Savings & Investments
Whether you want to make regular savings or invest a lump sum, you need to consider your longer term goals to make sure you have the right arrangements in place.
We will work with you through the key steps of the investment planning journey to help you understand your options and the most appropriate way forward:
- Understanding your current situation and longer term goals
- Assessing your investment risk profile
- Investment, product and provider research
- Recommendation and implementation
- Ongoing monitoring and advice
Understanding your current situation and longer term goals
Only by understanding your current financial situation and longer term goals, can we begin to assess the most appropriate mix of savings and investments for you. We will look at a number of factors, including:
- how much money you have already saved or invested, and where
- how much you can afford to save or invest going forwards
- purpose and timeframe for investment – i.e. why and when you will need it
- how much flexibility you will need – i.e. access to the money
- your tax position, both now and in the future
Assessing your investment risk profile
Your investment risk profile will be influenced by a number of factors. These include:
Your experience – if you’ve never invested in stock markets before, you may not be used to the sharp rises and falls that investment markets can experience, especially over the short term. Those who are used to longer term investing will be more familiar with this concept.
Your comfort zone – how you feel emotionally about taking investment risk – or in other words, whether you are comfortable seeing short term falls in the value of your investments when aiming for good long term growth, or whether you would be more comfortable taking less investment risk and accepting this may mean lower overall returns in the long run.
Your needs – whether you need to take investment risk in order to meet your goals – generally people take investment risk because they need to grow their savings over the medium to long term. If you already have a high level of savings, are able to invest a reasonably large portion of your income and have modest longer term goals, you may not need to take as much, or in fact any, additional risk with your investments.
Your capacity – how much capacity you have to take investment risk – can you accept a short term fall in your investments without this having an impact on your ability to meet your long term goals, or would you be unable to recover due to insufficient time or ability to make up any investment losses before you need the money from the investment?
Having understood your current position, your goals and your risk profile, we can research the products and providers that will best suit your needs.
However, to enable this research to be carried out properly, it’s also important that we understand how involved you want to be in choosing and managing your investments going forward. In other words:
Investment decisions – Do you want to actively choose the type of investment, and the investment funds, that your money goes into, or would you prefer to leave this to either your adviser or a fund manager?
Portfolio management – Are you happy to review your investment risk position on (at least) an annual basis with your adviser before making any changes to your investment, or are you happy to pay additional investment fees for your investments to maintain a static ‘risk rated’ approach with rebalancing of investment holdings made automatically within the investment?
Fund management style – Do you want less expensive funds that aim to track a particular market index (such as the FTSE All Share index in the UK), or are you prepared to pay higher investment fees in the hope that an actively managed fund could outperform over the longer term?
Platforms – Do you value being able to hold a number of investments in the same place, and being able to see their combined value and performance online? If so then a ‘platform’ approach could work, allowing you to combine, for example, an ISA, a pension and a general investment account all with one provider.
Using a straightforward process, we will make sure we fully understand the answers to all of these questions as they directly impact on our research when it comes to choosing the right investment, product and provider to suit your needs.
Recommendation and implementation
We will present our recommendations to you as a report, making sure that you fully understand what we are advising. Once agreed, we will help put your investment plan in place, ensuring the implementation process runs as smoothly as possible.
Having developed a full understanding of your investment risk profile, we will be in a position to recommend the most appropriate asset allocation for your investments. That is, the mix between equities, commercial property, government and company bonds and cash, to give you the best possible chance of achieving your financial goals.
We will also be able to advise whether an ISA, pension, onshore or offshore bond, a general investment account, or a combination of these approaches, would be best for you taking into account your timeframe for investment, requirement for flexibility and your tax position, both now and in the future.
Ongoing monitoring and advice
Once your investments are up and running, they should be kept under regular review to ensure they remain appropriate for your changing circumstances, and to ensure they are performing in line with expectations. We can also help implement any changes that are required.
We want to help you to take control of your financial future. Our primary goal is to make sure you fully understand and are comfortable with the decisions you are making about your investments.
See more information on our charges for investment advice.