The value of financial planning
We asked our clients what they value most about the services they receive from us. Here are a few of the things they told us, in their own words.
Our fee philosophy
We believe it is important to be transparent and open in how we work with you and what we charge for doing that work.
By providing you with a clear explanation of our fees at every stage of the process, before we proceed with any chargeable work, we ensure there are no hidden surprises for our clients.
We strongly believe that the work and complexity involved in creating a financial plan should be what drives the cost. The complexity of the work in each stage of your financial planning journey may vary. You may have complex needs when it comes to setting up your financial plan and implementing any recommended actions, but then have fairly simple ongoing requirements once everything is in place.
We therefore charge a fixed fee for each stage of the advice process, examples of which you can see below.
Some clients do not need all the advice stages that we offer. If you are unsure which level of service you may require, we will help you decide what best suits your needs at our initial meetings. Contact us here if you have any questions about our fees or what our services may cost you.
We will provide you with an estimate of our charges following the first meeting and we will always obtain your consent before we proceed with any chargeable work.
This page will explain the choice of services we offer and what those services might cost.
Stage 1: Initial Meeting
At our expense. You do not need to pay anything for this meeting or commit to taking your relationship with us any further at this stage. This gives us both the opportunity to see if we can work together and if our services would add value to your life.
Stage 2 and 3: Creating your financial plan
This is where we find out more about you and what you want to achieve. We’ll analyse your current position and help you define your financial and lifestyle objectives. We will then present our report to you and make our recommendations for how you can achieve your financial and life goals. It may be as simple as making a few changes. Sometimes it may involve compromises to help you achieve your aims. We will always be supportive but most of all, we will be honest and upfront.
This service is for clients who need help understanding where they are financially.
This will involve an overview of your current arrangements and advice on any changes we feel you need to consider to help you achieve your goals.
Typically, clients on this level of service have fewer than three pensions or investments. Clients normally fall into the basic rate tax band and do not need any detailed tax planning advice.
This service is for clients who require detailed analysis of their current financial arrangements such as existing pensions and investments.
Clients may be seeking specific planning advice, for example, on Inheritance Tax planning.
Clients who are retiring imminently and need help planning for the future would also fall into this category.
Typically, clients using this service will have tax planning needs in addition to requiring help analysing existing products.
This service is for clients with more complex planning needs, either due to their income tax position or complex pension tax allowances.
Specialist advice areas such as long-term care, complex pension advice, detailed estate planning involving multiple trusts, and detailed investment advice involving analysis of multiple complex tax consequences within existing investments, would also fall into this pricing band.
Typically, clients using this service have more complex circumstances due to their level of income or their level of savings. It involves intricate tax calculations and complex solutions that we need to research and analyse. We should know if this applies to you in our first meeting.
*On occasion, we may need to increase the charge for this level of service to provide for clients with multiple planning needs. Although rare, in this situation we will work with you to ensure you are clear on the proposed costs before proceeding with the service.
All costs and charges relevant to you will be confirmed after our initial discussion. Once you agree to the work, it will become chargeable. If you use our services for only this stage of the advice process, then this fee may include VAT.
In order to help you work out your likely initial planning costs, we’ve provided a fee calculator.
Please note, however, this fee calculator is intended to provide you with an estimate of your likely costs based on your current circumstances. It should be used as a guide, only. We will be able to confirm precise costs after your initial meeting with us, for which there is no charge.
The outcome of the initial planning report we create for you will drive all subsequent recommended actions and the costs associated with them.
Stage 4: Making it happen
We will make our recommendations and present relevant options to you in our financial planning report which forms part of your personalised financial plan. The options may require further research and planning if you decide to take them forward. We can then help you action your plan by implementing any changes we recommend on your behalf.
We will usually quote this service level if there are no existing plans or a change to the investment content of the plan(s) is required. The analysis and research requirements are less detailed. It will usually involve setting up a new product from deposit savings or changing the investment content within an existing pension or investment to suit the plans or goals without changing the provider.
This service is for clients who need to consolidate their pensions ready to start drawing on. Or for clients that need us to set up multiple plans for different goals or strategies. It is also relevant to clients who may need us to re-arrange their money to suit their objectives when they have multiple financial products such as a mixture of pensions and investments. It would involve finding a new provider for what they have in place and transferring existing plans across.
This service is for clients where we are implementing a complex pension transfer, setting up multiple trusts or intricate tax planning strategies alongside their investment recommendations and where we are advising of different planning needs that require significant changes such as: pension planning with detailed tax calculations and investment advice with significant tax complications that we need to work through.
Stage 5: Keeping you on track
Our review services provide you with:
- Regular meetings
We believe that financial planning is a long-term venture. Once we have set up your financial plan, life will naturally continue to happen and changes are inevitable. Financial matters can be complex and you may not always be aware of the impact particular changes could have on your financial position. The frequency of review meetings can be varied to reflect the level of service you require from us.
- Regular communication
We form long-lasting relationships with our clients, based on open, ongoing communication. This helps us understand you and what you need from us and enables us to support you with any change in your circumstances. Some clients only require a ‘light touch’ service without regular support throughout the year. However, an annual meeting offers reassurance and reminds clients what they need to do to stay on track. It also allows us to adjust your plans where circumstances or your priorities have changed. Other clients benefit from more frequent support and help with their financial decisions. We will discuss this with you and recommend an ongoing service that suits your needs during the planning process.
- Ongoing support
Our clients often contact us with general finance queries and we are only to happy to help where we can. We find our clients value having someone they know they can trust and go to for clear and straightforward advice.
- Monitoring of your plan
Our role as financial planners is to monitor how changes in your life and finances could affect your ability to meet your goals. Our regular reviews allow us to pick up on areas of change that you may not realise will have an impact, and help you stay on track with your plans, adjusting them when needed.
- Guidance in all directions
If you are seeking support with something that is outside our area of expertise, we will point you in the right direction. We have a wide and well-established network of professional connections who we can recommend to you.
- Peace of mind
By being there when you need us, we can free up your time and take the financial hassles off your plate. Our clients tell us that one of the most valuable elements of our service is the reassurance that we provide.
Annual suitability check and review
£80 per month (£960 per annum)
Structured planning and review
£150 per month (£1,800 per annum)
Bespoke annual review service
£300 per month (£3,600 per annum)
This service is suitable for clients with settled financial plans but who would like to ‘check in’ once a year to ensure the strategy is on track and the solutions are still suitable. Your circumstances are not likely to change frequently, but you still want support with financial queries and clear explanations on money matters.
- Annual review meeting
- Ongoing monitoring of plans
- Access to an adviser for general queries and advice
Additional work relating to new planning objectives will incur additional costs.
This service is for clients who need to monitor their goals and financial plans more carefully to ensure their money is on track.
Personal financial circumstances are typically more complex, and greater involvement with tax planning and monitoring of multiple financial solutions will be required.
- Twice yearly review meetings
- Taking a look at income withdrawals to check they are at a sustainable level
- Taking a look at contributions to check they are enough to achieve a client’s aims
- Proactive advice on specific, relevant planning objectives
Additional work relating to new planning objectives may incur additional costs.
A service for clients who have multiple complex financial solutions and circumstances that require frequent reviews and close working.
Typically, clients need us to remain available to respond to matters, freeing their own time up and ensuring a smooth service. We may help with broader financial planning issues for multiple family members such as supporting with matters relating to elderly parents or helping children understand money better.
The cost of this service will be tailored to your individual circumstances and quoted on a case-by-case basis.
Additional work relating to new planning objectives will be included in our ongoing service charge.
*Our Bespoke planning and ongoing review service will be an individual contract based on your planning objectives and requirements. The cost of this service starts at £3,600 per annum or £300 per month and is capped at £7,500 per annum or £625 per month.
Please note, no VAT is due on ongoing review service fees.
Our ongoing service is optional, and for some clients, it may better for you to simply come back to us when things have changed, or you’d like them reviewed. We will always recommend a level of service based on your circumstances and needs.
Smith & Wardle Financial Planning is a trading name of Smith & Wardle Financial Consultants LLP (OC398850). Registered in England and Wales, our registered office address is Suite B, Gloverside, 23-25 Bury Mead Road, Hitchen SG5 1RT.
We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under registration number 912090.
The content of this website is meant for information purposes only, and does not constitute advice. The value of investments can fall as well as rise, utilising investment products places capital at risk.
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Suite B, Gloverside
23-25 Bury Mead Road