This week, the mystery shopper visits Buckinghamshire.
The shopper has gota job in Dubai with a tech startup. The Dubai-based company is offering some kind of pension, but the shopper has realised she did not ask them enough questions about the pension at the time of the job offer. So now she wants to find out if she should also open a separate private pension and with the new company or whether she can still contribute to a pension pot in the UK.
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.
Adviser: Odyssey Wealth Management (independent)
Address: 2 Walker Ave, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK12 5TW
Speed of response: 11:52am. The shopper is transferred to the switchboard after two rings, and after six rings to a financial adviser. 4/5
Telephone manner: The adviser is friendly at times but abrupt at others. 3/5
Relevant qualifications: Level four Dip PFS. 5/5
Payment method: The adviser said it will cost the shopper £895. Additionally, a 3 per cent fee will be levied on the first £100,000 invested. For money invested over £100,000, a 1 per cent fee will be charged with a cap of £4,500. 5/5
Guidance: The adviser said the shopper will be eligible to pay a maximum of £3,600 into a UK pension pot once she moves to Dubai. But he said this will not apply if the shopper will no longer be a UK resident. He said the shopper will have to take to a UK residency test. 4/5
Knowledge: The adviser offered good and realistic advice on what the shopper can expect out of pensions once the shopper leaves the country. 4/5
Email: email@example.com. 5/5
Verdict: The shopper found this adviser extremely helpful as he explained the situation in very simplistic terms and highlighted that the shopper would be able to contribute a maximum of £3,600 depending on the shopper's residency status and whether she has tax liabilities in the UK.
Adviser: Gracechurch Wealth Management (independent)
Address: 1 Boycott Ave, Oldbrook, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK6 2RW
Speed of response: 12:35pm. The adviser was connected directly to an adviser after four rings. 5/5
Telephone manner: The adviser was extremely friendly and willing to engage. 5/5
Relevant qualifications: Level six chartered financial planner. 5/5
Payment method: The adviser said the fees depend on what the client wants to do exactly. He cited a fee of 0.9 per cent of funds under management. 3/5