This is what makes us different

Simply A Financial Plan You Can Trust

Expert. Experienced. Transparent. Market Integrity Campaigner. Ambassador For Transparency. Winner Of The Transparency Trophy Of The Transparency Taskforce.

 

There needs to be seperation and 'blue-water' between financial planning and financial intermediation.

Expert Financial Planning With A Difference

We don't sell financial products. We just plan. Here's why.

When you ask for a financial plan, you want to pay a fixed fee for the work. You want the fee paid to have nothing to do with how much product you buy. You want the financial planner to sign up to a fiduciary duty to act in all circumstances in good faith in your best interest. Incentives mustn't distort outcomes. Commitments need to be made that there will be no conflict of interest for there to be trust. 

What about firms that plan and sell products?

Most financial planners, financial advisers and wealth mangagers - whether independent or restricted - are financial intermediaries. They intermediate between you and the product providers. By definition, they are product sellers paid by how much product they sell. Most refuse to sign up to the fiduciary duty to act in all circumstances in good faith in your interest, with no conflict of interest and no undisclosed profit or benefit in kind. With those kinds of incentives ... it's hard to trust.

What is a Fee-only Non-intermediating Personal Financial Planner?

A fee-only non-intermediating personal financial planner is a highly trained professional who is committed to working in the best interests of their clients. They serve their clients without muddling the financial planning relationship with retail financial intermediation. They operate to high standards in the field of financial planning. They undertake a fiduciary oath and observe a code of ethics.

 

The Fiduciary Oath

“I shall plan my client before planning my client’s personal finances. I shall not conduct any retail financial intermediation. I shall exercise my best efforts to act in good faith and in the best interests of my client. I shall provide written disclosure to the client prior to my engagement, and thereafter throughout the term of the engagement, of any conflicts of interest, which will or reasonably may compromise my impartiality or independence. I, or any party in which I have a financial interest, do not receive any compensation or other remuneration that is contingent on my client’s purchase or sale of a financial product. I do not receive a fee or other compensation from another party based on the referral of a client or the client's business.

Following the Fiduciary Oath means I shall:

Always act in good faith and with honesty.

Be proactive in disclosing any conflicts of interest that may impact a client.

Not accept any referral fees or compensation contingent upon the purchase or sale of a financial product.”

 

The Code of Ethics

Objectivity: We strive to be as unbiased as possible in providing advice to clients, and we practice on a Fee-Only basis.

Confidentiality: We shall keep all client data private, unless authorisation is received from the client to share it. We shall treat all documents with care and take care when disposing of them. Relations with clients shall be kept private.

Competence: We shall strive to maintain a high level of knowledge and ability. We shall attain continuing education. We shall not provide advice in areas where we are not capable.

Fairness & Suitability: Dealings and recommendation with clients will always be in the client’s best interests. We put our clients first.

Integrity & Honesty: We will endeavour to always take the high road and to be ever mindful of the potential for misunderstanding that can accrue in normal human interactions. We will be diligent to keep actions and reactions so far above-board that a thinking client or other professional would not doubt our intentions. In all actions, we are mindful that in addition to serving our clients, we are about the business of building a profession, and our actions reflect this.

Regulatory Compliance: We will strive to maintain conformity with legal regulations.

Full Disclosure: We shall fully describe our method of compensation and potential conflicts of interest to clients.

Professionalism: We shall conduct ourselves in a professional way at all times. This involves integrity, honest treatment of clients, and treating people with respect.

 

It’s all part of our mission.

 

Our Mission

To provide fee-only non-intermediating personal financial plans for our clients.

 

Our Values

We live by three important values:

To be the beacon for independent, objective financial planning for individuals and families.

To be the champion of financial services delivered in the public interest.

To be the standard bearer for the emerging profession of financial planning.

 

Our Standards

We meet the following standards and continue to abide by such standards.

1. Fee-Only financial planner

We are compensated solely by the client with neither ourselves nor any related party receives compensation that is contingent on the purchase or sale of a financial product. We do not receive commissions, rebates, awards, finder’s fees, bonuses or other forms of compensation from others as a result of a client’s implementation of our planning recommendations.

2. Prohibition of certain ownership interests and employment relationships

We, or a party related to us, do not own any interest in or are employed by a financial services industry firm that receives commissions, rebates, awards or any form of compensation that is contingent on the purchase or sale of a financial product.

 

3. Compliance with industry regulations

We agree to comply with all statutes, rules, regulations, administrative and judicial rulings, and other authorities applicable to the provision of financial planning or advisory related services.

 

4. Prompt notification of certain disciplinary and legal events.

We have a continuing obligation to inform our clients, in a prompt manner and in writing, of significant disciplinary and legal events. These events include, but are not limited to, the following:

Any disciplinary inquiry or proceeding initiated by any civil or criminal authority or regulatory body, including any inquiry or proceeding relating to the firm with which we are associated;

Any disciplinary inquiry or proceeding initiated by a credentialing or membership organisation or authority to which we are subject,

Any bankruptcy, receivership, or other type of assignment or arrangement for the benefit or protection of our creditors or in relation to any entity in which we hold an interest of 5% or more.

 

Definitions:

"Related party" means a business colleague or family member with whom we share income or economic benefits. A related party may include, but is not limited to, a business partner or an officer or Director of our business, or a spouse, parent, dependent minor child, an adult child still residing in the home, or other dependent.

"Financial services industry firm" includes any entity or individual that offers any type of financial service, e.g., securities broker or dealer, investment adviser, asset manager, investment company, banking institution, savings institution, trust company, mortgage bank, credit union, savings and loan association, insurance broker or dealer or agent, real estate broker or agent, commodities broker or dealer or agent.

 

 

 

Clear Financial Planning You Can Trust

Maybe ...

You feel the financial planner may be trying to sell you a financial product. The conversation always leads to products. Maybe more product is not the solution.

Imagine this ...

The financial planner does not sell products. If you need a product, it's easy to do-it-yourself and save yourself a lot of money. There may be other options for you to consider.

Perhaps ...

They drown you with facts and figures because it's the law. Perhaps the adviser listens to you for 82 seconds before pulling out a brochure. Then talks for 10 to 12 hours about products and gives you a thick legal report at the end. 

Here ...

By removing the product sale we remove the need for all that 'red tape' imposed by the regulator on intermediaries. Here we talk about you and your plans. Here you get generic advice, financial education and a lifetime cash-flow forecast.

Potentially ...

The financial planner only advises customers with more than £100,000 to invest. This leaves 95% of the population without a plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

What if ...

The service was for a fixed fee. For everyone. And, wasn't just about wealth management, but included wealth creation. Addressing wealth inequality, rather than ignoring it.

Possibly ...

You are not too sure whether the financial planner is acting in your best interest or theirs. When you ask them about their fiduciary duties they instead talk about complaint procedures.

Picture this ...

The situation is clear. Your financial planner commits to act as a fiduciary, in your best interest, no conflicts, no hidden fees or benefits.

For TRUST, You Need A Different Kind Of Adviser!

 

It's all about values-based economics.

When economics meets values, the implications for individuals, corporations and policymakers are profound and beneficial in terms of our economy, people and planet.

 

 

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© Academy of Life Planning Limited 2012