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How we work - Our seven-point action plan

1. COMPLETION OF FACT FIND / FINANCIAL PROFILE

At our first meeting with you and indeed at subsequent review meetings, we will always ensure that we are in possession of the full facts relating to your circumstances. This will help us build your financial profile and objectives. This is a confidential record which assists us in providing you with advice and recommendations.

2. COMPLETE PERSONAL RISK PROFILER

Once we have established your financial profile, we move on to complete your personal risk profile. This comprises of a detailed questionnaire which we complete with you, the answers to which will enable us to establish your attitude to investment risk, for example:

  • ‘How would you react to stock market fluctuations?’
  • ‘How would you react to potential losses and gains?’
  • ‘The time scale you wish to commit to?’

The resultant risk score will indicate just how much risk you wish to expose your investments or pension.

3. A FINANCIAL PLAN - YOUR PROTECTION NEEDS AND OBJECTIVES FOR INVESTING

At our first meeting, we will carry out an assessment of your protection needs, which will of course include any current arrangements that you have in place. The assessment will be based not only on your requirements but also those that are dependent upon you. The lifestyle protection plans that we will recommend will therefore provide ‘peace of mind’ to both yourself and dependants should times become difficult.

We will also establish your objectives for investing together with an investment strategy, which may include various reasons such as provision for an income in retirement, provision for an immediate income or investing for growth.

4. CHOICE OF SUITABLE FINANCIAL PRODUCTS

As we are Independent Financial Advisers and are not linked to or part of a bank, building society, estate agency, solicitors or insurance company, we are able to research the whole of the financial/insurance marketplace objectively and in a totally unbiased manner. The range of financial/insurance products that we recommend will be confirmed to you in a suitability report or demands and needs statement which will summarise our advice and recommendations. This is a useful future point of reference, particularly when we are carrying out review meetings with you.

5. SUITABLE ASSET ALLOCATION

Once we have established your risk score, we can then calculate in percentage terms the most efficient allocation of your investment. This is known as ‘asset allocation’ and forms the foundation of your investment/pension fund portfolio plan as this is the main contributor to achieving returns from your portfolio. Asset allocation typically comprises of equities, property, cash and fixed interest/gilts. For example your asset allocation might be as follows:

  • Equities Fund 25%
  • Fixed Interest/Gilts Fund 30%
  • Equities Fund 30%
  • Cash/Deposit Fund 5%
  • Property Fund 10%

6. DIVERSIFICATION

Once we have established asset allocation, we will then advise you of the most appropriate funds to meet that mix of asset types. We are able to recommend from a least 1,500 funds which as an example will include: Managed Funds from large well known providers, such as Aviva, Legal & General, Standard Life, AXA, AEGON, Skandia - to name but a few - to specialist one-off funds, such as Black Rock Gold and General.

7. ON GOING REVIEWS

Dependent upon the type of client that you are with IFA Financial Services (UK) Ltd. we will meet up with you to carry out reviews of your investment portfolio/pension fund. Asset allocations that were established when the original portfolio was set up will over time shift depending on the returns from the various investments, so in our previous example, after a year, the over all value in percentage terms of your investment portfolio might now be spread like this example:
 
(i)

UK Equities Fund

30%

25%

-5%

(ii)

Fixed Interest/Gilts Fund

25%

30%

+5%

(iii)

US Equities Fund

35%

30%

+5%

(iv)

Cash/Deposit Fund

5%

5%

0%

(v)

Property Fund

5%

10%

-5%

 
So the purpose of the ‘rebalancing’ (which we suggest six monthly, annually or bi-annually) is to restore your investment portfolio/pension fund back to its original asset allocation. However, you will of course have the opportunity at the same time to switch asset allocation together with an investment strategy reassessment as part of the review process. Therefore, with the ability to establish Individual Gains or Losses from the various asset allocations, we believe you will be receiving a more detailed and transparent result of what assets are doing well and more importantly, perhaps not so well over a given period of time.SUMMARYThe aim of our services will be to provide you with adequate lifestyle protection together with your own professionally structured investment portfolio/pension fund. Thus giving you peace of mind that you have the required flexibility to review your lifestyle protection arrangements (with your own lifestyle changes) and to change your portfolio (with investment trends and stock market movements). In the next section of our website "How we are paid for our services" we explain the options available to you as to how you can achieve the above cost effectively.