How we are paid
For your initial meeting we invite you to come to our offices (or if this is not possible at your place of work or home) for a preliminary discussion. The purpose of this meeting is to establish whether we offer the type of services that you require and whether we are able to assist with your needs and help you meet your objectives. When we have both agreed that our services may be of benefit to you, we will discuss how you would prefer to pay us for our knowledge and services, once you have instructed us to proceed.
This preliminary one-hour meeting is at our cost, with no obligation on either party to progress matters further.
The way that you pay for financial advice is changing from the end of 2012, with product providers no longer being allowed to set the level of commission payable to your adviser, as they have in the past. This has created the illusion that financial advice is 'free', whereas the cost has been paid for through the higher product charges and exit penalties applied to these products.
We already work on what we believe is a fairer way of you paying for our services. This is on a fixed cost basis, usually with a fee agreed at the outset for an agreed plan of work. Our costs can be payable on either a fee basis, or by asking us to take a payment direct from the product provider where that is available, or by a combination of both options. At all times, we will ensure that you are fully aware of any costs involved, before a commitment is made.
Fees will usually be based on the complexity of the work to be completed, the level of technical knowledge and experience required and the time spent in researching and recommending the most suitable option for your needs. Our fees do not currently attract an additional VAT charge, although this may change in the future.
Where we move on to implement the financial plan by arranging, for instance, a life policy or pension plan, we may still be paid commission by the provider, usually an insurance company, for the successful placing of your business. We will always tell you about any commission we earn, and it will be taken into account in settling our agreed cost.
We aim to provide you with a regular review service and our fee for this starts from 0.5% per annum of the funds under advice, although this may be reduced for larger portfolios. This can also be taken as either a fee or on a commission basis, or by using a combination of both payment options.