FINANCIAL PLANNING

  • SAVINGS
  • INVESTMENTS

SAVINGS

ISA ALLOWANCE

Individual Savings Accounts are highly efficient investment vehicles. An ISA is a wrapper, within which investments can be brought, sold or retained in a tax-efficient manner. The distinct advantage of an ISA is that there are no capital gains or income tax liabilities on the investments held within the ISA wrapper nor any income tax liabilities on withdrawals, although the amount you can deposit into an ISA is capped at £20,000 for the 2017/18 tax year.

JUNIOR ISA (JISA) ALLOWANCE

These products are types of individual savings accounts for children. UK resident children under the age of 18 but older than 1 day are eligible. Instructions are given by a registered contact, the person with parental responsibility for the child. Those children over the age of 16 but under the age of 18 can opt to set up an account themselves although no funds can be drawn from the account until the child is 18, however funds may be withdrawn in the unfortunate event of death or if the child becomes terminally ill. The annual allowance for contributions into this product currently stands at £4,128 for the 2017/18 tax year.

INVESTMENTS

Pensions

Pensions are included in this section as for most people they form part of a long-term investment strategy. Subject to annual allowances tax-relievable contributions into a pension scheme are allowed to grow tax-free. Also due to new legislation pension planning may be attractive to those wishing to mitigate any potential IHT liabilities, therefore pensions are not only for the provision of retirement income they are also a tax-efficient investment planning.

Investment Bonds

Investment Bonds are singularly priced life insurance policies, combining life insurance with an element of investment exposure these vehicles generally aim to provide long-term growth for the investor. Investment Bonds can provide tax-benefits and access to investment funds management by investment professionals.

DFM

Our Discretionary Fund Management Model Portfolios provide a continuous and tailored portfolio management service for investors. Often this category of clients will want a bespoke approach to managing their investments which takes into account their specific style or views. We carefully consider whether a discretionary investment approach is suitable on a client by client basis, we offer attractively priced solutions from a panel of providers and take the responsibility for ensuring that the recommended solution meets the client’s objectives and attitude to risk.

OUR ADVICE PROCESS

Advice Process Diagram - Acorn To Oaks Financial Services

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

We spend time getting to know you and understanding what is really important to you and your loved ones. In addition to this we discuss your views on the level of risk you are willing to take with your investments. Using this data we identify your financial objectives and also consider your position in regards to your existing portfolio. We use market leading technology to ensure that this process is accurate and reliable and once the process is completed we will confirm what work needs to be undertaken and the cost of the work.

TAILORING A PLAN

As a whole of market Independent Financial Advisory firm we analyse funds and products from across the entire market. We consider a wide range of assets and always ensure that the tax-efficiency is maximised in relation to your personal situation. Once we’ve done this we prepare a personalised suitability report setting out our recommendations, we are more than happy to discuss this with you.

ACTIONING THE PLAN

Once agreed with yourself we will begin to execute your plan. Our experienced administration team will take care of all the paperwork and are adept at resolving all back-office matters from technical queries to dealing with third parties. As part of our robust process, this ensures that all records are safely stored, managed and updated.As a whole of market Independent Financial Advisory firm we analyse funds and products from across the entire market. We consider a wide range of assets and always ensure that the tax-efficiency is maximised in relation to your personal situation. Once we’ve done this we prepare a personalised suitability report setting out our recommendations, we are more than happy to discuss this with you.

MANAGING THE PLAN

As a firm we go above and beyond for our customers. Financial advice goes further than recommending a product and the initial advice, it is a journey. Through regular monitoring and review we ensure that your financial plan remains on track.

OUR INVESTMENT BELIEFS

WE BELIEVE - RISK AND RETURN ARE STRONGLY LINKED. WE BELIEVE RISK AND RETURN ARE POSITIVELY CORRELATED

In other words, the potential for financial loss you expose yourself to in taking a risk is also the reason you earn a return. There is good risk and bad risk and higher exposure to the right risk factors leads to higher expected returns, but this is no guarantee of them. Risk is the premium investors pay for the expectation of a greater return.

WE BELIEVE - INVESTING FOR THE LONG TERM IS VERY DIFFERENT TO SAVING FOR THE SHORT TERM

While there is an understandable desire to keep things safe when investing, the corrosive impact of inflation means that standing still in absolute terms means you are going backwards in real terms. The value of investing for the long term in more risky assets is therefore compelling. Real assets such as equities, property and commodities tend to make a better long term investment than the apparently safer option of cash deposits in the long run.

WE BELIEVE - THE BULK OF LONG-TERM RETURNS COME FROM ASSET ALLOCATION

Academics will continue to argue about the precise amount of value that comes from strategic asset allocation rather than stock selection, investment style or market timing, but it is widely accepted that asset allocation has the biggest influence over the variance in portfolio returns. This means that investors and their advisers should be devoting the bulk of their effort to constructing the most suitable asset allocation model, based on individual investment objectives and individual attitude towards investment risk. This is where we focus our attention when delivering investment advice. It’s like making a cake. The most important part is making sure you have the right amount of flour, eggs, butter etc. rather than worrying whether the ingredients come from Harrods or the corner shop.

WE BELIEVE - DIVERSIFICATION IS ESSENTIAL

Diversification is the principle of spreading your investment risk around. Our investment portfolios therefore hold the shares and bonds of many companies and governments in many countries around the world. Because we believe in the power of capital markets as the most important long term driver of returns we focus our efforts on building diversified portfolios of assets to meet your needs rather than spending time making individual predictions or judgments.

WE BELIEVE - COSTS MATTER

Over long time periods, high management fees and related expenses can be a significant drag on wealth creation. Therefore we pay particular attention to charges, using the total Cost of Ownership as our preferred measurement of the charges and we aim to keep the Annual Management Charge on our portfolios around 1%. In addition, we are conscious of the impact of additional third party fees as well as our own advisory fees.

WE BELIEVE - ACTIVE AND INDEX INVESTING HAVE A PLACE

Investment funds are often categorized as active or index. An active fund manager is one who makes decisions about holding one investment over another. They try and beat the markets or their chosen benchmarks. Index funds are willing to accept the market rate of return and enjoy smaller fees than active funds. Research shows that: The average active fund will do worse than the market because they are paying the highest fees, but some managers have demonstrated the ability to add value over time; The average index fund will perform slightly better than that because their fees are lower than the active fund.

WE BELIEVE - INVESTORS SHOULD UNDERSTAND THE REASONS FOR INVESTING AND HOW THEIR PORTFOLIO IS DESIGNED TO MEET THEIR GOALS

The world of investing can be complex and often not transparent. We believe in keeping things simple. So while there is a lot of science and evidence behind our investment philosophy and process, we are keen that every client understands our recommendations and how they fit with their own financial objectives. When delivering investment advice, we always start with a detailed understanding of your financial planning objectives. These inform decisions about the level of investment risk that needs to be taken.

WE BELIEVE - INVESTMENT SUCCESS DEPENDS ON THE CONSISTENT APPLICATION OF A ROBUST PROCESS

There are numerous ways to approach the construction and on-going management of an investment portfolio. Without the application of a robust process, the emotional aspects of investing can prevent investors from making the best decisions. As a firm, we consistently apply a multi-stage investment advice process designed to deliver suitable advice to every client. The outcome is tailored to meet individual objectives but the process itself is always the same. As with any plan we need to regularly review progress to make sure we are on track. We will discuss and agree with you the best way to achieve this.

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