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    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 27th Mar 14, 2:24 PM
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    dunstonh
    For what it's worth, I found them superb.
    No-one has ever argued that they provide a slick service. They should do when you consider what you pay for them. Last pension case of theirs I reviewed had 204,000 more in effect of charges than my recommendation. I cant match their slickness and brochures but I doubt they are really worth 204,000.

    What I liked was that this was one guy with the backing of a massive company, with a guarantee that if the advice were wrong, SJP would put me right (I've got this in writing..!!).
    That is just marketing rubbish. All advisers offer exactly the same levels of protection. Some may have more money than others but the regulations and consumer protection are the same.

    The adviser I spoke with was very patient, answered all of my questions and never once tried to pressure me into doing anything I didn't want to do, plus I never paid him anything until he set up my plans and then SJP paid him, which is fair enough (the IFAs wanted paying up front..!!)
    Strictly speaking, the IFAs are correct. The regulator said advice should not be dependent on the sale of a product. In reality, it can still happen. Don't worry though, SJP charges will soon pass the IFA fee.

    I spoke with 3 IFAs, all of whom were small companies without the backing of a big company. I considered, where will they be in 5 years when I still need advice..?
    What makes you think the same tied agent sales rep of SJP is going to be there in 3 years time? Employee advisers can suffer high turnover. However, owner/partner/director IFAs tend to be there long term.

    I agree with previous posts here that IFA firms have joined SJP, however the one I spoke to, who was in the process of joining SJP, told me this was because the regulatory and insurance costs were so great that they (the IFA firm) had no other choice than to join SJP.
    Whilst it is correct that costs keep rising and there are increasing regulatory issues on IFAs that is seeing many give up their IFA status, most are just moving to whole of market and dropping the high risk stuff that most people never use anyway. Going to single tied salesforce is extreme.

    It seems to me that there are IFAs posting on here and just having a go at SJP. They seem to be the biggest, so why not have a go at them..??
    SJP are not the biggest. They are probably one of the most commercially successful but again, given how expensive they are, that shouldn't be a surprise. Perhaps you have buyer remorse and realise you should have used an IFA or a restricted whole of market adviser and now prefer to try and justify it to yourself?

    I think it comes down to the adviser rather than the firm, if you trust them and they are clear about everything, does it matter whether they are IFA or SJP or anyone else..??
    Personality is something that does not recognise adviser status. You could get a good tied sales rep or a good IFA or a bad tied sales rep or a bad IFA. However, you do know when you buy from SJP that you are paying over the odds.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • claire21
    • By claire21 27th Mar 14, 2:41 PM
    • 31,793 Posts
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    claire21
    I am another fan of them my advisor has been superb.

    She's gone above and beyond with the help she has given me.
    Last edited by claire21; 27-03-2014 at 2:58 PM.
    • ColdIron
    • By ColdIron 27th Mar 14, 2:52 PM
    • 3,141 Posts
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    ColdIron
    The thing about SJP is it's a bit like buying a regular tin of Heinz Baked Beans from Harrods, same beans but more expensive
    • Caladan
    • By Caladan 29th Mar 14, 1:07 PM
    • 377 Posts
    • 193 Thanks
    Caladan
    SJP are expensive, I believe they generally take 4.5% initial charge still (which is quite high in the new world). They're ongoing service, anecdotally, is very good.

    I know a handful of SJP guys (and gals), and I also know a fair few SJP clients.

    As far as I can tell, SJP manage to make the profits they do and charge what they do by giving 'excellent' service to their clients. Whether or not this is worth paying for depends on the individual I guess.

    As an aside, although they're owned by Lloyds, I think they manage themselves as a separate entity with little interference from the master.

    Personally, I'm something of a fan (although I actually work for another wealth management entity). Some of their advisers give me the creeps though...not sure I'd trust many of them with my money.

    Edit: I'd add - For smaller investors, I'd say definitely steer clear. For the more wealthy who don't mind paying the higher costs in exchange for free lunches, golf days or trips out at your advisers expence, well, what ColdIron said rings true - Shopping at Harrods when you could buy at M&S.
    Last edited by Caladan; 29-03-2014 at 1:10 PM.
    • ColdIron
    • By ColdIron 29th Mar 14, 1:18 PM
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    ColdIron
    I believe they generally take 4.5% initial charge still (which is quite high in the new world)
    Originally posted by Caladan
    I think they also have tiered exit charges up to about 5 years. Having said that I know someone that swears by them although he is richer than Midas. I think it all comes down to how well you click with your 'partner'
    • Aegis
    • By Aegis 29th Mar 14, 8:55 PM
    • 4,747 Posts
    • 2,816 Thanks
    Aegis
    plus I never paid him anything until he set up my plans and then SJP paid him, which is fair enough (the IFAs wanted paying up front..!!)
    Originally posted by Qwerty09
    To put a slightly different spin on this, he would only be financially remunerated if you boughgt one of the policies provided by his parent company and he had no ability to go off panel and suggest something else to you. Given this, do you think his advice was unbiased in comparison to someone charging you an up front fee for recommending a solution from the wider market of investments and a second fee for implementation, with both fees independent of the actual products selected?

    Also, you certainly did pay him. SJP pay their partners out of the initial charges on their policies, which are adviser charges. Unit trusts and OEICs can be bought on the wider market for no initial charge, so the entire amount deducted from your contribution is the fee you are paying your adviser, in effect.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser
    Anything I say on the forum is for discussion purposes only and should not be construed as personal financial advice. It is vitally important to do your own research before acting on information gathered from any users on this forum.
    • atypical
    • By atypical 30th Mar 14, 12:17 AM
    • 1,324 Posts
    • 830 Thanks
    atypical
    As an aside, although they're owned by Lloyds, I think they manage themselves as a separate entity with little interference from the master.
    Originally posted by Caladan
    Lloyds sold their stake in SJP in Dec 2013.

    Some interesting stuff in their annual report presentation here:
    http://www1.sjp.co.uk/~/media/Files/S/sjp-group/documents/Results/Analysts%20Presentation%20LR.pdf

    They're 3rd biggest after Coutts and Barclays and growing fast.

    On an investment of 85k they charge 3.12% if held for 3 years or 2.19% if held for 6 years which their comparison shows as low vs competition.
    • Aegis
    • By Aegis 30th Mar 14, 12:54 AM
    • 4,747 Posts
    • 2,816 Thanks
    Aegis
    Lloyds sold their stake in SJP in Dec 2013.

    Some interesting stuff in their annual report presentation here:
    http://www1.sjp.co.uk/~/media/Files/S/sjp-group/documents/Results/Analysts%20Presentation%20LR.pdf

    They're 3rd biggest after Coutts and Barclays and growing fast.

    On an investment of 85k they charge 3.12% if held for 3 years or 2.19% if held for 6 years which their comparison shows as low vs competition.
    Originally posted by atypical
    I can assure you that this is not cheap, especially where investments are held for 6 years or less. It's very clear that the data has been cherry picked for that table, as it only includes nine competitors out of the 200+ available to retail clients in the UK (EDIT - as listed in the PAM managers rather than all IFAs, to be clear). Additionally, many of these competitors are discretionary management firms, which would be totally unsuitable for a client with 85k to invest due to the high ratio of dealing costs to portfolio size. A more appropriate comparison would be with a typical cost of ownership of a multi manager fund or another typical way for clients to gain access to a firm's investment management expertise.

    Over the page they deal with a larger portfolio, but again deal with only a very small segment of the market. They've also given up showing their 3-year charges, presumably this is because they're so unfavourable at this size.

    It's also worth noting that SJP's charges are all percentage based and fixed, therefore as the amount of investment increases, their charges against many of these other companies will start to look considerably worse. Investec, for example, will start using direct equities and bonds in portfolios once you get over a certain level, and those investments have no underlying charges, bringing the costs down considerably.

    In short, it's a presentation designed to make their figures look better by comparing their fees to a number of companies that aren't in the market for that sized portfolio.
    Last edited by Aegis; 30-03-2014 at 10:51 AM.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser
    Anything I say on the forum is for discussion purposes only and should not be construed as personal financial advice. It is vitally important to do your own research before acting on information gathered from any users on this forum.
    • grey gym sock
    • By grey gym sock 30th Mar 14, 2:25 AM
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    grey gym sock
    to look at it another way, if you pay 3% per year, and we're in a low-investment-return environment (as many think we are), that could well be 100% of the return on your investments. i.e. all the real investment gains could be going to SJP, while your capital fluctuates, but ultimately ends up about where it started, after allowing for inflation.

    on the other hand, if we are in a high-return environment, perhaps you'll be lucky and get 6% investment returns, in which case SJP will only be taking half the return.
    • gadgetmind
    • By gadgetmind 30th Mar 14, 8:37 AM
    • 10,596 Posts
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    gadgetmind
    on the other hand, if we are in a high-return environment, perhaps you'll be lucky and get 6% investment returns, in which case SJP will only be taking half the return.
    Originally posted by grey gym sock
    Back in the late 80s and early 90s, when we had a high return environment (or I was young and foolish, take your pick!) I started my PEPs and pensions with SJP. Slick partner, sharp suit, gold watch, fleet of fancy cars, here was a guy who knew about money and investing!

    I don't have any regrets because my investments did well (despite SJP rather than because of them!) and I also learnt a lot of valuable lessons.

    I'm now a low-fee (mostly) index investor and SJP partners are going to have to get rich by skimming the cream (and half the milk!) off someone else's pension.
    I am not a financial adviser and neither do I play one on television. I might occasionally give bad advice but at least it's free.

    Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can't see them.
    • atypical
    • By atypical 30th Mar 14, 12:26 PM
    • 1,324 Posts
    • 830 Thanks
    atypical
    I can assure you that this is not cheap, especially where investments are held for 6 years or less. It's very clear that the data has been cherry picked for that table
    Originally posted by Aegis
    Agree! Was surprised they even chose to talk about price comparison.
  • Yulu
    To put a slightly different spin on this, he would only be financially remunerated if you boughgt one of the policies provided by his parent company and he had no ability to go off panel and suggest something else to you. Given this, do you think his advice was unbiased in comparison to someone charging you an up front fee for recommending a solution from the wider market of investments and a second fee for implementation, with both fees independent of the actual products selected?

    Also, you certainly did pay him. SJP pay their partners out of the initial charges on their policies, which are adviser charges. Unit trusts and OEICs can be bought on the wider market for no initial charge, so the entire amount deducted from your contribution is the fee you are paying your adviser, in effect.
    Originally posted by Aegis
    Hi,
    This is my situation. I have a 200+k pension that is invested with St.Jamses, that came to me post divorce. I have an option now to stay with SJP and carry on paying 1.6% perannum all inclusive, move else where (was looking at TRPP for similar pension services) or split the money between those two companies. I am not too keen on the later as paying two lots of fees is very expensive. I need to make the right choice, any advice would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Yulu; 15-11-2014 at 3:27 PM.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 15th Nov 14, 6:51 PM
    • 87,756 Posts
    • 52,993 Thanks
    dunstonh
    Hi,
    This is my situation. I have a 200+k pension that is invested with St.Jamses, that came to me post divorce. I have an option now to stay with SJP and carry on paying 1.6% perannum all inclusive, move else where (was looking at TRPP for similar pension services) or split the money between those two companies. I am not too keen on the later as paying two lots of fees is very expensive. I need to make the right choice, any advice would be appreciated.
    Originally posted by Yulu
    Use an IFA. Expect a cost analysis to be carried out and what the IFA has available to be a lot cheaper (although it is possible that you may want mixed priced assets in there as well). SJP is damned expensive and IFAs like coming across people who use SJP.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 15th Nov 14, 8:05 PM
    • 11,789 Posts
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    jimjames
    SJP are expensive, I believe they generally take 4.5% initial charge still (which is quite high in the new world). They're ongoing service, anecdotally, is very good.

    Edit: I'd add - For smaller investors, I'd say definitely steer clear. For the more wealthy who don't mind paying the higher costs in exchange for free lunches, golf days or trips out at your advisers expense, well, what ColdIron said rings true - Shopping at Harrods when you could buy at M&S.
    Originally posted by Caladan
    Corrected for you.

    The only way they are paying for such perks is from your fees, that's what their income is
    Last edited by jimjames; 15-11-2014 at 8:08 PM.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • gadgetmind
    • By gadgetmind 16th Nov 14, 6:54 AM
    • 10,596 Posts
    • 8,370 Thanks
    gadgetmind
    Graph on front page of Telegraph Money yesterday showing returns for those doing low (ish) cost DIY versus those paying the 2%+ for (expensive) advice. Quite a gap after a few decades.

    And, of course, in their example the DIY punter was still paying through the nose for actively managed funds.
    I am not a financial adviser and neither do I play one on television. I might occasionally give bad advice but at least it's free.

    Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can't see them.
    • Mistermeaner
    • By Mistermeaner 16th Nov 14, 8:27 AM
    • 2,347 Posts
    • 2,997 Thanks
    Mistermeaner
    Graph on front page of Telegraph Money yesterday showing returns for those doing low (ish) cost DIY versus those paying the 2%+ for (expensive) advice. Quite a gap after a few decades.

    And, of course, in their example the DIY punter was still paying through the nose for actively managed funds.
    Originally posted by gadgetmind
    Which did better?
    • colsten
    • By colsten 16th Nov 14, 10:07 AM
    • 8,507 Posts
    • 7,097 Thanks
    colsten


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/11230939/DIY-investment-vs-leaving-it-to-the-pros.html
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 16th Nov 14, 12:23 PM
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    dunstonh
    The telegraph model is comparing discretionary management services with DIY funds. It cannot compare like for like as most discretionary management services use direct assets.

    It assumes that both grow at 7% but then deduct 1% for DIY and 2% for discretionary investment managers. However, that isnt how it works at all and it certainly would not be the same assets as the DIY investor would have funds but the DIM would have ITs, ETFs, shares, gilts, bonds etc. There may be a smattering of funds but they would normally be special terms versions.

    So, the article is complete and utter BS as it is not about like for like. I am not a fan of discretionary management at normal retail consumer level but the person that wrote this article has made things up, not compared like for like and seems to have a complete lack of knowledge in the differences.
    Last edited by dunstonh; 16-11-2014 at 12:44 PM.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • colsten
    • By colsten 16th Nov 14, 1:34 PM
    • 8,507 Posts
    • 7,097 Thanks
    colsten
    However, that isnt how it works at all and it certainly would not be the same assets as the DIY investor would have funds but the DIM would have ITs, ETFs, shares, gilts, bonds etc.
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    I agree that the typical DIY investor would just use funds but ITs, ETFs, shares, gilts, bonds etc. are not out of bounds for DIY investors. So you can compare like with like, and it's pretty much a no brainer for those who know their stuff to see that higher charges are worse than lower charges.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 16th Nov 14, 1:51 PM
    • 87,756 Posts
    • 52,993 Thanks
    dunstonh
    I agree that the typical DIY investor would just use funds but ITs, ETFs, shares, gilts, bonds etc. are not out of bounds for DIY investors. So you can compare like with like, and it's pretty much a no brainer for those who know their stuff to see that higher charges are worse than lower charges.
    Originally posted by colsten
    Yes, a DIY investor could choose to use direct options. However, if that is the case, then the article fails to mention dealing costs that the DIY investor would have. It is clear that the article is not referring to direct investments. It is poorly researched and mostly made up rubbish.

    DIY can be cheaper (and it can be more expensive if you get it wrong or use the wrong provider). However, even the most ardent DIY investor must see the flaws the article and agree that it is wrong.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
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