Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Portsmouth

Mystery Shopper: Portsmouth

Each week the mystery shopper seeks advice from independent 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.

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This week, the mystery shopper visits Portsmouth.

The shopper and her sister have inherited £150,000 and £100,000, respectively, from their grandfather. They have been reading about enterprise investment schemes (EIS), but they are also open to making other types of investments.

Adviser:Lane Financial Management (independent)

Address: 17 Pembroke Road, Old Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2NT

Speed of response: 11.20am. Given mobile number of adviser by receptionist. 4/5

Telephone manner: Professional and friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: DipPFS. 5/5

Payment method: Transaction charge is 2 per cent while ongoing annual charge is 1 per cent per year. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser explained that people might want to invest in EIS because it can help reduce tax liabilities. He also explained to the shopper about how the process of inheritance tax works after somebody who is a widow also dies. But he cautioned the shopper that although EIS investments may return high yields, they are very high risk. Therefore, she should arrange a meeting with him so he can assess whether other investments would be more suitable. 5/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser sounded knowledgeable about the market, but came across as very negative about EIS investments. 4/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The adviser was helpful and behaved in a professional manner.



Adviser:Sheraton Financial Planning (independent)

Address: Ground floor, Building 1000, Lakeside North Harbour Western Road, Portsmouth PO6 3EZ

Speed of response: 11.50am. Shopper transferred to adviser by receptionist. 5/5

Telephone manner: Professional and friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Chartered financial planner. 5/5

Payment method: Normal charge of 1 per cent on implementation of investment and ongoing charge of 0.75 per cent on first £500,000. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser explained his investment approach would be to put together a suitable financial plan, after finding out more about the shopper’s circumstances. He suggested the best starting point would be to reduce debt first, top up their retirement pot, before looking at other investments. The adviser also explained that EIS investments are high risk and not all schemes are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. 5/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser sounded very knowledgeable. The shopper also liked the fact he asked about her circumstances. 5/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: Shopper's choice – the adviser was professional and very helpful in his manner and approach.



Adviser: Independent Financial Solutions (independent)

Address: 23 Brookside Road, Old Bedhampton, Hampshire PO9 3JL