Investments  

Mystery Shopper: Surrey

Mystery Shopper: Surrey

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.

This week, the mystery shopper visits Surrey.

The shopper has been self-employed for six years and is looking at whether she should set up a personal pension, self-invested personal pension or Lifetime Isa.

She would like to put in an initial amount of £5,000 into her pension then top it up with £500 every month.

Adviser: Grayside Financial Services (independent)

Address: 1st floor, 55 High Street, Epsom, Surrey KT19 8DH

Speed of response: 2.10pm. Transferred to adviser after call with receptionist. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: DipPFS. 5/5

Payment method: The amount would depend on amount being invested but typically fee is no more than £1500. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser explained the differences between a Lifetime Isa, a Sipp and a personal pension. He explained that the personal pension is a type of savings plan, from which she will only be able to access the invested funds from age 55. One of the benefits of the personal pension is she would also get 20 per cent tax relief, while a Sipp typically involves putting your money into building investments. Although the adviser said she could access her Lifetime Isa at any time after checking this she found the age to access it was 60. 4/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser sounded very knowledgeable about personal pensions, although he did not give not give the shopper as much detail when speaking to her about Sipps. 4/5

Website: www.grayside.co.uk

Email: r.clatworthy@grayside.co.uk 5/5

Verdict: Shopper’s Choice. The adviser was very helpful and friendly and behaved in a professional manner.

33/35

 

Adviser: Fish Financial (independent)

Address: Gostrey House, Union Road, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7PT

Speed of response: 2.38pm. One ring and transferred to adviser. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: DipPFS. 5/5

Payment method: Typically there is a 1 per cent initial fee followed by an ongoing fee of 1 per cent per year. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser explained that personal pensions are more tax favourable but you can only start accessing the money from the age of 55. He also said that there was no real difference between the personal pension and a Sipp, although the Sipp is more flexible. The Isa provides tax free growth and is accessible at any time. 4/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser sounded quite knowledgeable but the shopper felt he could have gone into a bit more detail. Although the adviser said she could access her Lifetime Isa at any time after checking this she found the age to access it was 60. 3/5

Website: www.fishfin.co.uk

Email: icolley@fishfin.co.uk 5/5