It is not wise to attempt to list what our clients would expect us to do for them. There are so many services under the banner of financial services generally that space would not permit it.
You could always start by looking through the short examples below. Many of them may look familiar to you. On occasions you may want some help that calls for us to liaise with other professional advisers such as your accountant or solicitor. This is fine.
On other occasions we may need to refer to other specialists to ensure that your advice is completely right for you. An example could be when we are managing a portfolio and its owner at some point needs residential care or when we are constructing a portfolio to provide income to meet these costs. At this stage we would continue to provide advice and manage the portfolio, but we would call on the services of a specialist to work with us to develop the ideal solution (see example 4 below for more information).
People have various requirements so please consider the following examples.
Some people have portfolios that they have inherited or perhaps they have added to over time and where they believe that the portfolios have "done alright" without any monitoring, they do not take any account of the longer term effects of inflation nor the dangers associated with leaving portfolios to work for themselves, all rather than incur the costs of having an adviser to work for and with them. We believe that approach to be short sighted and a little dangerous. Please also refer to the comments about Volkswagen that follow next.
Volkswagen was the flagship company of the German economy until the scandal about cheating over exhaust emissions.
Consider what would happen if a company such as VW grew substantially after purchase until it became, say 15% of a client's hypothetical portfolio.
Some would keep their shares because they had done so well and they assumed that they would keep on growing, but what if the company suddenly had an unforeseen problem with its Regulators, as happened to VW in 2015? The resulting 60% fall in share price in this stock alone, would have had a substantial effect on such a portfolio, causing an immediate 9% fall in the overall portfolio value, this without the ripple effect on the stockmarket in general. Had such a holding only represented 1.5% of the portfolio, the fall in value caused by this catastrophe would have been limited to less than 1.0%.
Purchasing "off the page" investments without first examining them in detail and also checking how they could affect everything else in your bespoke portfolio could increase the risk levels considerably and thereby affect the time and effort already spent in putting together your set strategy.
Many people are likely to look at their portfolio and or other savings and capital in a different way to pay care home fees either for themselves or for a loved one. This can and often does cause not only distress, but it can also mean sudden and major disruption to financial plans.
Complexity of taxation, benefits regulations; some payable by the Government and others payable by Local Authorities (some of which also vary from area to area, depending on different Local Authority regulations) are a minefield and require a very special approach. We are happy to arrange for advice to be given by a fully qualified specialist in order to minimise that disruption.
When Mr and Mrs M approached us for help, they had built up a substantial portfolio of individual unit trusts and ISAs during their working life and also a sizeable pension fund. However, it had all become unwieldy, with a lack of any real focus. As the clients themselves admitted, their savings were not providing sufficient income, nor had they any real understanding of the level of underlying risk, or even whether the mix of assets was appropriate for achieving their long term income and capital growth objectives.
Following a full review and making only those changes necessary, we were able to reorganise their portfolio to provide the income they needed to retire on – this level of income was achieved without placing any reliance on their pension fund or the need to realise proceeds from sale of their valuable company at retirement.
Our clients have since been able to help their family financially as they had always wished to. They feel much more comfortable with the mix of assets, and reassured by their level of income, they are pursuing their passion for travel, without any financial worries.