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  • FIRST POST
    • 6022tivo
    • By 6022tivo 19th Oct 19, 10:47 PM
    • 609Posts
    • 133Thanks
    6022tivo
    Basic Chat with an IFA
    • #1
    • 19th Oct 19, 10:47 PM
    Basic Chat with an IFA 19th Oct 19 at 10:47 PM
    Like this is impossible...

    I have money scattered around in places I think are best, I have schemes ongoing.
    I use salary sacrifice to stick 70% ish into my pension. I pay no tax.

    I just want to sit with an IFA for an hour over a coffee in a cafe and go thought my stuff and thought process without ongoing commitment, pressure to sign up to managed funds or anything like that.

    Happy to pay? 100 + vat?? Fair?

    So... I have contacted two local IFA with what I want. One hasn't replied, the other has said the same spiel as their website (Copy and paste).

    Basically, the first visit is free when you fill out a form and hand over your life on paper, then the second visit is a chargeable visit with funds and services offered they think are good for me with fees listed etc, and annual reviews (No commitment though)....

    Like is it really not too much to ask, to have a natter and a charge, then nothing else?



    I have also 2 premium bank accounts, and had an appointment set with one, the chap called me up the night before and I said what I wanted from the visit, and he basically said, its a fixed risk/service review and if I'm not thinking of investing, there is no point of the meeting, and he cancelled it...


    Am I really asking too much?
Page 1
    • SavingisFun
    • By SavingisFun 19th Oct 19, 10:50 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    SavingisFun
    • #2
    • 19th Oct 19, 10:50 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Oct 19, 10:50 PM
    Where are you based?
    • 6022tivo
    • By 6022tivo 19th Oct 19, 10:51 PM
    • 609 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    6022tivo
    • #3
    • 19th Oct 19, 10:51 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Oct 19, 10:51 PM
    Where are you based?
    Originally posted by SavingisFun
    Wirral/Liverpool
    • SavingisFun
    • By SavingisFun 19th Oct 19, 10:55 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    SavingisFun
    • #4
    • 19th Oct 19, 10:55 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Oct 19, 10:55 PM
    Wirral/Liverpool
    Originally posted by 6022tivo
    OK, I have inboxed you
    • SonOf
    • By SonOf 19th Oct 19, 11:49 PM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 2,023 Thanks
    SonOf
    • #5
    • 19th Oct 19, 11:49 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Oct 19, 11:49 PM
    Happy to pay? 100 + vat?? Fair?
    It will have to be vatable as there is no intention to purchase.
    However, if you are after advice, then the advice process has to be followed. if you are after guidance then it doesn't but then guidance cannot point you to a solution. It has to be more wishy washy.

    Like is it really not too much to ask, to have a natter and a charge, then nothing else?
    Post RDR and MiFIDII, yes, it is a bit much to ask. Its not really affordable to run advice on that sort of basis for most firms nowadays. you will probably find someone eventually but expect a good number not being interested.
    • bostonerimus
    • By bostonerimus 20th Oct 19, 4:04 AM
    • 3,416 Posts
    • 2,723 Thanks
    bostonerimus
    • #6
    • 20th Oct 19, 4:04 AM
    • #6
    • 20th Oct 19, 4:04 AM
    Why not make yourself a coffee and ask all your questions here. You'll get a range of answers and crowdsourcing can often produce an optimal solution.
    Misanthrope in search of similar for mutual loathing
    • Alistair31
    • By Alistair31 20th Oct 19, 8:01 AM
    • 185 Posts
    • 167 Thanks
    Alistair31
    • #7
    • 20th Oct 19, 8:01 AM
    • #7
    • 20th Oct 19, 8:01 AM
    Why not make yourself a coffee and ask all your questions here. You'll get a range of answers and crowdsourcing can often produce an optimal solution.
    Originally posted by bostonerimus
    Was going to post similar.
    • Brilley
    • By Brilley 20th Oct 19, 8:48 AM
    • 130 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Brilley
    • #8
    • 20th Oct 19, 8:48 AM
    • #8
    • 20th Oct 19, 8:48 AM
    100 for an IFA?....unlikely, you probably get what you pay for.

    As above, if you are only prepared to spend 100 I would post as much info as you can on here and then ask some specific questions you want answering and see what sort of replies you get.

    Most IFA's would need to see all your facts and figures first and get an understanding of what you are hoping to achieve and assess your risk expectations before meeting. ie they may need to do a few hrs work before you meet, then possibly a couple of hours or more to discuss. So probably a good half days or more work to do the job properly?
    • 6022tivo
    • By 6022tivo 20th Oct 19, 9:16 AM
    • 609 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    6022tivo
    • #9
    • 20th Oct 19, 9:16 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Oct 19, 9:16 AM
    100 for an IFA?....unlikely, you probably get what you pay for.
    Originally posted by Brilley
    No idea of rates. I work in a city and it would have been a no prep coffee over a lunch break.
    I made up the 120 figure and thought it was reasonable for a coffee chat with no research before and after required.
    • 6022tivo
    • By 6022tivo 20th Oct 19, 9:18 AM
    • 609 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    6022tivo
    Most IFA's would need to see all your facts and figures first and get an understanding of what you are hoping to achieve and assess your risk expectations before meeting. ie they may need to do a few hrs work before you meet, then possibly a couple of hours or more to discuss. So probably a good half days or more work to do the job properly?
    Originally posted by Brilley
    I don't want a proper job, I'm happy with where my things are. It was more a confirming process, especially over my pension funding and making sure I'm doing it the most efficient way.
    • 6022tivo
    • By 6022tivo 20th Oct 19, 9:20 AM
    • 609 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    6022tivo
    Why not make yourself a coffee and ask all your questions here. You'll get a range of answers and crowdsourcing can often produce an optimal solution.
    Originally posted by bostonerimus
    I have tried it once before a while back, possibly under a different username, it became quite hard work as either non belief at my finances and how I have them, or conflict over my end game as it's not particularly ambitious.
    • Simby
    • By Simby 20th Oct 19, 9:22 AM
    • 193 Posts
    • 176 Thanks
    Simby
    Lots of new users now.. might be worth a shot and some of us might benefit from your knowledge also
    • Brilley
    • By Brilley 20th Oct 19, 9:22 AM
    • 130 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Brilley
    I don't want a proper job, I'm happy with where my things are. It was more a confirming process, especially over my pension funding and making sure I'm doing it the most efficient way.
    Originally posted by 6022tivo

    ?...might as well ask on here then...
    • Brilley
    • By Brilley 20th Oct 19, 9:25 AM
    • 130 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Brilley
    I don't want a proper job, I'm happy with where my things are. It was more a confirming process, especially over my pension funding and making sure I'm doing it the most efficient way.
    Originally posted by 6022tivo

    ..so you do want a proper job then?....I am confused?
    • Albermarle
    • By Albermarle 20th Oct 19, 9:31 AM
    • 1,748 Posts
    • 1,125 Thanks
    Albermarle
    Not sure who your pension is with but some providers will offer guidance for free but will only offer advice for a fee. The guidance will be a bit vague and as soon as you start talking about details they would rather push you into paying for advice. Also I think a IFA or FA will never offer off the cuff advice and most would probably not get out of bed for 100.
    • 6022tivo
    • By 6022tivo 20th Oct 19, 9:35 AM
    • 609 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    6022tivo
    ..so you do want a proper job then?....I am confused?
    Originally posted by Brilley
    I salary sacrifice 75% into a Aviva Fund that is pretty generic and company negotiated (Fee looks lowish) company pay their NI Saving and 10% as well.
    I can log in and change funds if required.
    I keep my salary to just under the Basic Tax Rate.

    As far as I see it's savy and tax efficient, what else could they tell me to do?



    I also have an old works pension that is final salary and I've been told to leave this alone as they don't really do them anymore. So wondering if this is the same advice? The final figure does not appear to be going up with inflation though? Not sure if it should?
    • 6022tivo
    • By 6022tivo 20th Oct 19, 9:37 AM
    • 609 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    6022tivo
    Also I think a IFA or FA will never offer off the cuff advice and most would probably not get out of bed for 100.
    Originally posted by Albermarle
    That is the issue, not really after advice, just a sounding board. As said, 120 was a figure I made up as for an hours lunch break, I though it was reasonable (Up north), but I did make the figure up.
    • Linton
    • By Linton 20th Oct 19, 11:03 AM
    • 11,381 Posts
    • 11,801 Thanks
    Linton
    That is the issue, not really after advice, just a sounding board. As said, 120 was a figure I made up as for an hours lunch break, I though it was reasonable (Up north), but I did make the figure up.
    Originally posted by 6022tivo

    An IFA, or come to that anyone else, cannot give you advice that you should put serious reliance on unless they have a good understanding of your personal circumstances, finances, objectives and attitude to risk. Even in a fairly simple situation that could well take much more than an hour especially as you may not have thought through exactly what you want to achieve nor considered what risks you are prepared to take to get there.



    If you arent serious then its not worth seeing an IFA. I suggest you ask more specific questions here and see if that helps.
    • Brilley
    • By Brilley 20th Oct 19, 11:08 AM
    • 130 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Brilley
    Ref your old works pension, assume this is a DB scheme? It should go up each year. You could always contact the provider and ask them. You can also ask them for a "projection" as to what you could get if you took "now" (if you are 55 or over), and a projection if paid at 65. (Sometimes they will only give a projection up to the next 12 months).

    You can also ask for a CETV. (NB If it is worth more than 30k and you think you want to transfer it you will need to get it "approved" by a registered FA...and they will charge you for this...possibly about 1% of the value.
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 20th Oct 19, 11:12 AM
    • 9,497 Posts
    • 17,287 Thanks
    bowlhead99
    The problem is that professionals have to be very careful what they tell people, because a 'sounding board' or 'bit of guidance' can turn into advice or at least be seen as advice by the recipient.

    Even without a contract, or a fee, a court can hold that a professional adviser had a 'duty of care' and was negligent in providing the advice (tort law rather than contract law).

    Sure, you know you just went for coffee with someone and had a chat, and you're not planning on suing them if you later find out that something they said was inappropriate (or there was a much better thing you could have done better that they didn't tell you about, etc). But the adviser doesn't know that you are definitely not going to pursue a negligence claim against them, and we live in a litigious / compensation-culture society. People claim for having PPI a decade ago without even remembering they bought it, or remembering they bought it and that they were happy to pay the extra for it at the time but someone tells them they can claim it back by playing dumb. That's the sort of BS that people with professional advice businesses have to put up with, whether financial advice, legal, accounting, architecture etc etc.

    So advisers can have a duty of care even without a fee, for advice on which people subsequently rely. If they are a professional and they discuss someone's financial affairs and charge a fee, they definitely did provide a professional service, otherwise why would they be invoicing. So they would have to go back to the office and document a full transcript of the conversation and identify all the salient points. If they did not give enough caveats and do enough backside-covering, they could have an exposure. And without documented paperwork it's then a he-said she-said exposure, which is not great.

    This is one of the reasons why solicitors and IFAs and other providers will give you a half hour high level introductory conversation for free. They can find out about your situation in confidence, but it is clear to everyone in the scenario of that first session that nothing is advice until you agree to proceed to paid advice or transactions, so they will take some personal details but don't need to go back behind the scenes and document the hell out of everything if you don't decide to proceed. Advisers need to do these sort of sessions to introduce themselves and their services and the time-cost of them doing them is something they can give away under their marketing budget to win over a prospective client or to identify for themselves whether it's the type of client they want.

    What you have discovered is that the 'free half hour' is going to have limited usefulness, because you will inevitably come up with some specific questions, to which you don't want to just hear a vague answer that there are a range of options that might be suitable - you know the person you're sitting with will have lots of experience and be familiar with the common approaches, so you want to be told 'what do people in my situation generally do about this' - and also 'what do people in my situation do about it if they take advice from you' which might be a different answer.

    And a professional would need to ask probing questions in order to determine some of the background info behind the 'my situation' to work out what it really is, and other things about your goals and objectives, before offering up a solution. And regardless of fee, that possibly ends up being advice, or at least has the liability risk of being 'seen as' advice, by the recipient, and the professional has a duty of care when he uses his skills and qualifications and experience to help someone.

    It can be hard to nail down the exact difference in expectation in a social setting vs office setting and some advisers will naturally find it difficult to 'switch off' in a social setting such as a coffee shop or party, because they live and breathe the business of 'advice giving' for hundreds of hours a month. If you say you will pay them for it, well , it doesn't sound like it was informal. The lines are blurred. Whereas if you say you won't pay for it, it's easier to frame it as a pre-advice discussion and avoid liability problems, but an adviser who doesn't know you and knows you don't really plan to buy proper regulated advice from them in the end, may not have much appetite for that.

    The problem is that people without much money to spend on advice are not well served by the advice community because the market is highly regulated. That creates good outcomes for people trusting advisers with large amounts of money; and creates good outcomes for advisers because although it is expensive to maintain your regulated status and guard against litigation, it's a 'barrier to entry' to the advice market for fly-by-night people without qualifications and regulatory approval and the compliance processes that go with it. But it creates poor outcomes for individuals needing cheap advice.

    The issue is that nobody has really created a cut down 'sounding board' service for personal financial advice. A friend is in the law profession for example: solicitors can sometimes do drop-in sessions at citizens advice bureaux or similar, and after you get basic advice or ideas there you can sometimes be referred to a firm that can help you out pro-bono or help you obtain 'legal aid' so it doesn't cost you anything. But for financial advice, for people who have some money but not lots of money, there isn't an obvious equivalent - IFAs won't work pro-bono and there is no 'IFA-aid'.

    Sorry if the above sounds like a lot of words saying why you won't get what you want, rather than offering a solution

    As IFAs may be reluctant to have a cut-down 'not really advice', coffee shop 'sounding board' chat on anything and everything, it seems like you could be better seeking out someone who was NOT a professional adviser, who didn't need to worry about personal liability stemming from them owing you a duty of care because they weren't qualified or regulated, you weren't paying them and it was purely a social encounter with an enthusiastic amateur.

    However, while there are various people here who come across as 'enthusiastic amateurs' - and a subset of them, I would be very happy to have answer my personal questions in real life as a 'sounding board' - you should recognise that if you are meeting with someone who isn't a professional adviser, the quality of the answers may be worse. This being because their experiences lie in what they themselves have come across in their life which will not necessarily be as comprehensive as what an IFA firm has come across; if a potential solution isn't relevant for their own circumstances they will not have explored it as thoroughly.

    So, meeting with a random amateur not-qualified person steps neatly around liability problems but could result in a lower quality of sounding board. But the major problem with meeting an non-professional or ex-professional anonymous stranger in a social setting to get your sounding board, is the lack of the 'I' from 'IFA'. You don't know how independent and impartial someone is, and what vested interests they may have.

    For example, knowing that you want some general guidance, someone solicits a meeting via personal message on the forum. You meet with them and talk about how you have money in various schemes here and there. They suggest you consolidate a couple of your savings pots into one account with London Capital & Finance, which turns out to be a scam, or SVS bonds which turned out to be inappropriately missold. Or a vintage wine investment scheme their friend runs. Or they tell you they had a great experience with a particular financial group who reviewed their pensions and sent them a free report, with a very competitive commission for implementing changes. What you don't realise is that they were a salesman all along and the hour in the coffee shop was just them talking randomly about your finances for 57 minutes with the hope of getting three minutes to subtly pitch their friend's pet project.

    Though I am not the first to suggest it, my suggestion is to crowdsource your answers here. As you say, it can be hard work and people can be competitive wanting to say that their solution is best, tell you that the end game is wrong, tell you that you need to better define your end game, express disbelief in why you would have done what you've done, etc etc. If you crowdsource the answers to your questions, anything and everything will get shouted down and it can be hard work sorting wheat from chaff.

    However, if you meet just one forum user in real life for coffee you don't know whether they are bearing wheat or chaff, and you yourself have to do all the critique of their answers and ideas. If you use a forum, everyone will tell you that the bond company or wine company or pension review company suggestion is terrible or wouldn't be suggested by anyone but a shill, etc.

    Good luck.
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