Investments  

Mystery shopper: Derby

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 selling practices, but to show constructively any weaknesses in the advice process.

This week the shopper visits Derby. He is looking to invest £40,000, but is unsure of the best way to do it. He has a low attitude to risk and is seeking steady income from his investment.

Adviser (Restricted): Apex Wealth Management

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4 Bramble Street, Derby, DE1 1HU

Speed of response: Time of call: 3.32pm. The call was answered after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Professional. 4/5

Relevant qualifications:

Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method: The adviser said he would disclose this information in an initial meeting. 4/5

Guidance given:

Minimal. The adviser explained that the suitability of stocks and share investments was subject to the investor’s attitude to risk. He explained that the first port of call would be to arrange an initial meeting, in which he would delve into the shopper’s circumstances in greater depth. 3/5

Knowledge:

The adviser seemingly teased the shopper by saying that he would explore the different investment options available during an initial meeting. 3/5

Email/web presence:

www.apexwealthmanagement.co.uk

The adviser declined to disclose his email address, stating he would prefer if they agreed a date to meet over the phone. 3/5

Verdict:

The conversation came across as a sales push. The shopper was disappointed with the lack of guidance offered.

27/35

Adviser (Independent):

Derbyshire Independent Financial Advisers LLP

24 The Green, Findern, Derby, DE65 6AA

Speed of response: Time of call: 3.46pm. The call was answered after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Very friendly, engaging and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:

Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:

£150 hourly fee. 5/5

Guidance given:

The adviser kicked off the conversation by asking a series of questions aimed at gauging the shopper’s financial position. He explained that the suitability of stocks and shares investments was subject to the investor’s attitude to risk. The adviser said investing in cash was of no risk to the investor, although the returns were poor at present what with low interest rates. 4/5

Knowledge:

The adviser clearly knew his stuff. He was able to give a comprehensive overview of the performance of the UK equity market pre and post-Brexit. 5/5

Email/web presence:

tim.parkes@derbyshireifa.co.uk

www.derbyshireifa.co.uk

5/5

Verdict:

Superb. The shopper felt better informed about his investment options after speaking with the adviser.

34/35

Adviser (Independent):

Cooper Assurance Services

57 Onslow Road, Mickleover, Derby, DE3 9JG

Speed of response: Time of call: 4.01pm. The call was answered after four rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:

Somewhat curt. 2/5

Relevant qualifications:

Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:

£150 hourly rate. 5/5

Guidance given:

The adviser said there were options available, but they depended on the shopper’s degree of risk. He suggested arranging an initial meeting to discuss his case in greater depth.

3/5

Knowledge:

The adviser sounded confident in his knowledge of the topic, but failed to display the extent of his knowledge in the guidance given. 3/5