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.