Our Principles and Methodology
We are distinctive because we are interested in the wider aspects of our clients’ lives. Whether we are working with you on your goals, building a strategy to meet your requirements or reviewing progress with you so far, we recognise that financial goals and decisions cannot be determined in a vacuum. We work with you to balance your financial objectives with other priorities in your life.
We challenge you to think differently about your finances, to see them as a means to an end, rather than an end in themselves. The desire to build financial security by maximising returns and minimising risk are taken as givens. We work with you to identify your financial priorities along with the broader goals that you want to achieve with your resources.
Only when these are clear can we make informed financial decisions that contribute to the achievement of these goals. Ultimately, this will give you peace of mind about your finances because your financial decisions are in balance with the other values and priorities in your life, allowing you to focus more of your time, energy and resources on the things that are important to you.
Experience tells us that the decisions you make today have implications for your entire life. Financial planning can help free you from economic uncertainty, or fear, and enable you to steward your resources more efficiently and effectively.
How do we facilitate this?
We start with the end in mind. Once we have an understanding of your goals, we begin work on building your strategy and personal financial plan. This demonstrates how you could move from your current position to the achievement of your goals.
We help you visualise your future from a financial perspective.
The financial planning process will integrate all areas of an individual, or family’s, financial situation. Your plan will be bespoke to you and may cover some of the following areas:
- Summary Introduction
An outline of your personal situation detailing your current circumstances which provide the backdrop to your plan.
- Lifestyle and Financial Goals
This area will focus on the specific benchmarks that your investment portfolio must achieve, along with any financial requirements you have to fulfil any additional ambitions. It will highlight any action that needs to be taken to increase the ability to meet your goals.
- Cash Flow Analysis
Review of current and future requirements based upon present spending patterns and anticipated needs, considering any additional lump sums or payments that you expect to give or receive.
- Retirement Planning
An analysis of financial resources that will be available in retirement for the purpose of lifestyle preservation. Forecasting and projections will include your existing portfolio, private and state pensions.
- Risk Analytics
Study of your existing portfolio’s risk and volatility. Psychometric testing to understand your actual tolerance to risk. Measure the levels of risk you need to be exposed to in order to have the potential to meet your goals.
- Taxation Strategy
Minimisation of the tax burden on your income draw and portfolios capital growth. This will include maximising any immediate tax breaks available if appropriate e.g. a portfolio with large unrealised CGT gains.
- Family Assurance Scenario
Planning to assess the impact of an unforeseen injury or death and how this could affect your financial situation. Plan to minimise the financial impact if one of these scenarios occurs.
- Asset Allocation Review
We review your existing strategic position in light of your goals, tolerance to risk and timescales, and then recommend an appropriate strategic asset allocation model to optimise the potential to meet your goals, whilst minimising the risk and volatility your portfolio is exposed to. We consider your investment exposure to all major asset classes in order to achieve this.
- Ethical Investing
If you require, we can provide you with an ethically screened investment portfolio, which aligns your assets with your values. This process can incorporate negative and positive screening and engagement / activism strategies.
- Portfolio Benchmarking
Set tactical asset allocation parameters for your fund managers to operate within. Benchmark overall portfolio performance against respective market indices.
- Fund Manager Review and Selection
Assess your existing fund managers for suitability and appropriateness to your financial goals, risk requirements and tolerance levels. Review fund charges and seek cost savings through use of institutional investment structures.
- Planning and Strategy Recommendations
Advice summary and documentation of full recommendations including any associated costs and charges, personal taxation and regulatory issues.
Provide an integrated investment and giving strategy which enables highly tax-efficient monetary donations and donor input to be made to a chosen cause.
- Wealth preservation and transfer
This strategy concentrates on preserving existing wealth and ensuring it only passes to those individuals or charities that you nominate through Will or Trust planning. This process can incorporate tax efficient structures to minimise the tax burden of your beneficiaries.
The Benefits of this Approach
- Peace of mind in managing your money
- Innovative solutions
- Financial organisation and clarity
- The achievement and maintenance of financial independence
- Cutting edge portfolio modelling and analysis
- Maximise your returns and resources whilst minimising risk
- Planning will provide you with accountability
Fee Only Advice
We believe that you want, and need, a fair and transparent approach to financial planning. The traditional mainstream model of providing financial advice is inherently biased. This is because the approach is predominately:
- Commission based
- Product driven
Inappropriate and client costly recommendations can be made because of the higher commissions some products pay over others. Products are sold often ahead of a total solution being delivered and a service provided.
We believe our approach to financial planning is distinctive because it gives you:
- Fee-only based advice which gives you true independence of advice
- Solutions to complex financial decisions
- Transparency on investments and costs
Working in this way gives you true peace of mind that the advice you receive is entirely independent and has integrity.
This Service is provided by Acuity Professional Advisers Ltd, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).