Investments  

Mystery Shopper: Ipswich

Each week the mystery shopper seeks advice from independent and tied advisers in the UK. The aim is to find out whether advisers are delivering the goods when it comes to the all-important initial telephone contact between client and adviser. It is only intended to evaluate this first interview, and it is understood that further meetings would be necessary before final decisions could be made. The purpose is not to expose poor and selling practices, but to show constructively any weaknesses in the advice process.

Adviser (Independent):
Kingsfleet Wealth Limited

Claydon Court Old, Ipswich Road, Claydon, Ipswich, IP6 0AE

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Speed of response:
Time of call: 11.36am. Answered after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:
Polite and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:
Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:
No fee for initial meeting. £975 minimum report fee. 5/5

Guidance given:
The adviser said that given that the shopper had savings, an Isa could be the best option for him. He explained the importance of gauging the risk before deciding to invest in a stocks and shares Isa. He also explored the tax relief benefits of investing in a pension, explaining that any savings made would be locked until the shopper reached retirement age. 4/5

Knowledge:
The adviser explained that the Isa allowance for a single tax year was raised to £15,000 last July. He also demonstrated knowledge of VCT and EIS investments, although he said that they would not necessarily be applicable to the shopper given his current savings. 4/5

Email/web presence:
steve@kingsfleetwealth.co.uk
www.kingsfleetwealth.co.uk 5/5

Verdict:
The adviser said that he might not be able to help the shopper because the charge for the advisory process would not be worth the level of investment the shopper was seeking to make. However, the shopper did appreciate the adviser’s comprehensive guidance.

33/35

Adviser (Independent):
Heritage Coast Asset Management

38 Hutland Road, Ipswich, IP4 4HG

Speed of response:
Time of call: 11.48am. Answered after three rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:
Professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:
Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:
No fee for initial meeting. £125 hourly charge thereafter. 5/5

Guidance given:
The adviser explained that he would have to meet the shopper to better gauge his position, but said Isas would be a good option based on the funds the shopper had available. He added that because savers are offered a £15,000 tax-free allowance each tax year, the shopper could invest this before 5 April and the rest after that date. 4/5

Knowledge: The adviser demonstrated clear knowledge in ISAs, including the rise in Isa allowance last July. 3/5

Email/web presence:
mark@heritagecoastifa.co.uk
www.heritagecoastifa.co.uk 5/5

Verdict:
The adviser seemed very eager to get down to business from the offset. The shopper appreciated the guidance on Isas, but would have liked the adviser to explore other options.

32/35

Adviser (Independent):
Clayden Financial Independent Financial Advisers, 1 Constable Court, The Street, Belstead, Ipswich IP8 3LY

Speed of response:
Time of call: 11.55am. Answered after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:
Friendly and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:
Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:
No fee for initial meeting. 5/5

Guidance given:
After asking the shopper about his financial circumstances, including the amount he is able to invest and his housing situation, the adviser said that Isas and pensions would be the most tax-efficient investment options. She added that the latter might not necessarily be the best option if he was looking to withdraw funds from the savings in the short to medium term, because it would be locked until the shopper reaches retirement age. She also explained that the shopper could invest £15,000 of his savings into an Isa before 5 April and the rest after this date to get the most out of the annual tax-free allowance. 5/5