Welcome to the FinsBridge Financial Planning FAQ's, your comprehensive resource for answers to common questions about your financial planning services. We understand that navigating the world of financial planning can be complex, and we're here to provide clarity and guidance. Whether you're a prospective client or an existing one, these frequently asked questions will help you better understand our services, our approach, and how we can assist you in achieving your financial goals.

Discover Answers to Your Financial Questions:

Why should I use your company for financial advice?

We offer expert financial advice but without the expensive price tag. We are able to do this as we are more efficient than most financial advisers, mainly through the use of technology. This enables us to keep our charges low whilst providing you with expert advice from expert Financial Planners.

How long has FinsBridge been trading and what are your credentials?

FinsBridge was launched in July 2020. We are a new business but we have a lot of experience. We have over 30 years’ experience working in the financial advice sector. We believe we have the best of both; experience but the energy of a new way of delivering financial planning to give you the best possible service and experience. We are a trading style of Aegis Financial Planning, which is led by John Boss, a stalwart in the wealth advisory sector with over 2 decades of experience.

Why are you any different from other financial planning firms?

A lot of advisers have been doing the same old thing for many years. We are different as we want to deliver a brilliant service, by expert financial planners, at a competitive price. We have embraced the possibilities technology can provide to create a truly modern approach to financial planning.

Can you help if I already have a financial adviser/planner?

Absolutely. We would be delighted to talk to you. Our goals is to provide awareness and transparent information. We can do a complimentary no-obligation review of your existing investments, pensions, mortgages and insurance policies offer good value for money and are aligned to your goals. Book your introductory phone call with a FinsBridge financial planner today to have an informal chat about how we can help you.

If I want to meet with you face-to-face, can I do this?

Absolutely. We would be delighted to meet with you face-to-face if that is your preference.

I think I don't need much help with my money - why do I need a financial planner?

In our experience, most people can benefit from proper financial planning. A financial planner will help you fully understand your financial position, help you clarify your goals, and put a plan in place to help you achieve your goals. Besides, if we don’t think we can add anything that would help, we will tell you.

Do I need to use all your services or can I just pick and choose the things I want?

We are passionate about delivering what you want. This is all about you so if you want to just use aspects of our service that is more than ok.

Do you provide your advice on an 'independent' or 'restricted'? basis?

We offer completely independent advice. This means we are completely free to recommend the very best products available to every client. Our Financial Planners and research team scour the whole market to bring our clients the very best solutions to help them achieve their goals.

How do I know how much I will be charged?

We are passionate about making sure you completely understand the amount you are being charged. All charges will be disclosed to you in writing in advance of advice implementation. We do not have any external shareholders or expensive overheads, so are very competitive in our pricing..

Are your clients happy with the service they get from you?

As part of our commitment to providing the very best service possible to all our clients, we believe that getting feedback is crucial. We conduct regular client satisfaction surveys and always use the feedback we get to improve FinsBridge further. You can see a list of testimonials on our website. We publish all the feedback we get so you can be sure of an accurate picture of how our clients view the quality of the services we provide to them.

Do you have a 'typical' type of client?

No, not really. We work with a range of different clients. From those in their early twenties who are looking to plan for their long-term happiness to those in retirement looking for help organising their estate, we work with clients of all ages. We also work with very wealthy clients as well as those of much more modest means. There really is no typical client. We find that many fall into one of a number of categories, each with different needs, but we understand that every client is an individual with unique goals, hopes and ambitions that we help to fulfil.

Are your services only for very wealthy people?

No. Our services have been designed for everyone. We use the latest technology to ensure our costs are lower than many traditional financial planning firms. This means that we can offer services to everyone – not just the ultra-wealthy. Whatever your net wealth, we can help you identify, achieve and maintain your desired lifestyle, simplify your finances and make your investments work harder for you.

Do you advise on tax avoidance schemes that can help me lower my tax bill?

No. We are not in business to help our clients artificially manipulate their tax position. Although we do offer tax planning services, we only ever recommend legitimate ways to mitigate tax – like ISAs, pension planning, VCT/EIS and and using basic trusts. We never recommend our clients use ‘exotic’ or ‘aggressive’ tax planning schemes that are likely to be against the spirit of the UK taxation legislation. Our job is to help our clients minimise the tax they pay within the tax rules, not bend those rules or get around paying legitimate tax. If you are wanting to artificially lower your tax bills, we suggest you seek alternative financial planners or tax advisers. We have advisers based in Kent and Hampshire and some of our clients are based in the south of England. Because we actively use virtual meeting technology, we have most clients in all parts of the UK. We are happy to see clients face to face within 50 miles radius from our Central London offices, with other clients we have virtual online meetings. We do not advise clients based outside of the UK.

Can you answer another question that isn't listed here?

Certainly. First, you might want to check out the other FAQ pages to see if your question has been answered already. If not, please contact us or use the ‘live chat’ at the bottom right of every page. We’d love to answer any questions you have about FinsBridge and how we can help you achieve your financial goals.

Can you review my existing investments?

Certainly. We are able to review your existing investments and see if they are still suitable for you. Whether they offer value for money. Typical investments we review include ISA, Unit Trusts, Pensions and Investment Bonds. Once we understand your personal circumstances and objectives, we'll assess your risk profile and design a portfolio that can meet your objectives. Once we've done all the analysis, we will present this to you in a report, showing you exactly what you have and any recommendations to get your investments working harder for you.

How often do you review my investments?

We review all of our portfolios every six months, providing you with a thorough investment review. At these reviews we will often recommend rebalancing your portfolio so that the asset allocation does not become misaligned with your objectives. We may also recommend new investment funds if our analysis suggests there are now better alternatives available. This will keep your portfolio in the best shape to deliver the returns you need. In addition to these annual reviews, we provide regular investment performance updates to all clients and you can check on the performance of your portfolio day-to-day by using our client portal which you can access on almost any device 24/7.

Can I check on the progress of my existing investments?

Yes. We believe you should be able to check how your investments are doing whenever you like. You can monitor your investments any time by using our client portal. This is available via the web or through an app available for iPhone, iPad, Android or Blackberry. This will give you an up-to-date valuation of all your investments as well as providing a breakdown of what you are investing in. If you need any more detailed information on your investments, we can provide this to you via email or chat through your investment and their performance via email, live web cat or over the phone or via a virtual online meeting.

Why is it better for you to manage my investments rather than doing it myself?

You are of course free to manage your own investment if you wish. Some of our clients have a great knowledge of investing and are confident to manage their own money. We may help them with financial planning but they choose to invest their money themselves. However, for the vast majority of our clients, they see the value in our investment management services. For a low fee of 0.8% per annum, they know that they will be getting an investment portfolio that has been selected for their risk profile, and is tailored to their specific needs. The investment managers we use at FinsBridge (Financial Express/Vanguard etc) have global research capabilities and many decades of successful investment experience. They dedicate their time to research funds and wider investment strategies all over the world to make sure our investment recommendations deliver the results you need. Clients investing with FinsBridge also benefit from regular rebalancing and investment reviews to ensure their investments continue to deliver for them. Ultimately, you have the choice about whether to manage your own investments or have them managed by the experts.

What are the total charges to manage my investments?

We believe in being totally clear and transparent about all our charges. When it comes to investment charges, there are three main costs. Fund charges, platform charges and advice charges. We always use the most accurate measure of fund costs (the 'ongoing charges figures or OCF') to ensure our clients know exactly what they are paying for their investments. We aim to keep the charges between 1.5-1.8% p.a. all in, but the exact cost will depend on the investment portfolios chosen. There are no hidden charges, no fund switch fees and no exit penalties.

Are my investments protected?

Yes, most investments are protected by the Financial Service Protection Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS acts as a safety net for clients of financial services providers. For investments, such as pensions, the maximum compensation is 90% of the claim with no upper limit. For more information see the FSCS website.

What has the performance of your portfolios been?

Because we are an independent advice firm, performance depends on the chosen portfolios, we select only those funds that have been very strong over recent years and we are pleased with the returns they have provided for our investors. We will showcase the performance of every investment portfolio we advise on before signing up your account.

What type of protection might I need?

If you know exactly what level and type of protection you need, and who the best provider is, you could do this. Bear in mind that you will still probably pay a commission if you purchase through a price comparison website. We can add value by making sure you get exactly the right type of cover, and that it is set up in the best way with the best provider.

I’ve already got some policies in place. Can I get this cover at a lower price?

It’s possible you could. Often clients have cover that they could get at a lower price. We would welcome the opportunity to talk through your requirements, and to analyse your existing arrangements to see if they can be improved.

How do I know what type of protection I need?

We can help you with this. We will have an initial conversation to work out what is most important to you, your current circumstances and where you are now. If we think we can help we will make a recommendation. The initial meeting is at our expense and any commission we are paid will be disclosed to you in writing before any cover is put in place.

I’ve heard I might benefit t from putting my policies in trust. Is this correct?

Yes it can be of benefit depending on your circumstances. We will consider whether this is best for you before giving you advice.

I’ve been declined for protection in the past. Is there any point trying again?

Absolutely. We have access to a wide range of specialist providers. Just because you have been declined in the past this does not mean that you won’t be able to get cover. Let’s talk and see what we can do.

I’ve just bought a new house with a mortgage. Can I protect my income in case I lose my job?

Yes you can. We can help you get the best type of income protection. This will help protect you from the implications of losing your income.

I want to make sure my family are looked after if I die suddenly. Can you help me with this?

Yes we can help. There a number of different ways you can achieve this. We will work with you to establish the best way for you.

Can you source insurance products from the whole market?

Yes. We work on a fully independent basis so can source the best insurance and protection products from the whole of the market. We are not limited or tied to any companies so we can always get your the very best deal.

How do you get paid if I buy an insurance product?

For protection products that are not investment-based such as life insurance, critical illness cover, income protection insurance and private medical insurance, we are usually paid commission from the product provider. Where this is the case, a separate fee will not usually be payable by you unless specifically agreed for any additional work that may be required. Where we receive commission from a product provider we will disclose this to you so that you know exactly how much we have received for setting up your arrangements.

Do I really need a will?

For most people, writing a will is extremely important. If you die without making a will, you cannot control who will inherit your assets after your death. Should you die ‘intestate’ (in other words, without writing a will), your assets will be distributed according to intestacy law and this may be inconsistent with your personal wishes. By making a will you can determine precisely who inherits your assets. In addition, by writing a will you can determine who will administer your estate and who you would like to act as guardian for any minor children you have, if they are left without a surviving parent.

Can you answer another question that isn't listed here?

Certainly. First, you might want to check out the other FAQ pages to see if your question has been answered already. If not, please contact us or use the ‘live chat’ at the bottom right of every page. We’d love to answer any questions you have about FinsBridge and how we can help you achieve your financial goals.

Can you review my existing pensions?

We can conduct a thorough review detailing exactly what you have as part of our Portfolio Review Service. We look at where your money is ultimately invested, what you are being charged, what returns you have been getting and what level of risk you are taking. When reviewing clients’ pension arrangements, we often find significant improvements can be made, ultimately for you, this could mean a more comfortable and prosperous retirement. Remember that we work completely independently and will always recommend the best course of action for you without bias.

Can I consolidate my pensions to one single provider?

There are important benefits to consolidation and the more pension schemes you have the more likely you are to benefit from consolidation. Bringing all your pensions under one roof can make administration simpler and mean you have less paperwork to contend with and a more cohesive and efficient investment approach. Having said that, some older pension products include valuable features or guarantees that are no longer available in the market, certainly there are some instances where these should be retained. We always conduct a very detailed analysis of your pensions and will only recommend you consolidate them where this is clearly in your best interest.

Can I start a pension?

Almost anyone can start a pension. There are lots of advantages to having a pension such as tax relief and tax efficient growth, but the type that is most suitable for you depends on your objectives and circumstances. We can help you identify the features you need and select a pension that is the right fit for you.

Other than a pension, what else could I use to provide for my retirement?

For most people, a pension is going to be the best way to save for retirement because of the generous tax relief available on pension contributions. But every rule has exceptions and considerations such as how much you already have in pension savings, your level of income, when you want to retire and what other assets you have are all important factors when deciding on how exactly to provide income in retirement. There are myriad different general savings and investing options such as ISAs, unit trusts etc. available that could be used to support your retirement planning. Beyond savings and liquid investments, many people use buy to let property to provide income in retirement. The best way to understand what is the right combination for you is to seek independent financial advice.

I’m about to retire. Can you help me get the best income?

There are more options available today than ever before. The benefits of increased flexibility and choice are clear, but a consequence is that retirement planning seems to be getting ever more complicated. How much income you can take depends on a number of factors, such as your attitude to risk, your capacity for loss, whether you want your investments to continue growing, whether you can stop income for short periods when markets are performing badly, the list goes on. There is no magic bullet or single best product or strategy, no one size fits all approach that works for everyone and every circumstance. What we are able to do is source independently across the whole of the market to find the best solution to meet your individual needs to provide you with a better chance of securing the outcome you want. We use our expertise to set appropriate expectations for you and make the best use of the wealth you have.

Can I pay lower charges on my pension?

It is important to understand the distinction between cost and value when considering charges for any product or service. Taking a bus is cheaper than taking a taxi, but does it offer better value? This will depend on the individual and their needs and priorities. If you are time sensitive, a taxi is likely to provide better value. If you are price sensitive, perhaps a slower journey is acceptable to avoid additional costs. The important thing here is that there are two options and one of these options meets your needs better than the other. The first step in assessing the charges you are paying for your pension is to understand exactly what you are paying and what you are receiving for that money. You may have an existing pension that comes with very low costs, but if this doesn’t provide the right investment solutions for your needs, the cost advantage pales in comparison to the opportunity of cost of not being in the right investment strategy. The challenge here is to understand the trade-offs across the different options so you can decide which is the best choice. We can help you understand what charges you are paying and whether or not you require the features you are paying for. We will always strive to deliver the best value, but in doing so, we will not prejudice your ability to meet your retirement goals.

How can I use the money in my pension?

There are any different pension options available, each with different levels of flexibility in how benefits are commenced. The level of flexibility available today is greater than it has ever been. You may also have pensions from many years ago that provide more limited options for commencing benefits. Depending on your needs, it may be necessary to transfer some or all of your pension benefits to a new scheme. Most pensions allow access to benefits at age 55, with up to 25% of your benefits available as tax free cash. Generally speaking, the options available beyond this are annuity purchase or some form of income drawdown. The options available to you will depend on your own circumstances. There has been a trend away from annuity purchase and towards flexible access, after the pension freedoms that began in 2016. This means more and more people are deciding to take an ongoing income from an invested pension pot. The upshot here is that pension planning now generally goes beyond saving a lump sum to buy a guaranteed lifetime income.

I’m worried there will be a big Inheritance Tax bill when I die. Is there anything I can do now to plan for this?

Yes, there are lots of things you can do. We can use well recognised specialist strategies using trusts, business property relief and whole of life insurance solutions. All of these strategies are well recognised and approved, and if implemented can save a lot of potential Inheritance Tax. We can tailor a strategy to your specific objectives – read our section on <Inheritance Tax Planning>. Please give us a call for a no obligation conversation.

Do I really need a will?

For most people, writing a will is extremely important. If you die without making a will, you cannot control who will inherit your assets after your death. Should you die ‘intestate’ (in other words, without writing a will), your property will be distributed according to intestacy law and this may be inconsistent with your personal wishes. By making a will you can determine precisely who inherits your assets. In addition, by writing a will you can determine who will administer your estate and who you would like to act as guardian for any minor children you have, if they are left without a surviving parent. Please see our section on Wills for more information.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and do I need one?

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf – this includes health and financial affairs. This gives you more control over what happens to you if, for example, you have an accident or an illness and can’t make decisions at the time they need to be made (you ‘lack mental capacity’). Most people should have an LPA. Please read more about Lasting Power of Attorney here.

I’m worried about the cost of long-term care should I need this. Can you help me plan for this?

Yes we can. Long-term care insurance provides the financial support you need if you have to pay for care assistance for yourself or a family member. This insurance can cover the cost of assistance for those who need help to perform the basic activities of daily life such as getting out of bed, dressing or washing in your own home or in residential care. There are different types of long-term care insurance products available and each must be considered carefully to ensure it fits with your specific needs.

Can you answer another question that isn't listed here?

Certainly. First, you might want to check out the other FAQ pages to see if your question has been answered already. If not, please or use the ‘live chat’ at the bottom right of every page. We’d love to answer any questions you have about FinsBridge and how we can help you achieve your financial goals.

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