We think that financial-planning needs to happen within the framework of an ongoing review process. Around thirty or so years of past experience has taught us the reliable lesson that a kind of 'one-hit-wonder' approach to financial services provision does significantly elevate risk, and is likely to result in disappointment.
This is hardly the most profound of lessons. 'Things' never stay the same for long: our own circumstances, our own plans and objectives, the wider economy, the returns available from investment markets - to name but a few. It makes sense to stay on top of the essentials, so that our ongoing provisions do not drift too far away from being relevant to our plans.
Some Advisers like to shoe-horn their clients into a rigid framework of reviews, whether they (the clients) like it or not. Frequently, such an approach feels onerous (on the receiving end) and may also be quite expensive. At ValidPath we tend to be a little more pragmatic: we understand the value of regular reviews, we want you to understand that as well, but we're really not about coercion, or ratcheting up your costs. We certainly don't want you to feel that you're the unwilling recipient of a kind of financial bullying, albeit dressed up with nice, voluminous reports.
So here's what we'll do:
We'll make it clear that reviewing things is a good idea
We'll endeavour to stay in touch sufficiently to remind you of the value of such reviews
When you and we agree to conduct a review, this will then include the following essential elements:
An updated FactFind, based upon current financial data
A 'CashCalc' cashflow forecast, looking at your future income and capital requirements (and this will require your involvement in supplying data)
An update on your financial provisions (especially investments and pensions)
An updated 'risk profile', in order to determine whether there has been any substantive change in your attitude towards risk
A discussion about the issues arising
A collaborative approach towards any changes that may need to happen
Our aim is to keep these reviews clean
and straightforward, and focused on the issues which really matter. We do not
, for instance, produce the kind of huge, technical review of investments which one encounters elsewhere, and which - frankly - is of precious little benefit to most clients. Our review process is intended to help you answer the following question in a reasonably reliable way: Will I be alright?
Or, to nuance the context a little, If I do this particular thing, will I still be alright?
We would hope to discuss this with you before conducting any review. For most clients, with existing investment portfolios where we are the authorised Adviser, our time costs for the face-to-face (or telephone) review are usually covered by ongoing (recurring) renewal commissions or fees. The CashCalc forecast has a standard additional charge of £350 (for existing clients), and if any new work arises out of the review process, we'll cost that separately, with your approval.
That's it! The whole process is designed to minimise the proportion of rocket-science, and we hope would be accessible to most people. If you feel it's time for a review, just fill in the form below: