Interview with RMT Group employee, Tony Warrington


Tony Warrington, one of RMT’s longest established call centre operatives talks about his role and life at RMT.

“My role at RMT is to make pension review appointments for clients and also to help new staff with getting used to the systems. Any new member of staff will receive a week’s training so by the time they start working on the phones they will have a thorough knowledge of pension regulations and the service we offer, but it can take them some time to get used to the systems, so I help them with things like booking appointments on the system. I’m also on hand to answer any questions that might arise as they start making calls.

“When I call a potential client I talk to them to find out firstly if I can help them and then how I can help them. Most people are not aware of the charges applied to their pensions.

“Traditionally pension statements are the sort of thing that people receive in the post and simply file straight away into a drawer, sometimes without even opening. Often when I’m speaking to a potential client they are not aware of what’s on their latest statement or that they are effectively paying to have their pension looked after. A lot of people also aren’t aware that they can do something about it.

“Fees on older pensions were traditionally much higher, before the FCA got involved and so it’s likely that someone with a pension that hasn’t been reviewed for many years could actually be paying up to four times more than they need to in fees.

“My role is to find out what kind of pension they have, estimate the likely fees they will be paying and determine whether a pension review will be worthwhile for them. I’m not a financial advisor so I cannot give them any advice on their pension, but I can illustrate the benefits of a pension review.

“The main advantage of a pension review is that it costs nothing, just an hour of their time to establish if their pension is performing at its best for them. As all the Independent Financial Advisors we work with are FCA regulated, they will only advise a person to transfer their pension if it will leave them financially better off as a result. If a financial advisor reviews a pension and establishes it is performing well, his or her advice would be to leave it where it is, so it really is a win-win situation for anyone having their pension reviewed – they either receive peace of mind that it’s performing well or have the option to transfer it and become financially better off when it comes to retirement.

“I very much enjoy working for RMT, they are fair employers and it’s a nice office to work in. I enjoy the office environment but for many the flexibility of being able to work remotely from home, saving on travel costs is what really appeals.”

Interview with Charlotte Till, Operations Director of RMT Group


Charlotte Till is Operations Director at RMT, she has been with th company since its start and is infact one of the co-founders, along with Ryan Mellor. 

The business originally began with booked appointments for Independent Financial Advisors, but in more recent years the company has also introduced online Financial Advisor leads as an option for its financial advisors and it now has a large number of financial advisors on board who have worked with RMT for many years and generated many new clients from the appointments and leads supplied by RMT.

As Operations Director, Charlotte’s role at RMT is two-fold: she looks after the financial advisors and she also looks after her team of employees who book the appointments and generate the online leads.

“Working with the IFAs I make sure it runs correctly and deal with any queries and questions relating to the appointments,” she said.

 “With the staff I am very hands-on, I regularly listen to the calls to make sure they are conducting them correctly. In reality, I am the person in the middle and I want to make sure that it all runs smoothly, on both sides.”

The process at RMT begins in the call centre, where Charlotte’s team make initial contact with potential clients.

“The role of the call centre is to contact the general public and inform them of what’s happening with pensions and what is changing, what new legislation has come into play and what may be about to change and to let them know what they can do about it.”

Once an appointment is booked for a client an independent financial advisor will travel to meet with them face-to-face and provide an initial one-hour free consultation, where they will review their pension, and often their financial position in general, and make recommendations on next steps.

“When an advisor visits a client I advise them to go into as much detail as possible with the client. They are not selling their services as such but it’s important they get across exactly what they can do for the client and how it works. There’s only a certain level to which we can discuss things with the clients prior to the appointment as we are not financial advisors, so it’s vital the financial advisors go through this information with the client.”

To date Charlotte’s team at RMT have connected thousands of people with financial advisors across the UK to get the advice and help they need to ensure their pension funds are performing for them. 

“For the clients the main point is that it doesn’t cost anything to have the appointment with the financial advisor, it’s free to meet with them and they could discover that they are actually currently losing money on their pension. Your pension is really important, it may not seem it now, but when it comes to retirement it’s what you have to live on so sorting your pension and ensuring it’s performing the best it can is something that everyone needs to do.”

Before founding RMT, Charlotte managed a qualifying room for leads and this is where she first got to know and work with financial advisors and the business grew from there.

“I really enjoy my job and what I think makes it really enjoyable is that it’s never the same, it’s constantly changing, there’s always something new to learn and new queries to deal with. No day is ever the same and I am always constantly doing something different.

“The biggest challenge for me is trying to keep everyone happy, making sure everything is running smoothly as it should and making sure it stays that way.”

And, speaking about the culture at RMT, Charlotte added: “I always describe RMT as a little family rather than an office, we all get on very well and that’s how I like it to be. Every year we have a Christmas and a summer party and we spend time together outside of the office so we really are more like a family than work colleagues.”

Outside of her role as Operations Director, Charlotte is a keen sports enthusiast and loves to spend time with her family.

“We have started to go for country walks as a family which we enjoy as there is so much nice scenery near to where we live. I also am very keen on sports, I take tennis lessons and I like football, I have been part of a football team in the past and I am currently looking to join in a new one near to where I live.”

IFA Perspectives: George Kapositas at Professional Capital


George Kapositas at Professional Capital

Ryan Mellor, Sales Director at RMT Group interviews financial advisor George Kapositas at Professional Capital.

IFA Direct Home: Can you tell us a bit about your background?

George Kapositas: I have been working in the Financial Services Industry straight after University having worked for Friends Provident and NPI before becoming independent in 2000. I felt that the best way to look after private clients is to be truly independent where your employer is your client.

IFA Direct Home: Who should be seeking advice?

George Kapositas: All people need advice. Over the past years, we have seen Western Governments reducing gradually Social Security Benefits while Global Corporations moving from the gold standard Final Salary Pension Schemes into Defined Contribution Pensions, effectively removing risk from their balance sheets and passing it on to employees. Now people have to shoulder risk, leaving people with no choice nowadays but to make private provisions throughout their lifetime and make sure their assets last post retirement. Workplace Pensions have become compulsory in the UK after being imposed by UK legislation onto the private sector emphasising again the importance of building up personal savings.

IFA Direct Home: Why should they seek advice over making a decision themselves?

George Kapositas: People can make decisions themselves and particularly with the advent of internet and so much free information people can find useful information about investing money.

However, the role of a professional Financial Adviser is different. A financial adviser would help people become the architects of their life first before start investing money and putting plans in place. Would help people articulate goals, ambitions while he would manage their assets in a such a way that life objectives are met whilst protecting them for future generations. He would also be a life guardian, as a kind of lighthouse keeper, scanning the horizon for issues that may affect the client and keeping them informed.

A professional financial adviser is a good listener. The emotions triggered by financial uncertainty are real. A good adviser will listen to clients’ fears, tease out the issues driving those feelings and provide practical long-term answers. A good adviser will also be a good teacher. Getting beyond the fear-and-flight phase often is just a matter of teaching investors about risk and return, diversification, the role of asset allocation and the virtue of discipline. Even when the strategy is in place, doubts and fears inevitably will arise. At this point a good financial advisor becomes a coach, reinforcing first principles and keeping the client on track.

Now, more than ever, investors need advisers who can provide client-centred expertise in assessing the state of their finances and developing risk-aware strategies to help them meet their lifetime goals.

IFA Direct Home: What financial pitfalls might people come across?

George Kapositas: Financial Planning is people’s life journey with ups and downs and constant changes in legislation, markets and politics. These changes represent risk but also opportunity. The global financial turmoil of recent years (2008) demonstrated the value of an independent and objective voice in a world full of free internet information, product pushers and salespeople.

IFA Direct Home:  Can you explain the process of receiving financial advice?

George Kapositas: The purpose of a client’s financial plan is to fund current and/or future life objectives. Our process includes an analysis of: Life goals, Current and projected net worth, Cash flow, Income & estate taxes, Employee benefits, Current investment & retirement statements, etc. from which we can glean the necessary information, needs for current income or liquidity, the appropriate allocation of investment assets and risk tolerance which we believe are the most important components in developing a successful financial plan.

From the data provided, we will develop a financial lifestyle plan containing our analysis with observations and recommendations to meet our client’s specified objectives.
The financial plan is a living document, reviewed periodically and adjusted appropriately. Whatever the unique situation may be, everyone needs a periodic assessment of where he/she is on the road to meeting his/her life goals.

IFA Direct Home: Do you find that a client’s initial objective changes following their first meeting with you?

George Kapositas: Not usually, but as we all know life is full of ups and downs. That is why all plans we put in place are flexible and adjustable.

IFA Direct Home: How much does advice cost?

George Kapositas: The first consultation is free as it is important to establish if and how we can add value to our client’s life. The fees are a % factor charged on assets we look after and agreed with our clients.

IFA Direct Home: Isn’t it a catch-22 situation to be spending money to find out how to save money?

George Kapositas: A client that works closely with a professional financial advisor can end up on average with 3 or even 6 times the value of assets than that if he had done it all alone. I was told that by a professional advisor/personal mentor when I joined the industry in 1993. Now, 25 years down the line I have seen this with my clients. For those who still have doubts they can speak to my clients.

IFA Direct Home: How often do you review the financial situation with your clients?

George Kapositas:  Reviews are decided between us and our clients. Sometimes it is annually and sometimes every15/18 months. However, clients have access to me 24/7.

Interview with Martin Potts, RMT Group Training Manager


Martin Potts, RMT Group Training Manager talks about his role at RMT and the role of the call centre operators, who he both trains and provides ongoing support to.

RMT offers complimentary appointments with Independent Financial Advisors across the UK. The aim of the appointments is to give members of the public the opportunity to have their pension reviewed by an FCA-regulated Independent Financial Advisor, who can assess whether their pension is performing for them and advise them of any course of action that will make them financially better off.

The first stage in this process starts will a call from an RMT phone operative who will provide awareness of the changes in pension legislation and explain exactly what takes place at an appointment and how it can be of benefit.

The majority of call centres operatives at RMT are home-based, giving them the flexibility to fit their work around other commitments. Their career at RMT starts off as office-based, where they receive training and support until they are ready to work from home.

“The training really centres around instilling the foundations and the knowledge in our new employees,” Martin Potts explains. “ It comprises of three, what we call, classroom days, where they are taken through the UK pensions market, the news laws that are in place and the changes to pension legislation.

“It’s important to remember that we are not training IFAs but our call centre operators do need to have a foundation knowledge of both the service we offer and the pensions market so that they can communicate this effectively to people.

“Following the training, employees spend around one month working in our incubation centre, working with myself and one other experienced office-based operator until they are confident in what they are doing and are able to work from home.

“And even when they become home-based we are still there at the end of the phone if they need our help or support. In addition, we continually monitor performance and listen to recordings of calls to ensure the quality of their work is always at the highest level and provide feedback as and when necessary.

“Our call centre operation is based in Spain and so when we look to recruit new employees we look for someone who is already settled and established in Spain. We look for someone who is experienced in working in call centres, someone who ideally has a background in finance and, most importantly, is confident in communicating on the phone.

“We can teach people all about the service we offer and the pensions market but the one thing we cannot teach them is how to be confident on the phone.

“Anyone receiving a call from one of our operatives can expect to speak to a professional individual. It’s important to remember that we are not trying to sell anything, so it’s not a case that they are going to be receiving a call from a sales person.

“Our role is to help people to understand that it is something that could be of benefit to them. We raise awareness of the new pension legislation, explain how this could affect them and give them the opportunity to speak with an Independent Financial Advisor.

“It is a complimentary review with someone who is professional, it is something that the UK Government recommends everyone should do to ensure their pension is in order.

“An Independent Financial Advisor will give you an hour of their time, review your financial situation and, in most cases, will be able to come back with a solution to your problem.

“On the flipside, if they review your situation and everything is fine, then they will recommend you leave things as they are, which gives you peace of mind that your pension is performing well. And who wouldn’t want to receive peace of mind about something that is so crucial to you in later life.

“Sometimes people expect that it will be a sales man turning up to their home for the consultation and they are pleasantly surprised to discover they are not. Instead, it’s a qualified and regulated advisor who provides honest and professional advice and anyone who has a meeting with an Independent Financial Advisor is under no obligation to take things further.

“They are simply presented with the options available to them and clear information on how this could benefit them. Any costs associated with any recommendations are clearly and transparently explained, leaving them with the information they need to make an informed choice about what to do with their pension.

“I actually really enjoy my role at RMT. It’s not a pressurised sales environment, it’s a professional office, with a nice small team and it’s great to work for an established, professional company with a bright future ahead.”

The Average Briton Could Save £30,000 over 10 Years Through Regulated Advice


Regulated Advice

The average British man is 38, will live another 41 years and is educated  to at least to A-level standard. The average British woman is two years older and will live to 82.

The average man works 39 hours a week and earns £27,600 a year. On average, women work less – 34 hours a week – and earn less – £22,151. (1)

The average loan to value (LTV) for a mortgage in the UK is 48%. (3) The average house price  is £218,000 in 2016. (2) London is more than twice this at £537,000 compared to £157,000 in the North East. (3) Mr and Mrs Average have typically paid off 32% of their mortgage. (4)

People between the ages of 35 and 54 have typically saved £8,138, while over-65s have more than twice this amount with almost £18,000 set aside. UK adults have savings that are 21% of average annual earnings. (5)

Average house price – £218,000
Average mortgage – £104,640
Average savings – £8,138
Average pension pot – £45,000 (6)
Average salary – £27,600

The average salary UK for the tax year ending 5 April 2015 was £27,600. This is a median average and an increase of 1.6% over the 2014 median average which was £27,200. These averages are for full time employees with data taken from the ONS Annual Average Salary Survey. (5)

Lets see how much can be saved by Mr. Average who employs a regulated advisor.

Mortgage – Average mortgage of £104,640 is £436.00 per month @ 5% average over next 10 years.  Fixing at 3%  gives a mortgage per month of £261.60 giving a saving of ******£20,928.*****

Savings – Assumes we invest half £4,069 into a discretionary managed funds and the financial advisor could beat the high street rate by just a mere 3%. That’s a difference of £139.71 per year or a saving over 10 years of *****£1,397.*****

Pension – £45,000 pension is currently charged at 2%. If this was  reduced to 0.5%.  The calculation DOES not include enhanced performance as a result of the charges staying in the pension or performance of the pension itself. The savings alone amounts to £675 per year or over a decade *****£6,750.*****

Life Insurance – 40-year-old man for £250,000 worth of life and critical illness insurance, lasting 25 years.  For example, a level-term life assurance policy for £250,000 would cost a 40-year-old male non-smoker £23.08 through an adviser, £29.85 through Tesco Bank and £35.30 if bought directly from Aviva. That’s a saving over 10 years of *****£1,466.*****

Total – £30,541 saved over 10 years by seeking financial regulated advice. Pretty amazing the power of good financial advice!

(1) Statistics reveal Britain’s ‘Mr and Mrs Average’ 13 October 2010 The Times.

(2) House prices rise for the first time since March, but the market is ‘losing momentum’ 7 Dec 2016. The Telegraph.

(3) The regions with the biggest mortgage debt revealed. 10 Feb 2016. This is Money.

(4) How average are you? What is the typical Brit like and how many people pick their nose? 17 JUL 2014 Daily Mirror.



IFA Perspectives: Paul Corden at Cotswold Independent Financial Services


paul corden cotswold

IFA Direct Home: Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Paul Corden: I have been in Financial Services since 1988, I worked for a large pension and investment company until 2013 as a business development manager working with financial advisers to help them grow their businesses and work more profitably.

IFA Direct Home: Who should be seeking advice?

 Paul Corden: Ideally everyone should seek advice as the decisions they make today could have an impact on the rest of their lives.  However, we understand that this is not always possible or affordable.  We would certainly recommend any individual who is at or approaching retirement to seek advice as there are many choices available. It is vitally important that clients understand their options to ensure that they make an informed decision as some options are irrevocable and the cost of getting this wrong potentially outweighs any advice fees.

IFA Direct Home: Why should they seek advice over making a decision themselves?

Paul Corden: For the reason highlighted above that the cost of making the incorrect decision potentially outweighs any advice fees that are applicable.  By seeking advice we would do an initial financial health check to establish their current position.  Once we understand both this and the clients goals and objectives we would formulate a financial plan to help them achieve these goals.

IFA Direct Home: What financial pitfalls might people come across?

Paul Corden: Making the incorrect choice of tax wrappers or retirement options can be financially catastrophic.  Once a tax wrapper is decided upon the choice of any underlying investment has to be commensurate with the clients attitude towards risk and capacity to withstand losses.  Also withdrawing funds (particularly pension funds) could be financially penal from a tax perspective if they get it wrong.

IFA Direct Home:  Can you explain the process of receiving financial advice?

Paul Corden: The starting point at Cotswold Independent Financial Services would be to offer an initial consultation (at our expense) at this meeting we would explain who we are, how we work and potential costs. We would then seek to understand the clients current and future financial position and how this is aligned with their goals.  We would also obtain details of any current plans that the client holds to understand what their choices are.  After this initial meeting we would send a follow up email to the client to reaffirm our initial discussions and outline the process moving forward including further clarification on costs.

IFA Direct Home: Do you find that a client’s initial objective changes following their first meeting with you?

Paul Corden: Although many clients objectives do not change, the vast majority will change how they go about achieving these objectives once they understand their choices and have received advice.

IFA Direct Home: How much does advice cost?

Paul Corden: This varies depending on the client situation and the complexity.  As explained above the initial meeting is at our expense at this point we would articulate our costs and how these can be paid.  As a general rule, at Cotswold Independent Financial Services we charge a % of funds which reduces at certain points.  The maximum fee structure is 3% on the first £100,000, 2% on the next £150,000, 1% on anything above this amount.  For our retirement planning service we have a minimum initial fee of £1500.  The client can choose whether they pay this fee direct or whether it is facilitated by the new provider if a change is necessary.

IFA Direct Home: Isn’t it a catch-22 situation to be spending money to find out how to save money?

Paul Corden: We would always say that if we cannot demonstrate our advice is ‘adding value’ to the clients situation then no costs would be payable.

IFA Direct Home: How often do you review the financial situation with your clients?

Paul Corden:  At Cotswold Independent Financial Services, we offer our clients the option of one or two reviews per annum but this is entirely their choice.

IFA Perspectives: Flying Colours


Flying Colours
Ryan Mellor, Sales Director at RMT Group interviews Ben Cowley,  Head of Marketing at Flying Colours.

IFA Direct Home: Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Flying Colours: The team at Flying Colours is a mix of experienced independent financial advisers and investment experts. What we all have in common is our belief that advice and investing should be affordable to all and not erode the very value you’re trying to create or protect. We’ve designed our entire business with that approach in mind and our clients seem to like what we’re doing!

IFA Direct Home: Who should be seeking advice?

Flying Colours: Financial advice can be valuable for anyone who is unsure of how to manage their money or is looking to make more of it than they’d get saving into a cash account and having the value eroded by inflation.  Our clients include those looking to access their pension in the most suitable way; people looking to transfer out of a pension scheme or consolidate different pension pots; all the way down to millennials looking to develop a financial plan to support them and their family over the coming decades.

IFA Direct Home: Why should they seek advice over making a decision themselves?

Flying Colours: Your money gives you the opportunity to choose how you live. Investments can be complex and the tax rules in the UK are far from simple. In some situations, for example, when you come to access your pension, you might only have one chance to make decision about what happens to the money you’ve invested for many years. The implications of even innocuously making the wrong decision about how to access your pension could cost you many thousands of pounds. There are plenty of horror stories about this in the press and we don’t want anyone to have to suffer these.

IFA Direct Home: What financial pitfalls might people come across?

Flying Colours: With regard to investment decisions there are many and varied pitfalls. We’ve even producedsome research on it showing the losses that ‘DIY’ investors are subject to. But the more commonplace pitfalls are failing to have any kind of financial plan to support your retirement or missing out on tax reliefs that we are eligible to receive and that could save us money each year.

IFA Direct Home:  Can you explain the process of receiving financial advice?

Flying Colours: We offer a free initial consultation to all prospective clients. This is where we find out what you’re looking to do and explain how we might be able to help and what the likely cost is going to be. If we don’t think we can help you, we’ll let you know. But, assuming we think we can help, we’ll book in a longer meeting to gather details about your existing investments, savings, goals so that we have everything we need to recommend a course of action that gives you the best chance of success.

IFA Direct Home: Do you find that a client’s initial objective changes following their first meeting with you?

Flying Colours: The first conversation or meeting we have with a client is a great opportunity to understand what clients think they need and also to uncover some objectives they perhaps haven’t thought about but which are equally – and sometimes even more – important.

IFA Direct Home: How much does advice cost?

Flying Colours: We charge 2% initial and then ongoing advice costs between 0.5-1.05% for everything that includes advice, investments and the platform the investments sit on. The UK average 3% initial and 2.15% so we are much better value for money than many. While cost is not the only reason to choose a financial adviser – it makes a huge difference to the return you’re going to get (and specifically the ongoing ones as they hamper your investment growth). We’ve tried to keep ours as low as possible. We do this through efficiency and not through compromise.

IFA Direct Home: Isn’t it a catch-22 situation to be spending money to find out how to save money?

Flying Colours: If a financial adviser doesn’t deliver more value than they cost then there’s a big problem. Now we think that most of them do. But the more expensive they are, the less value they’re likely to be delivering to you. We think that the industry can be expensive and as a result have tried to reduce internal costs and create efficiencies which allow us to pass these savings on to our clients.

IFA Direct Home: How often do you review the financial situation with your clients?

Flying Colours: Typically we will undertake a full review of a client’s circumstances each year. That doesn’t mean that’s the only time we speak to them though! We’re always available for a chat and we also provide access to an online portal so that people can keep track of their investments.

IFA Perspectives: Ian Brooks at True Potential


Ian Brooks

IFA Direct Home: Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Ian Brooks: I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry having worked for various high street banks before joining True Potential.

IFA Direct Home: Who should be seeking advice?

Ian Brooks: Everyone at some point in their lives would benefit from a financial review, whether it is reviewing current arrangements to ensure they are correct or to discover and discuss new ones.

IFA Direct Home: Why should they seek advice over making a decision themselves?

Ian Brooks: Financial planning can be daunting due to the jargon and complexities and there is the danger of making the wrong decision. I present advice in a clear, concise understandable manner and endeavour to ensure the correct product is chosen and remains suitable.

IFA Direct Home: What financial pitfalls might people come across?

Ian Brooks: Financial planning is a journey and pitfalls maybe encountered along the way, a financial adviser will steer around these pitfalls to help achieve the objective. Although numerous the most common pitfalls being, wrong product, under performance, unsuitable level of risk, non utilisation of tax efficient products.

IFA Direct Home:  Can you explain the process of receiving financial advice?

Ian Brooks: Firstly it begins with a very informal cost free discussion in order to ascertain if a need exists. Should there be a need a plan is formulated to achieve it before presentation to the client. Lastly the plan is monitored to ensure it remains suitable.

IFA Direct Home: Do you find that a client’s initial objective changes following their first meeting with you?

Ian Brooks: Not so much change in that new ones are discovered upon initial discussion.

IFA Direct Home: How much does advice cost?

Ian Brooks: The initial meeting is free, after which a fee is agreed between the adviser and client before any work is undertaken.

IFA Direct Home: Isn’t it a catch-22 situation to be spending money to find out how to save money?

Ian Brooks: It’s about what benefit a financial adviser can provide. If at the initial meeting it is not in the clients interest to proceed I will tell them so, I only become involved if I can make a difference.

IFA Direct Home: How often do you review the financial situation with your clients?

Ian Brooks: Clients are able to log  into a dedicated client site 24/7 via computer or mobile. I am also available throughout. A more formal discussion is held every 6 months or annually, subject to needs.

IFA Perspectives: Louis-Rhys Harvey at Aventur Wealth



IFA Direct Home: Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Louis-Rhys Harvey: I started off in main stream banking, being promoted on my first day from Cashier to Senior Mortgage Adviser. Within 9 months I was a Bank Manager, still holding the record for a big High Street name of being the youngest ever appointed, at age 18. It didn’t take long though to realize the major red tape and bureaucracy in banking, hindering truly helping customers and keeping unbiased. It was then I decided to go independent, providing full holistic planning to my clients, completely independently, having no bias nor loyalty to any specific organization or institution.

At Aventur Wealth we are privileged to have a small, boutique company and therefore can provide bespoke services designed around the client, as this is how we believe a financial advisory company should be.

IFA Direct Home: Who should be seeking advice?

Louis-Rhys Harvey: Quite simply, everyone. However this is not realistic. At Aventur Wealth we endeavor to get back to basics. We believe that the old style of many years ago, having a relationship with the ‘Bank Manager’ is how things should be with your Financial Adviser. They should be there when needed, continually in contact providing advice in a holistic manner, not just pensions, not just investments, but financial services as a whole. Of course, there are specialisms, but the Financial Adviser should be the one port of call for everything in Financial Services, after all, we are the experts in the field, so why not?

IFA Direct Home: Why should they seek advice over making a decision themselves?

Louis-Rhys Harvey: I am a big fan of the saying, ‘it is expensive to hire a professional, but how much more costly it is to hire an amateur’. You wouldn’t underwrite your own insurance policy, you wouldn’t build your own house and you wouldn’t repair your car if you didn’t have the know how, expertise and up to date knowledge. You may well know a little about them, but, a little knowledge is dangerous and I have only seen it end in the demise of the client. If advice is taken, you then have the backing of that advice, the adviser taking the responsibility and the full complaints procedure should it be incorrect.

IFA Direct Home: What financial pitfalls might people come across?

Louis-Rhys Harvey: This is an endless subject and just cannot be covered, so many are the pitfalls. What immediately comes to mind is the risk assessments needed when investing, how much to invest, when to invest. What are the tax implications – coming up very often now with the new pension freedoms act. Inheritance Tax planning is always an issue, and never ceases to amaze clients as to actually how much their beneficiaries will need to pay should they remain unplanned. Unnecessary fees is another I come across often, most have no idea what they are paying providers and advisers, and are often rather shocked when they find out.

IFA Direct Home: Can you explain the process of receiving financial advice?

Louis-Rhys Harvey: Advice from Aventur Wealth is very simple;
We start by visiting the client at a place and time of their convenience.

We discuss their full financial situation, their plans and thoughts for the future, also discussing their thoughts on risk, capacity for loss, aims and objectives. We also offer a free review with an accountant or solicitor should it be relevant.

We will cover;
Pensions and Investments
Auto Enrolment (Company Pensions)
Will Writing and Estate Planning
Company Legacy Planning
Free Review with an Accountant

As a client of Aventur Wealth, the clients also receive access to our Personal Finance Portal that will allow them to see their financial overview via our app or online.

Then, we write to their current providers/institutions, to get a full understanding of the products and services the client is using
Once the information comes in, we then get on with our research, this is done independently and looking at the market place as a whole with no bias. This is then recorded in a report and sent to the client for their review. At the same time, a second meeting is booked in back to the client to discuss in the detail the report and our findings.

Thereafter, the client instructs to employ our services or not and we build our relationship from there with regular reviews, attitude to risk assessments and helping the client along the way in their financial life.

IFA Direct Home: Do you find that a client’s initial objective changes following their first meeting with you?

Louis-Rhys Harvey: Depending on the client’s understanding of financial planning, objectives often change during meetings as the adviser identifies areas which could impact on the client’s needs and wider planning areas such as family protection and taxation planning etc

IFA Direct Home: How much does advice cost?

Louis-Rhys Harvey:  More often than not yes. Many clients have preconceived ideas, as we all do about subjects and industries we know a little about. It is our job to clarify these thoughts, correcting where necessary but providing solutions to the problems along the way.

IFA Direct Home: Isn’t it a catch-22 situation to be spending money to find out how to save money?

Louis-Rhys Harvey: This varies based on the type of advice and the regulatory risk of that advice to the firm.  Advice fees therefore reflect the risk.  Typically, if a client was investing a lump sum, we would charge in the region of 3% of the amount invested.  So if a sum of £10,000 was invested, that would equate to around a fee of £300.  If an amount of £50,000 was invested, then the fee would be around £1,500.  The fees can either be paid directly by the client or they can be taken from their investment or pension.  It is down to the client to decide how they pay us.

Because we provide ongoing services as standard – the ongoing service is just as, if not more,  important than the initial advice, we charge 0.75% of the value of the pension or investment per annum.
Advice on protection products (such as protection against death or ill health) is still paid for through commissions paid by the relevant insurance company.

Advice on estate planning – will writing, trusts etc. – are all fee based and vary case to case. The same is for Auto-enrolment (workplace pensions).

IFA Direct Home: How often do you review the financial situation with your clients?

Louis-Rhys Harvey: We provide a free online system for our clients to log in to via our website and our online app. This allows them to see their portfolio at anytime, 24/7. Their appointed adviser/relationship manager is then on hand, again, pretty much at anytime should they wish to discuss anything or have a visit/phone call – this is all paid for within the 0.75% per annum charge as outlined above. There is no fee for meetings, any communication and so on.

As standard we then review our client’s attitude to risk on a 6 monthly basis, electronically via email, and this feeds back in to our system. If anything is noted that needs to be discussed we then contact the client to discuss this further.

Of course, we do have examples of clients that specifically want a visit once every month, 3 months etc. Again, this is arranged and provided as its what the client wants! We are privilege to have a small, boutique company and therefore can provide bespoke services designed around the client, as this is how we believe a financial advisory company should be.

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