In Focus: Profitable advice business  

'Personalised service and humour are key to adviser profitability'

In the past, the hardest barrier to overcome has been overall trust in the industry, although enhanced regulatory activity has seen the sector improve greatly in this respect over recent years.

FTA: What fee model do you operate?

MC: We believe that reducing investment cost is fundamental to achieving better financial outcomes.

Our fee model is highly competitive in comparison to the UK market, in terms of both initial and ongoing advice.

Our initial advice fee is typically around 1 per cent of the amount invested. In terms of ongoing advice we charge a fixed annual fee of 0.75 per cent, which spans both financial planning and investment management services.

Other costs depend on the specific portfolio clients are invested in, but annual ongoing costs typically total 1.55 per cent.

There are no hidden fees and no exit charges, so if clients want to look elsewhere they can do so without any penalties or charges.

FTA: What is your view on providing ongoing advice?

MC: Ongoing advice is an essential part of the service. When providing an integrated financial and investment plan, both sides of the coin need to be monitored to ensure they continue to meet clients’ goals.

It is much more than clients simply handing their money over. A financial plan is only as good as its implementation.

As well as financial efficiencies such as tax savings, ongoing advice leads to saved time, reduced complexity, and long-term peace of mind for consumers.

FTA: What is your strategy for dealing with intergenerational wealth?

MC: Much has been made of the ‘great wealth transfer’. More than 80 per cent of household wealth in the UK is held by people over the age of 45, and the Office for National Statistics has estimated that over the next 30 years this is set to be transferred between generations, with millennials set to reap the benefits.

This is where long-standing client relationships will come into their own. Clients find it reassuring that their financial adviser can provide a guiding hand for younger adults, and that their children will be making sound financial decisions with their money. 

We deploy a number of specific strategies when it comes to dealing with intergenerational wealth.

One simple one is to involve the younger generation at an early stage. This helps to cement good financial habits, and ensures all parties are well-versed in the family finances.

We also open accounts for clients’ children, even if they do not meet normal minimum threshold requirements, in order to get them used to the investing and advice process from a younger age.