There is one adviser at HR Independent which provides clients with general financial planning with a specialism in trusts and offshore investments. Assets under management are approximately £30m and the investment platform we use first and foremost is Old Mutual. We also use Fidelity and, to a much lesser extent, Cofunds now part of Aegon.
We have used Dynamic Planner for many years pre-RDR and now today it is an essential part of the investment proposition we offer. Let’s say we are completing a review with a client – which is where most of us are earning our money at the moment – and it is face-to-face. Before the meeting, they will receive a link to Dynamic Planner to complete the questionnaire. We will complete an analysis of their portfolio and where it currently sits on the risk profile scale and the efficient frontier in comparison to where they want to be now. We then have a meeting to discuss that.
At that point we can ask the client lots of questions about what they want – do they want to use risk profiled or risk-targeted funds? And what shade of active or passive fund management do they want? We then go back to the client – and what we’re finding when we’re doing client reviews now more and more is that people are saying, ‘I’ve been through the questionnaire now and it would be intellectually inconsistent of me to now say I want anything other than a risk-targeted fund’. Clients like Risk Target Managed (RTM) funds because having determined that someone is, for example, a Risk Profile 7, they know that’s what they’ll get with RTM. If and when markets at some point then enter a downturn, clients know that they hold investments at the risk level they signed up for.
We write to the client detailing their present circumstances, their fee charges and detailing the funds we are now proposing and the rationale behind that. That process works well for us. The FCA, as we all know, is looking carefully at ongoing services for clients. In-house, we always have the debate around client review time, ‘If the FCA walked in the door today and asked us what we are offering clients for our ongoing charges’, we would be absolutely confident that what Dynamic Planner helps us deliver is robust, deliverable and consistent.
We spent a great deal of time and energy here at HR Independent creating a suitable process we could hold up to clients and say, ‘This is what we do and this is what you pay for’. Dynamic Planner plays an integral part in that process and when we were first looking at the design and make-up of that process Dynamic Planner came out ahead of other services, because of the combination of things it offers: the questionnaires and the reports it generates most prominently. We can say to clients, ‘Here is where you are currently invested. Here is where you have just said you want to be. In order to get there, this is what you need to do’.
We can match investments to clients using Premium and Select funds in Dynamic Planner, which puts us fairly and squarely where we want to be and allows you as an adviser to just follow that process, all the way through Dynamic Planner. It is in that capacity that anybody looking at it, perhaps without any prior knowledge whatsoever of financial planning, can say, ‘Yes, I’ve seen what you’ve done there. I can see where I currently am. I can see where I relate to risk and to reward. And I can see what I now need to do to achieve my goals’.