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  • FIRST POST
    • WTY433
    • By WTY433 11th Aug 18, 5:25 PM
    • 22Posts
    • 1Thanks
    WTY433
    How do I find a good IFA
    • #1
    • 11th Aug 18, 5:25 PM
    How do I find a good IFA 11th Aug 18 at 5:25 PM
    Hi,
    Following some good direction on this forum I am now looking to move my FS pension to a money purchase pension to give me more flexibility and potential IHT benefits.

    Having made this decision I now need to find a quality IFA but 'd like to know how to go about this as I appreciate the "nice" ones may not always be the best ones.I also understand they may be knowledgeable on the subject of pensions but the products they recommend may not be the best for me.

    This happened recently with an adviser from St James Place accepting though he wasn't an IFA

    So far my understanding is that I need to consider
    1. Adviser charges
    2. Platform charges
    3. Investment charges

    (thanks Aegis) and that may give me a key to who charges a fair amount.
    Hopefully they will present it in the same way.
    I also believe these can be flat fee's or %'s
    The fund value is 625,000

    I have also been told that an IFA can chose from over 30,000 funds etc which must be very hard for them to sift through.
    A friend of mine who has done the same recently said he'd gone, after advice, with Royal London Pension as charges were only 0.45% but as a mutual they rebate 0.25% back so cheaper and they look after all the management.

    His adviser also pointed him towards Platform with Skandia for drawdown. I'm not sure how this works.

    My instincts are that the better ones would be those who specialise in pension transfers
    Thanks all in advance

    Any further advise on choosing a decent IFA and where/how to find them and what to ask them etc would be good.



    WTY
Page 1
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 11th Aug 18, 6:02 PM
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    dunstonh
    • #2
    • 11th Aug 18, 6:02 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Aug 18, 6:02 PM
    Hopefully they will present it in the same way.
    An IFA has no choice. it is a regulatory requirement. Its only the tied agents selling own product that can hide it.

    I have also been told that an IFA can chose from over 30,000 funds etc which must be very hard for them to sift through.
    Not really. A lot of it is software driven with filters and data, research and analysis obtained from third parties.

    A friend of mine who has done the same recently said he'd gone, after advice, with Royal London Pension as charges were only 0.45% but as a mutual they rebate 0.25% back so cheaper and they look after all the management.
    RL is a good old style pension. Use it sometimes with basic investors. Particularly those that don't expect much or want much and dont really understand investing. The mutual bonus is expected to average around 0.15% although some years it may be more. RL do not manage it. You still select the funds and strategy.

    His adviser also pointed him towards Platform with Skandia for drawdown. I'm not sure how this works.
    Skandia havent existed for about 5 years now. They are now Old Mutual. My pension is with them. Although they are not what they used to be. I will get round to moving from them soon. The mention of Skandia suggests info may be getting on a bit. Things change quickly.

    My instincts are that the better ones would be those who specialise in pension transfers
    You do need a pension transfer specialist. Only around 1 in 10 hold that permission.

    Any further advise on choosing a decent IFA and where/how to find them and what to ask them etc would be good.
    Its not that difficult. Most are fine. And if you have a bit of common sense, you should be able to spot quality. i.e. doesn't shy away from charges. Happy to consider multiple options and not automatically have one solution they use for all. Some of the most knowledgeable and technical advisers I have known have been less comfortable in the presentation. So, don't mark them down if they seem awkward and dont mark them high if they have a great personality but no substance. Those can be the best to avoid.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 11th Aug 18, 10:10 PM
    • 1,655 Posts
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    tacpot12
    • #3
    • 11th Aug 18, 10:10 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Aug 18, 10:10 PM
    You do need a pension transfer specialist to advise on transferring out of your FS pension scheme, but I wouldn't say that the better ones would be those who specialise in pension transfers. You need to find the right IFA for you.

    This will include finding one who can explain things to you in a language you understand and has charges that you think are reasonable for the service they are providing.

    The best way to find one is via a personal recommendation from someone who is an experienced investor but for whatever reason has chosen to pay the IFA to manage their investments. Failing that, you need to find personal recommendations from less able judges, e.g. someone who is not experienced but has a long history of using the IFA and who is happy with the service.

    Failing that, you need to start interviewing IFAs and asking if there are existing customers you could talk to. Clearly you have to be on guard that the customers are representative, ideally of yourself, and have a long relationship with the IFA.
    • WTY433
    • By WTY433 12th Aug 18, 9:51 AM
    • 22 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    WTY433
    • #4
    • 12th Aug 18, 9:51 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Aug 18, 9:51 AM
    Thanks for the helpful replies.
    Is drawdown as straightforward as you would hope? i.e. If there is a pot af tax free cash or unclaimed pension in the fund can you log on as you could in a bank account and just withdraw the money or is it contact the IFA, get a form sent, sign said form, return, wait for post, wait for processing etc ?
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 12th Aug 18, 12:21 PM
    • 96,058 Posts
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    dunstonh
    • #5
    • 12th Aug 18, 12:21 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Aug 18, 12:21 PM
    Thanks for the helpful replies.
    Is drawdown as straightforward as you would hope? i.e. If there is a pot af tax free cash or unclaimed pension in the fund can you log on as you could in a bank account and just withdraw the money or is it contact the IFA, get a form sent, sign said form, return, wait for post, wait for processing etc ?
    Originally posted by WTY433
    Some providers are paper-based. Not many nowadays. Usually its electronic with no signature. One oft he providers you mentioned uses signatures.

    However, an IFA will likely question you if you make unexpected and unplanned withdrawals. Depends on the size and frequency of these.

    One of the most common areas where drawdown fails and people run out of money is that they make repeated unplanned withdrawals and erode the capital to the point where the income is unsustainable. An adviser is there to give you warnings and advice. The button pressing is not the important bit.

    There are multiple drawdown methods. The IFA will advise on what method they feel is right for you. There are also multiple investment strategies for drawdown (another area where opinion can come into play)
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • WTY433
    • By WTY433 12th Aug 18, 1:20 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    WTY433
    • #6
    • 12th Aug 18, 1:20 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Aug 18, 1:20 PM
    Thanks again dunstonh. You obviously know your stuff.
    I have always kept a close watch on my finances and as a result of this and a relatively simple, non extravagant lifestyle I would be confident of not eroding the funds.

    It will more likely be the other way with me and the withdrawals would come from the Tax free lump sum. Unless the fund was building up pointlessly and withdrawing didnt mean a 40% tax bill.
    So for example if i wanted to treat my family to a holiday or something.
    For dad to day stuff I have enough other income from rental property to live on.

    My ideal would be to pay a 'fair charge' from a quality IFA to get me set up in a fund/s that is manged professionally and sensibly with a consistent performing top quarterly growth that I can access online to see growth, performance etc.

    From there I would like the facility to draw from it as necessary. (Likely to be rare after TFLS and if so not huge amounts)

    If this could be done i wouldn't need an annual meeting etc to discuss performance. I'm not sure if this is too idealistic though but from what you say most things sound possible to tailor to each individuals needs

    Finally does anyone know where to start in looking for decent pension qualified IFA's? - Yellow pages ?
    Last edited by WTY433; 12-08-2018 at 1:23 PM. Reason: spelling
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 12th Aug 18, 1:24 PM
    • 1,740 Posts
    • 1,276 Thanks
    Brynsam
    • #7
    • 12th Aug 18, 1:24 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Aug 18, 1:24 PM
    Try https://www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk/about-pensions/pensions-basics/top-tips-for-your-pension/choosing-an-ifa
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 12th Aug 18, 1:39 PM
    • 27,663 Posts
    • 16,613 Thanks
    xylophone
    • #8
    • 12th Aug 18, 1:39 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Aug 18, 1:39 PM
    My ideal would be to pay a 'fair charge' from a quality IFA to get me set up in a fund/s that is manged professionally
    Rather patchy?


    Re looking for a Financial Adviser ( and remember you need a Pension Transfer Specialist).

    https://www.fca.org.uk/news/news-stories/advising-pension-transfers-our-expectations

    https://www.pruadviser.co.uk/knowledge-literature/knowledge-library/pension-transfers-conversions/

    Pension transfer specialists
    Currently a pension transfer specialist must have CF30 (customer function) and hold a qualification from:

    G60 or AF3 (CII)
    Pensions paper of Professional Investment Certificate (IFS)
    Fellow/Associate of Pensions Management Institute
    Fellow/Associate of Faculty of Actuaries


    https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/choosing-a-financial-adviser



    https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/what-ask-adviser

    https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/types-investment-adviser

    https://adviserbook.co.uk/
    • cfw1994
    • By cfw1994 12th Aug 18, 1:56 PM
    • 212 Posts
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    cfw1994
    • #9
    • 12th Aug 18, 1:56 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Aug 18, 1:56 PM
    Good question! I still haven't dug deeper to find one here....
    https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/finding-adviser may help you?

    Dunston, did Old Mutual just get taken over by "Quilter" ? I have a small fund that told me that!

    OP, you mention drawdowns mostly coming from the tax free lump sum (the 'up to 25%' piece) - I've often wondered how people deal with that - I imagine some may be used to pay off any bills (mine might clear the bit of mortgage I will have left), some will be for a rash extravagance - holiday, car, etc - but can the rest go into the same holding as a drawdown pension fund? I've not really looked into that side of the retirement funds...
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 12th Aug 18, 2:23 PM
    • 96,058 Posts
    • 63,876 Thanks
    dunstonh
    Dunston, did Old Mutual just get taken over by "Quilter" ? I have a small fund that told me that!
    Old Mutual are breaking up the UK operations and demerging. Quilter is the brand they selected (a brand they owned through earlier acquisitions).

    I think that platform must have the record for branding changes. In 15 years, four brand names. Selestia became Skandia. Then Old Mutual Wealth and now Quilter. All running currently on the old Selestia software but moving to FNZ software Q4 or Q1 2019 (which probably means later than that after they have seen the debacle of Aegon and Aviva's move to FNZ).
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • WTY433
    • By WTY433 12th Aug 18, 3:32 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    WTY433
    Some great links xylophone.
    The last one lead me to an "Appointed Representative" who works for Openwork.
    Are these like St James Place i.e. tied to certain products / providers or are they like an IFA?... or somewhere in between?
    Thanks
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 12th Aug 18, 5:18 PM
    • 96,058 Posts
    • 63,876 Thanks
    dunstonh
    The last one lead me to an "Appointed Representative" who works for Openwork.
    They are not IFAs. Openwork is owned by Zurich. They retail from a panel and try to promote their own range and use the Zurich platform.

    Adviser book check the status of advisers. The listing will say "confirmed independent" if they are an IFA. A firm may still be independent without that. It depends on whether they have supplied adviserbook with the evidence or not.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • FIRSTTIMER
    • By FIRSTTIMER 12th Aug 18, 5:26 PM
    • 414 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    FIRSTTIMER
    You don!!!8217;t. One usually wants fees which are mamouth taken out of funds or one is linked to a company and again only recommends their products only. Catch 22. It!!!8217;s like a mortgage advisor - do you really need one with all the tools out there if you!!!8217;re a standard main stream customer.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 12th Aug 18, 5:33 PM
    • 27,663 Posts
    • 16,613 Thanks
    xylophone
    Have you used the filter (left hand side) on adviserbook?

    I tried it for my area ticking pensions and retirement, independent, chartered

    Look at the bottom of each listing for specialist areas.
    • WTY433
    • By WTY433 12th Aug 18, 7:17 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    WTY433
    I did for pensions but didnt scroll down and see the IFA bit - THanks
    Turns out there is 1 within a 10 mile radius of where i live.
    Its a starting point.
    • WTY433
    • By WTY433 14th Aug 18, 9:33 AM
    • 22 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    WTY433
    I have now managed to find a number of IFAs and "recommended" advisers -
    Thanks for all the help so far.
    I have also noted First-timers comments above.
    One of the links suggested takes me via filtering to a company that recommends various qualified advisers. -

    In trying to phone an advisor the number takes you to the company who then comtact said adviser to request a call back. No doubt they get a cut.

    When I got through to them and told them i was in effect shopping around / speaking to a few they steered me in the direction of a company called True Potential who are based in Newcastle. They charge 0.75% initially and 0% ongoing with no upfront charges . They are tied to a panel so not IFA but noting First-timers comments this sounds good... A little to good for a skeptic like me.

    Is it worth pursuing?
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 14th Aug 18, 9:50 AM
    • 96,058 Posts
    • 63,876 Thanks
    dunstonh
    When I got through to them and told them i was in effect shopping around / speaking to a few they steered me in the direction of a company called True Potential who are based in Newcastle. They charge 0.75% initially and 0% ongoing with no upfront charges . They are tied to a panel so not IFA but noting First-timers comments this sounds good... A little to good for a skeptic like me.
    TP are expensive and restricted. You are not getting the full costs there.

    The general rule of thumb is to use an IFA or DIY. Not to use restricted FAs.

    If, for some reason, you fall out with the IFA or they move on and you want to change, a new IFA can be appointed to your existing investments/provider at no cost and no need to change anything. If you use a restricted service, you are stuck on their own branded things and would need to move away from them if you use someone else.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 14th Aug 18, 10:12 AM
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    xylophone
    https://www.wearejust.co.uk/products/pensions/pension-transfers/

    Of course, if you would rather speak directly to the pension transfers specialist, you are completely within your rights to request this. And you can ask your adviser if they are a pension transfer specialist. You can search for an adviser at the 'your money' section of The Personal Finance Society (PFS)

    You say that you have found "several" - have you asked the specific question and checked the qualifications as in post 8 above?
    • WTY433
    • By WTY433 14th Aug 18, 12:52 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    WTY433
    I have asked the questions and the results are very interesting.
    So far as follows

    SJP = 1.81% per year with 6 Year tie in and not an IFA (original discussion ) 4.5 on key facts but written documentation reducing this to 3%

    IFA 1 = 2.4% initial with ongoing 0.25% per year (Report included in 2.4%) - Farsight
    IFA 2 = 2.2% initial then 0.75% ongoing -plus 1500 for report. - Prosper
    IFA 3 = Awaiting e-mail. - Beauford
    Last edited by WTY433; 14-08-2018 at 12:55 PM. Reason: spelling
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 14th Aug 18, 1:02 PM
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    • 63,876 Thanks
    dunstonh
    With 625,000 you should be looking to get that initial charge down to around 2000 ish. The adviser ongoing charge that dominates is 0.5%. They should be your targets and should be easily achievable.

    Boutique firms tend to charge more. City firms tend to cost more (more expensive locations).
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
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