How I work with my clients
In this blog, I will familiarise you with how IFAs work from the perspective of how I work with my clients. Following the journey from our first contact to ongoing reviews.
When a potential client first contacts me, whether it be via a referral, a recommendation or someone I already know asking me about financial advice, I will try to establish the type of advice that they think they require. I will therefore ask some specific questions so that I am prepared and have the necessary paperwork for our first meeting. During this discussion, we will put a date in the diary to have our first meeting. I will ask that you bring all relevant documentation including identification along with you.
At all meetings I ensure that I have an agenda however, the first meeting is more about a conversation than anything. The purpose of the meeting is for us to get to know each other. For you to see if you can work with me and for me to understand more about you and your objectives. This is so that I can provide the most appropriate recommendation for you. I will ask specific and open questions to understand more about you. If relevant we will also discuss “risk” and your capacity for loss.
Depending upon your objectives, if I need to carry out analysis regarding your existing plans, I will ask you to sign Letters of Authority. These give me permission to speak to your existing providers on your behalf.
I will also give you a small folder containing my business card, a copy of our Client Agreement and some information about me. I will clearly explain our charges to you.
This meeting can last between 60-90 minutes and is complimentary.
Meeting follow up
Following our meeting, I will send off the letters to your exiting providers asking them for the information I need to carry out my analysis (if applicable). I will also send you either a letter or email with a summary of our discussions. This will also include your back ground information, agreed objectives and our plan of action. This may also include attachments such as a link to request a state pension forecast for example.
It can take a few weeks to get back all of the information requested. I will keep you informed of how this is progressing.
Once I have received the plan information, back from any existing providers, I will carry out my analysis in light of your requirements and objectives. From this, I will formulate my recommendations.
If I am not carrying out analysis on existing plans, I will be in touch with you within two weeks to arrange the recommendation meeting.
Another meeting may be required during this process to ensure that I have clarified anything that was unclear following our initial meeting.
Before our meeting, I will send you a letter outlining my advice and the reasons why I have given that advice. This should be read in full carefully and retained for future reference.
During this meeting, I will recap on the agreed objectives, ensure that there has been no changes to your circumstances and present my recommendation(s) to you. I will explain the reasons for my recommendation(s) and how it fits with your objectives. I ensure that everything is explained as fully as you need and that all your questions are answered. Sometimes clients are happy to complete any paperwork required to implement the advice there and then. Some however need more time to think about it. I am happy with either way. I do not pressure my clients and will only proceed when I am happy you are.
This meeting again can take between 60-90 minutes depending on the nature of advice.
Meeting follow up
Following on from our recommendation meeting, I will send all of the paperwork off to implement my recommendation.
I will keep you informed regarding the process of the applications so you know what stage it is at.
It is important to review you financial situation on an ongoing, regular basis. I therefore encourage my clients to have regular annual reviews. At these meetings we can ensure your financial plan is still suitable for your needs and objectives. It will allow me to make any necessary changes based upon your circumstances or regulatory/legislative changes.
If you do not take up the annual reviews or you wish to see me between reviews, or you have any questions I would still like my clients to contact me.
For more details on how I work, click here.
If you would like to arrange a meeting, please contact me.