We think transparency is crucial when it comes to dealing with such important matters as Financial Planning. That's why we are one of the few firms to disclose our fees openly on our website.
Our Process and Costs
The work we do is split into four separate elements; Initial Discovery, Planning, Implementation and Ongoing Planning.
Initial Discovery Meeting
We cannot guarantee that we can be of any interest or benefit to you at this stage, therefore there is no charge for the first meeting.
After any initial contact by email or telephone, if it seems likely we will be able to assist you, we suggest meeting to discuss your circumstances in more detail. Whatever it is that has prompted you to get in touch, we will aim to address your immediate questions and any concerns you may have.
We will take time to find out what you are trying to achieve, and whether we are likely to be able to add value for you.
We will explain in more detail how we work, and we will give you a clear picture of our costs (which are explained further below).
If you like what you hear, and if we feel we can really be of benefit to you, we will invite you to take the process to the next stage.
The Planning phase is where you really begin to experience the benefits of having us on your team.
A detailed discussion meeting to more fully understand you, your family circumstances, the things that are important to you, and what you want the future to look like
Identifying and exploring what you want to achieve in the short and long term
Detailed analysis and review of your existing policies and arrangements
Creation of your long term Financial Plan
Stress-testing your Plan against numerous disaster scenarios
Designing a sustainable and tax-efficient income strategy if required
Preparation of draft recommendations to help you achieve your goals
Financial Planning meeting to discuss, refine and agree your Financial Plan
A detailed written Financial Plan including a summary of our recommendations
Above all, in our experience this part of the process brings clarity and peace of mind, by giving a clear picture of the current position, and any actions required going forward
The cost for our planning work is £2,200.
Once we have agreed your Financial Plan we will move on to implement any recommended actions. The cost depends what, if anything, needs to be implemented, but our fee scale is outlined below.
Detailed research and analysis of any recommended solutions
Designing a suitable investment strategy
A meeting to discuss our recommendations to help you understand them fully, and to answer any questions you may have
A detailed written explanation of what we have recommended and why
Completion of any paperwork on your behalf
Full administration and liaising with recommended providers on your behalf to set up any new investments or policies that may be required
Assistance with paperwork generated by setting up any new investments or policies that may be required
If we have replaced any policies, we can assist you in determining whether any existing paperwork you may have can be destroyed
We recognise that doubling the amount invested doesn't usually double the work involved. That's why we reduce our implementation fees above a certain level, once the basic costs for research, reporting and meetings are covered.
For investing money on your behalf, our fee is 1% of the amount invested as a one-off cost.
If you invest £100,000 our fee is £1,000
If you invest £200,000 our fee is £2,000
If you invest £400,000 our fee is £4,000
We usually cap or reduce this standard fee scale for amounts in excess of £500,000, or if we feel the work involved does not warrant the standard fee.
We do not charge for moving funds internally to take advantage of tax planning opportunities, for example using monies you have already invested to fund your ISA allowances each year.
We believe that undertaking a detailed Financial Planning exercise once is of very little value.
No sooner have you walked out of our office than your circumstances may have changed, legislation has changed, your views or objectives shift, the markets or economic environment change, etc. That's why we only provide our services where there is the intention to work together on an ongoing basis.
That said, we are so confident you will value our services that we do not ask you to commit to a minimum contract period; if at any stage you feel we're not right for you, or it's not what you expected, you're free to settle up any outstanding fees we have agreed for work completed, and walk away (although that's never happened yet).
Ongoing Planning includes:
Ongoing planning meeting at least once a year; more frequently if necessary
More intensive support at key times, for example retirement, bereavement or other significant event
Support and advice throughout the year; we're always on hand to help, whether it's a quick question on email, a conversation on the phone or perhaps an additional face to face or web meeting
A detailed review of your Financial Plan, taking into account changes in your circumstances, views and plans for the future
A detailed review of your portfolio to ensure it is performing satisfactorily and remains suitable
A detailed review of your income strategy to ensure any income you are drawing is at a sustainable level
An updated written Financial Plan following our meeting, creating a snapshot of your circumstances and an outline of our recommendations at that stage
Tax planning and utilising tax allowances and exemptions, for example harvesting Capital Gains, funding ISAs and making pension contributions
Annual Allowance, Tapered Annual Allowance and Lifetime Allowance planning if appropriate
Our ongoing fees are typically 0.5% - 0.85% pa of the value of the portfolio we oversee on your behalf; typically the pensions and investments you ask us to manage. This fee does not apply to the value of your home, your cash deposits and any other assets you choose to keep separate.
Our minimum ongoing fee is £2,125 pa; set at this level due to the minimum amount of time it takes to provide our ongoing service.
Our ongoing fee is usually comprehensive and covers all the advice and support you're likely to need from us.
If your portfolio value is £200,000 our fee is £2,125
If your portfolio value is £300,000 our fee is up to £2,550
If your portfolio value is £500,000 our fee is up to £4,250
How to pay our fees
The majority of our clients settle our fees by an explicit and transparent deduction from their portfolio. We provide a summary each year which shows the total amount paid.
This method of payment can often be more tax efficient, particularly for work involving pensions.
However, if you'd prefer to pay directly from your bank account, that's fine too; the amount paid is the same and you retain the same control and transparency either way.
There are many ways that Financial Planning fees can be calculated. We're not aware of a single model which is perfect.
By far the most popular is charging a percentage of the amount invested, and this is how our implementation on ongoing fees work. One criticism of this, is that the fees charged can become disproportionate to the work involved, particularly for larger investments.
Whilst we do not charge by the hour, we do record the time we spend working on behalf of our clients. We regularly review this data to ensure our fee scale reflects the average amount of time it takes us to complete our work.
We will never send you a bill if things take longer than expected.
How our fees compare
We believe the service we provide is far more comprehensive than that provided by traditional advice firms.
As such, we do not expect to be the cheapest, but neither do we believe we are the most expensive Financial Planning firm. However, we are confident that the value we provide is exceptional.
The Financial Conduct Authority published results in December 2016 from the data submitted by firms in their annual returns. The table below shows how Spend Time stacks up against other firms. The full report can be found here.
Please note, these examples and the Spend Time fees shown in the table above do not include the cost of creating your Financial Plan, as outlined in the Planning section earlier.