At Ashworth Financial Planning we look after the financial health of families across Suffolk and Essex. We help them to structure their money so that it reflects what they want to achieve in life, whatever the future may hold.
- We believe that not worrying about your finances is crucial to making the most of life.
- We believe that having a strong financial plan gives you the comfort and freedom to enjoy life to the full.
- We believe that investing money and using financial products is solely for the purpose of fulfilling life goals.
Everybody has different circumstances and plans for the future, however, there are three things that tend to unite us all:
- The desire to enjoy a comfortable retirement which is full of freedom, dignity and independence.
- The desire to never become a financial burden to your children, either during life, upon needing care or in the event of death or disability.
- The desire to leave a legacy in the manner you prefer and without 40% of it disappearing in tax.
Financial Planning is an ongoing process to help you make sensible decisions about money that can help you achieve your goals in life; it’s not just about buying products like a pension or an ISA.
It is an ongoing lifelong relationship based on trust, honesty and an understanding that we are working together to help you achieve everything you want for you and for your family.
Here at Ashworth Financial Planning, there are five main stages to our advice process – five steps that will hopefully set you on the path to financial freedom.
Our first conversation
Our first responsibility is to get to know you, to find out what your current situation is and what your goals and aspirations for the future are. It’s very much a two way process – it’s your chance to get to know us too. We will have an initial meeting which will be entirely at our expense, without any obligation; we will also explain our charging structure at this meeting.
Research, analysis and formulation of your Financial Plan
Using the information we gather regarding your aspirations and current financial situation, we will carry out in-depth research and analysis of the various options available to you. We then use our skills, knowledge and expertise to create a bespoke financial plan designed to achieve your goals.
The Financial Planning Meeting
We will then present the financial plan, which has been carefully tailored to your desired outcomes. The plan will consider your existing financial situation and any financial products you may currently have such as savings accounts, ISAs, pensions, life assurance, investment bonds etc. It will also include our specific recommendations for any new financial products we believe would be of benefit to you.
This is where we start to put the plan into action as quickly and efficiently as possible. We will guide you through any paperwork required and deal with all of the administration.
We believe in building long-term relationships with our clients and devote significant time and resources to providing a genuine ongoing service. Every good plan needs to be monitored, and if necessary amended to reflect changing circumstances. Your goals may change, timescales may alter, new opportunities may arise and financial markets inevitably fluctuate, so we will constantly consider whether any changes need to be made to your bespoke financial plan. Ongoing support will be provided as frequently as you require it, via regular meetings, email and telephone consultations.
For us to maintain a high standard of ongoing support and service, we only take on a small number of new clients each year; with our new clients normally having at least £100,000 to invest (either directly or via their pension funds) or earning at least £100,000 per year.
What does an ongoing relationship with us look like?
Our ongoing service is intended to do the following;
- Provide genuine financial peace of mind, reduce worry and enhance financial security
- Help you reach your financial goals
- Improve investment returns
- Provide you with the reassurance that, either;
- financially everything is going to be ok, or;
- here’s what you need to do for everything to be ok.
- Save you time and hassle
- Protect your wealth and family estate
- Reduce risk
- Minimise tax
- Encourage good investor behaviour
- Helping you avoid financial scams, fraud and theft.
- Improve your overall financial wellbeing
- Confidently answer life’s big questions (How much is enough? Do we have enough? Will we run out of money?)
- Help you uncover precisely what you want to happen in your life
Much of this is intangible and will be felt rather than seen or heard. However, there are many elements of our ongoing advice service which are tangible and we have listed these below. We hope that as a result of allowing us to serve you and your family, you will feel much better about your money and your life.
Tangible Elements of the Ashworth Ongoing Advice Service
|Regular Meetings||• We will meet at least once per year to review progress and ensure everything remains on track for the coming years ahead.
|Additional Meetings||• We are available to meet in between our annual meetings whenever necessary. This will either be at your request or if we feel there is an important issue that needs to be discussed.
|Unlimited Telephone & Email Access To Your Adviser||• You are able to call or email us at anytime to ask questions and talk through anything you like
|Tax Mitigation||• Ongoing advice to help ensure your money is structured to minimise tax on growth, income and death.
|Cashflow Planning||• We use sophisticated financial planning software to show you what your financial future looks like and to help ensure you can achieve and maintain you desired lifestyle.
|Investment Management||• We make sure you are benefiting from the most appropriate investment strategy bearing in mind what you’re trying to achieve and your thoughts/feelings about investment risk.
|Investment Planning||• We make sure you are using the right method of investment (e.g. pension, ISA, Bond, Trust etc) at the right time for your circumstances and to reflect what you’re trying to achieve.
|Second Opinion||• We are available to talk through anything that might be happening in your life that has a financial implication.
|Simplification||• The wording used by financial institutions can seem like a different language! We can translate what’s been sent to you and identity what you need to keep and what can be safely destroyed. We can also carry out shredding for you.
|Other Professionals||• We can keep your accountant and/or solicitor up to date with your financial arrangements.
• We can provide your accountant with everything they might need to complete your tax return.
• We can introduce you to other professionals should the need arise.
To us, investment management simply means managing your money so that we can enable you to do the things you want to do in life, whilst taking as little risk as possible and minimising costs and taxes.
How do we do it?
Our approach to investment management can be broken down into the following four key areas:
We believe in being clear about why you’re investing money and what you’re trying to achieve. We set measurable and attainable investment goals and develop plans for reaching them, and then continually monitor your financial situation to ensure you remain on track to achieve these goals.
Balancing risk and return is all about taking the most appropriate level of risk when seeking to achieve your goals. Generally speaking, the investment options with the highest potential returns also carry the highest risks, while low risk investment options have limited potential for growth. At our initial meetings, we will carefully analyse the level of risk you are prepared to take when investing your money, and make recommendations accordingly.
As part of our comprehensive ongoing service we carefully monitor asset allocation. Asset allocation is the way in which your money is spread amongst different types of investment. The four main options are Cash, Fixed interest (Government & Corporate Bonds), Property and Equities (Shares in Companies). Diversifying your investment between these four main areas can help to limit the risks of your investments falling in value.
To us, efficiency in relation to your investments means minimising both cost and taxes. We know that over the longer term markets normally go up more often then they go down – while we can’t predict the future, in the recent past a stock market investment would have delivered better returns than a cash investment in almost any period you care to name. Inevitably, investing money requires you to pay certain fees, costs and charges. As every penny paid in costs and charges comes directly out of your investment, and thus limits your potential return, so we aim to minimise costs wherever possible. Furthermore, we also aim to minimise tax by using appropriate tax wrappers where possible. This may involve making use of products such as ISAs, pensions, onshore bonds, offshore bonds and trusts.
We understand that investing your hard-earned money can be an emotional business. However, we also understand that emotional responses to market movements can disrupt the plans of even the most confident investors. We’ve seen investors make rash decisions based on emotional responses to market volatility. Instead we believe that a disciplined, responsible approach is best, not over-reacting to short-term fluctuations in investment values, maintaining a long-term perspective and sticking to the original plan where this remains appropriate.
We are delighted that most of our clients come to us because we have been recommended to them by a friend, family member, colleague or by a professional person. In many cases, our clients are introduced to us by their solicitor or their accountant.
We understand that by referring your client to a financial planner you put your reputation on the line. We can hopefully provide the peace of mind you require:
- We are a professional Chartered advisory firm – our Managing Director is qualified above and beyond the minimum qualification level required to give financial advice
- We are independent and privately owned by our directors, and are not subject to influence from external parties. Our advice is therefore totally impartial.
- We work for our clients, not for the “investment industry”
- We are fee-based and don’t receive any remuneration from commissions. We clearly and transparently explain our fees and agree these with each client before any work is carried out on their behalf. The initial meeting with a new client is always offered free of charge, without any obligation being placed on the client to agree to meet again.
- We are happy to have joint meetings with you and your client if you wish
Many solicitors who offer probate services have commented that we have provided incredible service to their clients at a terribly difficult time in their lives.