Independent Financial Advisers are required to select the best and most suitable investment (or pension) product for their client from a diverse range of products across the market.
This sounds simple, but to do this effectively all of the following need to be considered;
1. Who the client is, what is important to them as a person and what are their preferences.
2. Whether the client has knowledge and experience in the area of investments and understands their capacity for loss in detail.
3. The risks the client is prepared to take in relation to the gains/losses that any particular investment strategy may offer.
How is this information used?
We have a number of on-line tools and research methods at our disposal to help us determine which is the best solution for you. We have described these below:
Risk profiling tool: We would ask that you complete a simple on-line questionnaire to help guide us as to the level of risk you would be willing/and are able to take to achieve a level of return on your investment.
Cash-flow modelling: Using historic data this form of modelling allows us to consider your potential future financial position in relation to your goals and aspirations. This form of visual modelling allows clients to see how near or far they might be from achieving their goals.
Choosing and analysing the market strength of the product: In establishing the right pension or investment for a client we need to be as sure as we can that the product of choice has stood the test of time in terms of performance within the market. The analytical tools that we use do not protect from market volatility but enable us to understand how well a product has performed, in general, but most importantly during a time of volatility.
How do we know that what we have selected for you today will continue to perform in the future?
Due diligence: This is the process that we follow to ensure that our fund selections and providers of choice continue to be competitive within the market and meet the requirements of our client base.
But we understand that our clients are not just concerned about the performance of their funds, they are concerned about what use their money is being put to in order to achieve personal financial growth.
We provide investors with the opportunity to invest in companies that have socially useful products and services, and that lead their industries on environmental, social and governance management - all with a strong focus on delivering investment returns.
At Brighter knowing about you is important to us as if we don’t we are unlikely to secure the best investment option for you.
You are focussed on your futures and how your finances must support these and so we are too.
For a more detailed explanation of how we approach investments please request a copy of our latest due diligence guide for clients.
Investing in volatile times
First there was Brexit that saw a dip in the markets and now Covid 19 –the ramifications of which are likely to be felt for quite some time to come.
When looking at savings and investments reassurance can be taken that the markets are likely to recover and most investments are set up with his in mind i.e. they are for the long term, not the short term. Not so reassuring if you are due to retire but there are things you can do:
1. Look at whether the pension or investment has been set up with a clear understanding of your objectives i.e. when you want to retire, how you want to retire, or what you want to put your investment towards.
2. Look at how much the FTSE has fallen at any one time and ask for a valuation statement for your own funds. Do they follow a similar trajectory, are they better, are they worse in terms of performance against market volatility?
3. Have you been asked , within the past three years, about your attitude to finance risk? It could be that the risk you were willing to take with your investments when you first took them out was different to how it is today.
Some people will feel happy looking into this on their own - others may need help. Whatever your circumstances we are here to guide and support you, particularly at these uncertain times when there are more questions than answers for many people.
Regardless, however, investments and pensions, with or without the support of a financial adviser, need monitoring. It is not enough to start up savings and pensions and expect them at the time when we need them to provide us with what we want.
The amount and length of time we have the savings for, is the all important factor. Retirement is not always a choice. Sometimes events are such that work is no longer a possibility. As far as we possibly can we need to adapt our financial plans to prepare for the ebbs and flows of life. Not only do we need a life plan, we need a financial plan to support it.