When we meet a potential client for the first time here at Claritas, we often discover that they’ve accumulated an assortment of financial products, ranging from cash or savings bank accounts, workplace pensions, or investments sold to them by a bank 20 years ago. When your assets are scattered around like this, it can be very difficult to know exactly how much you are worth, but much more importantly, how your investments and pensions can be used in order to fund your desired lifestyle.
The financial plan comes first!
At Claritas, we are firmly of the opinion that financial products are only tools in order to make a financial plan work. It all starts with the financial plan. The basic steps are: First, decide what you want to do with the rest of your life. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do but is definitely worth some serious thought! Then work out how your money should be structured in order that you have the funds available, at the right time, to do the things that you want to do. Once we’ve done this, it’s then a case of making sure that you’re holding the right investments.
Are your existing investments fit for purpose?
When we look at your existing investments and pensions, we’ll analyse the following: Charges – these can vary greatly. Within the Claritas Investment Process, we only recommend extremely low-cost investments. We have seen potential new clients with investments costing two or three times as much as the investments we recommend. Investment fund choice – within some older investments and pensions
there is a limited range of investment funds available. Depending on which types of assets are unavailable, this can either restrict growth or mean that we are struggling to control risk. Valuable guarantees – on occasion, existing investments and pensions have valuable guarantees that would mean it would be wrong to transfer elsewhere. For example, some pensions have special terms and conditions whereby the fund is converted into an income at an extremely favourable rate. Usually, we are able to make everything much clearer and easier to manage by consolidating most investments and pensions with one provider. Don’t worry about “having all your eggs in one basket”. It is the spread of investments that reduces the risk, not the number of different providers that you have. We’ve seen clients go from having carrier bags full of financial paperwork, to one neat and tidy investment solution where they can see at a glance what they have. You don’t need to have your investments and pensions scattered around.