Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Colchester


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The adviser was professional and friendly, he gave a solid description of the payment method, good guidance of the process involved, and demonstrated sound knowledge of the different protections and IHT-efficient strategies available. But he could not give a range of the costs involved and needed some additional prompting.


Adviser: Blue Square Financial (Independent)

Address: 20 Sir Isaacs Walk, Essex, Colchester, CO1 1JJ

Speed of response: Adviser answered the phone. 5/5

Telephone manner: Polite and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: The adviser said he was a qualified mortgage adviser and broker only, but was in training to gain his full qualification in financial advice. He explained the shopper could, however, speak to another adviser in the company with a full diploma in financial planning, if she wished. 4/5

Payment method: Initial consultation was free, after which a commission-based fee would apply, depending on the policy taken out. He could not give a range. There would also be a one-off fee of £150 for the writing of a will. 4/5

Guidance: The adviser said there could be several different approaches, and this could be looked at in an initial sit-down meeting. The amount of CI cover would depend on how much the shopper wanted to be covered for. He was, however, quite reluctant to give more details without more information and needed several prompts to explain further. 3/5

Knowledge: The adviser explained a few basic IHT facts, such as the £325,000 cap on tax-free inheritance per person before being exposed to up to 40 per cent IHT on the remaining assets. He added that if her combined estate was bigger than that, advice was definitely something worth looking into. He could not provide any more details without having more information about the shopper and offered to schedule a meeting. 3/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The adviser gave a good description of what was involved in the process, he sounded knowledgeable and was able to give the shopper some description of the common issues with IHT and benefits of having some form of protection, but needed a fair bit of prompting to give any more details over the phone.


Adviser: True Potential Wealth Management LLP (Independent)

Address: 50 Horsey Road, Kirby-Le-Soken, Essex, Frinton-On-Sea, CO13 0DZ

Speed of response: The adviser answered the phone. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly and professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: DipFA. 5/5

Payment method: The adviser said the initial face-to-face meeting would be free of charge. As he works from home, the meeting would be a house call. If it were an investment, he explained the fee would be 3 per cent of the initial fee, and then a 1 per cent ongoing annual fee. Otherwise, if it was just a policy, it would be a commission from the provider chosen. But he could not give a range. Also, if she was after a will, this would cost around £100, dependent on the straightforwardness of the estate planning. 4/5