DWP) is a good starting point to check your eligibility for means tested state benefits. Helpful information can be found by checking the website here.
A chartered or certified financial planner (CFP) demonstrates that the advisor that you are engaging has achieved the pinnacle of financial planning qualifications which far exceeds the regulatory qualification requirements to provide regulated financial advice.
Independent means the adviser is not linked to any of the providers they recommend. Therefore, they can recommend products across the whole financial market. Independence allows comprehensive and fair analysis of the relevant market and is unbiased and unrestricted.
A discretionary fund manager is a professional third-party investment manager who invests your money within the parameters of your risk-profile. In other words – you hands over your money to the discretionary fund manager, tell them how much risk you are willing to take and the discretionary fund manager will have full control over the investment decisions on your money. Discretionary management services such as these can deliver highly tailored investment portfolios based upon your individual circumstances and objectives.
The term annuity refers to an insurance contract issued and distributed by a financial institution, with the purpose of paying out invested funds in a fixed income stream. An annuity is purchased or invested in by investors through lump sum payments or monthly premiums. The financial institution will issue a succession of payments for a specified period of time, or for the remainder of the annuitant’s life. Annuities are mainly used for retirement products and help individuals address the risk of outliving their savings.
Drawdown is one of the most flexible ways to access your pension. It also offers the potential for growth through investing, although returns are not guaranteed. You can usually take up to 25% of the pension you use for drawdown as tax free cash and keep the rest invested in the stock market. You can then take taxable income withdrawals at any time of your choosing. The flexibility of drawdown can be an advantage, but also comes with risks. The income isn’t secure so it wont be right for everyone.
ESG stand for environmental, sustainable and governance.
The concept behind ESG investing is that companies who seek to make a positive contribution to the environment, run their business in a sustainable way and have strong governance in terms of how the business is managed are likely to be more successful in the longer term than those companies that do not seek to improve on the above three areas. This intern should result in better returns for investors.
A market update shows how the markets are doing and the factors that cause volatility. Reading them regularly helps understand the mechanisms behind price fluctuations and get an overview of the current economic and political situation.
Pound cost averaging is the process of making regular contributions into your investments as a strategy against market volatility while investing your money. You can benefit from pound cost averaging when markets are particularly volatile, as you are able to smooth out the dramatic ups and downs of the market and spread your investment exposure over time to allow markets to stabilize.
Risk management is an essential process used to make investment decisions. Risk management involves identifying and analysing risk in an investment and deciding whether to accept that risk, given the expected returns for the investment. Some common measurements of risk include standard deviation, Sharpe ratio, beta, Value at risk (VAR) conditional value at risk (CVAR) and R-squared.
Carry forward is the process of using up previous tax years unused pension contribution allowances. This means you may be able to contribute more than one year’s pension annual allowance without incurring a charge if you meet the criteria.
You are protected up to £85,000 per person for the failure of a financial advice firm if your money cannot be returned through bad or misleading advice, misrepresentation or fraud. For any mis-sold insurance policy you are protected by 90% of the claim with no cap.
Where our site contains links to other sites and resources provided by our clients or other third parties, these links are provided for your information only. We have no control over the contents of those sites or resources, and accept no responsibility for them or for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them.
"I fully recommend Bigmore Associates. Our Senior Financial Planner Julian is most professional and highly knowledgeable as is Adam their MD and all other members. A good old fashioned approach to great personal customer care blended with a highly competitive approach to cutting edge technology in the financial arena puts this company heads above others with extremely competitive fees, they cover all bases and offer excellent advice."
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