The Initial Meeting, at our Office, is provided at our cost. Your adviser will introduce themselves and our firm to you and provide you with a business card with their contact details. Your adviser will also discuss our client disclosure documents with you (i.e. the Client Agreement – General Responsibilities, and Keyfacts about our services and costs) and how we intend to work with you.
We will also discuss the charges for our services. For any aspect of our financial planning all actual charges and fees will be fully disclosed to you. We will not charge you until we have discussed your payment options and agreed with you how we are to be paid. The charges for these services may or may not be VAT exempt and this will depend on the service we offer you. This will be made clear when we discuss our costs.
The main purpose of this meeting will be to obtain as much information as possible relating to your financial circumstances and objectives. It would therefore be extremely helpful if you could bring along details of any policies, schemes, investments, mortgages, financial outgoings, wills, interests in trusts that you have. This information will normally be collated by your adviser on our Fact Find. This document includes your basic personal details and an indication of your personal financial objectives.
Where we are providing advice on investments, a key area that your adviser will wish to fully understand is your knowledge and experience of investments along with your attitude to and understanding of the risks involved. This includes your ‘attitude to investment risk’ and your feelings towards any risks of losing money, as these factors will significantly affect any advice that we give to you. The impact these areas will have on your objectives will be discussed and recorded.
As we are required by anti-money laundering legislation to know who we are dealing with, it would be helpful if you could bring along to the meeting evidence of your identity and address. This would normally include either your passport or driving licence and a utility bill in your name. If these documents are not available please speak to your adviser who will confirm what alternatives would be acceptable.
For this purpose we may use electronic identity verification systems and we may conduct these checks from time to time throughout our relationship, not just at the beginning.
Questions and Next Steps
If you have any questions during the process, please do ask, as your adviser is happy to discuss any queries you may have. Your adviser will explain the next steps in the advice process to you. If any fees are due at outset these will also be explained. At this stage we may ask you to sign any authority forms that may be needed so that we can act on your behalf, for example to obtain the current valuations of your existing investments.
The meeting will typically last between one and two hours, depending on the complexity of your situation. You may wish to include other parties such as spouse, children or other professional advisers.