Mystery Shopper: London
She is looking for advice on savings and investments. She earns £45,000, is renting and has a significant amount of surplus cash every month. She has no savings or investment plans and would like to put something in place with an overall view to buying a house.
IFA Steveni Kessler Financial Advisers Steveni Kessler House, Goodwin Rd, London N9
Speed of Response: Time of call: 11am Two rings and a receptionist put the shopper through to an adviser.
Telephone Manner: Polite but not very friendly.
Relevant Qualifications: The adviser said he would send an email to the shopper.
Payment Method: The adviser roughly explained payment would be based on commission.
Guidance Given: The adviser said the shopper needed to make a cash-flow statement. He explained all investments were related to what was put into them, so the more in the more out.
The adviser added that the shopper should look at a plan to accumulate monthly amounts for a period of time to save for a house. But he said it was not the main stream of business and would need a less “wishy-washy” description of the shopper’s financial circumstances to establish if he could help.
Knowledge: The adviser was knowledgeable about savings. The firm could not advise on mortgages.
Email/Web Presence: firstname.lastname@example.org
Verdict: The shopper would not refer back to the adviser. He did not seem like he had any time for her.
IFA R P A Fullers Parade, Fullers Rd, London E18
Speed of Response: Time of call: 11.10am. Six rings and then through to a receptionist.
Telephone Manner: Very friendly and helpful.
Relevant Qualifications: Chartered.
Payment Method: Initial free meeting. The adviser would explain further in a call back.
Guidance Given: The shopper was asked about her reasons for seeking advice and told call back could be arranged from one of the firm’s advisers.
The shopper was told the first meeting would establish everything she was hoping to achieve and get a clear idea of where she was currently, with a full explanation of how the firm operated.
Knowledge: The receptionist was very engaged with the firm’s processes. She said the firm was qualified to help the shopper with her query.
Email/Web Presence: email@example.com, www.rpaifa.com
Verdict: The firm was very friendly and helpful. The shopper would look out for the call back.
IFA Lawrence Dawson & Co 9 Devonshire Square, London EC2M
Speed of Response: Time of call: 11.15am. One ring and a receptionist put the shopper through to an adviser.
Telephone Manner: Very professional, friendly and willing to help.
Relevant Qualifications: FPC 1, 2 and 3.
Payment Method: Initial free meeting followed by commission or fees.
Guidance Given: The adviser said either herself or the managing director could sit down with the shopper and thoroughly establish her current circumstances and what she wanted to achieve.