Mystery Shopper: Folkestone

Adviser: Forward Plan IFA, Ingles Manor, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone CT20 2RD

Speed of response: Time of call: 11.07am. Answered after four rings and then put through to an adviser. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly, patient and easy to talk to. 5/5

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Relevant qualifications: Diploma in financial services. 5/5

Payment method: First meeting free of charge to see whether further help would be required. Thereafter the fee depends on the level of investment, with £100,000 likely to be charged at 3 per cent. 5/5

Guidance Given: The adviser said there were potential solutions but for now it was best to speak with a solicitor about accessibility and deeds of variations. With the brother’s full co-operation, a plan could be put together, depending on various factors such as risk, growth and tax implications. Instruments that tie money up are available and can also be taken out in joint names. Finally the adviser was clear that investments were better than Isas because they were more likely to beat inflation levels. 3/5

Knowledge: The adviser spoke about low interest rates affecting saving accounts and bonds and, overall, appeared to be clued-up on investment markets and different savings vehicles. 4/5

Email/web presence: / 5/5

Verdict: The adviser demonstrated a good knowledge of numerous different investment vehicles and was clear on potential tax implications and the accessibility of the money.


Adviser: Financial Advice and Services, Sterling House, Concept Court, Shearway Business Park, Folkestone CT19 4RG

Speed of response: Time of call: 11.22am. Picked up after six rings and then a slight wait to be put through to an adviser. 4/5

Telephone manner: Polite and eager to impress. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Level-four diploma. 5/5

Payment Method: An initial meeting would cost £95 and then charges would be on a fees basis. For £100,000 of investment the average fee would be in the region of 2 per cent to 3 per cent. 4/5

Guidance given: The adviser said anybody over 18 was free to access inheritance money and therefore the shopper’s brother must be involved in any decision. With that agreed, he went on to recommend potentially looking at property, either for investment purposes or as a main residence, setting up a pension, or considering a wide range of investment funds. He said there were plenty of options to tie up money and a factfind would need to be completed to understand the full situation. 4/5

Knowledge: The adviser said he could not offer anything in detail without first running some checks to fully understand the shopper’s circumstances. However he did briefly summarise the various options available. 4/5

Email/website: / 5/5

Verdict: The adviser was very keen to set up a meeting and seemed confident that an ideal solution for tying up the money could be found.


Adviser: Spectrum Financial Planning, The Anchorage, 105 Capel Street, Capel-Le-Ferne, Folkestone CT18 7HB