The financial planning process

Our first job is to understand your current financial issues, challenges and concerns.

Once these are solved we’ll turn our attention to the future, understanding your aspirations and objectives for the years to come.

We will then put a plan in place to ensure they are achieved.

Stage one: An informal introduction

This is where we start getting to know each other.

There’s some regulatory paperwork which we will need to take care of, but most of the meeting is relatively informal as we both start to understand whether we are the right adviser for you.

We want to learn more about you; your current financial concerns, as well as your longer-term aspirations and objectives. If time allows, we might start to discuss your existing pension, savings and investments too.

Of course, we’ll also answer any questions you have, as well as explaining more about how we get paid.

We cover the costs of the first meeting. We tend to ask clients to meet us at our offices in Stone, where you can meet the team as well as see how the operation works first hand.

Stage two: Preparatory work

In between our first and second meeting we will ask you to undertake some ‘homework’. This will help us discover more about you, including your assets and liabilities, your income and expenditure, as well as the level of risk you are prepared to take with your capital.

At the same time, we will research your existing pensions, savings and investments so we can understand the progress you have made so far to achieving your financial objectives as well as learn about any guarantees or enhanced features your existing holdings may have.

Stage three: A fact-based conversation

At our next meeting we will discuss your existing pensions, savings and investments in the context of your aspirations and objectives.

A large proportion of the meeting though will see us beginning to construct your financial forecast.

Using financial forecasting software, we will show you:

  • How close you are to meeting your future financial objectives
  • Where any shortfalls lie
  • The effect different scenarios and events will have on your financial future

We will then start to discuss the options you have as we begin to formulate your financial plan.

It’s only at this stage do we need formal confirmation from you that you wish to engage us.

Stage four: Your formal report

This is where we present your financial plan and our recommendations.

Our comprehensive report covers:

  • Your aspirations and objectives
  • The progress you have made to date
  • A financial plan to take you from where you are now, to where you want to be
  • Formal recommendations in respect of your existing pensions, savings and investments

If you are happy with our recommendations, we will move to the implementation stage. You will of course have the opportunity to ask questions, give feedback and request any changes you feel are necessary.

Stage five: Implementation

If the plan we have produced requires the use of financial products such as pensions or ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) we will process these applications.

Our client service team will keep you up to date with the progress we are making towards implementing your plan while formally confirming our advice.

Stage six: Ongoing service

Even the best laid plans can be blown off course by internal and external factors. It is therefore essential that we regularly review your plan.

We offer different levels of service for you to select based on your specific requirements, particularly whether you wish to grow your assets or take an income.

Central to our review process are regular meetings, which take place either quarterly, six monthly or annually depending on your requirements.