This is what your Intelligent Financial Advice experience will look and feel like.
Stage 1: Questions of common ground
You may have arrived at Charlotte Square Partners in one of a number of ways. Your accountant or solicitor may have directed you towards us. Your colleague or friend may have recommended you to us. Irrespective of how you found us, the first thing we’ll do, typically by telephone, is establish whether there is mutual benefit in you engaging with us at this particular stage. The advice ‘journey’ requires a level of mutual commitment (not to mention expense) and it’s not uncommon for us to suggest to clients at this stage that, for them, embarking on such a journey isn’t appropriate at this particular time or indeed at all.
Stage 2: Questions of value
Having established that there’s work to do, we take time to describe the job we believe needs to be done and we then quantify the cost of our work. Our costs can be captured in terms of an hourly rate, however, our experience tells us that clients prefer to have a little more certainty around our charges. As such, we tend to price each job as a fixed amount. If you’re happy to engage with us, we ask you complete a service agreement at this stage. This agreement can capture a one off project or can capture an ongoing relationship.
Stage 3: Questions about you
At this stage, almost always face to face, we spend a short time describing the way we work and the particular philosophies which underpin our advice services. We then ask you to talk to us. We ask you to talk to us about what you want to get out of our discussion. We ask you to talk to us about your financial plans and expectations. We ask you to provide information on your current financial arrangements. We then talk in general terms about possible solutions.
Stage 4: Questions around planning
At this stage we put together a plan which we believe starts to address the financial challenges which were highlighted in stage 3. We send a summary report of our recommendations to you in writing and then suggest a follow up meeting at which we can talk over our suggestions.
Stage 5: Questions around implementation
After the discussion referred to in Stage 4, we’ll have agreement over the best way forward. Clearly the nature of this can vary from client to client. For some clients we recommend that they arrange specific investments, pensions and insurances as a means of tackling their particular financial problems. With others, we recommend they do absolutely nothing – because that’s the best thing for them to do. Everyone’s situation is different. The worst kind of financial advice is the ‘one size fits all’ type.
Stage 6: Questions around the ongoing relationship
This depends on the nature of our agreement. If we’re engaged with you in a one off project, our next contact will be prompted by you should you require help from us in the future. If we have an ongoing engagement, we’ll have a programme of contact with you which will typically involve face to face reviews once per annum. These reviews will allow us to make any adjustments to your financial arrangements in light of any changes to your situation or to changes in the tax, product or legislative environment.