The Japanese kanji for ‘crisis’ incorporates two symbols; one representing danger and the other character symbolising ‘opportunity’. Certainly, it is a familiar refrain from our busy clients that they never have time to turn their attention to their own finances. Already, we are seeing a surge in the number of enquiries from people taking the coronavirus lockdown as an opportunity to strengthen control of their financial affairs or simply tidy them up.
A Partners Wealth Management client will hopefully be further ahead than most in having every element of finances well set up but if you, family or friends want to look at any aspect during the period ahead, our advisers would be delighted to help. You cannot be a financial planner and not be passionate about helping people organise and improve their lives. As well as assisting clients get organised for life in some of the areas outlined below, advisers have undertaken to try to help anyone in any aspect during the crisis. Advisers are not trained debt counsellors, but all are familiar with the key steps to take in tackling debt and will be available to listen, inform and point in the right direction anyone who needs financial assistance in any way during this period.
Several of these areas are one-off improvements that once arranged, run for life. Now is a great time to get yourself set up for lifelong simplicity, control and excellence in every financial area:
1. Consolidate pensions and investments
Hopefully you will be able to see all of your investments in one single view. However, if this is not the case and you have legacy pensions, investments or ISAs in different places, now is the time to rearrange them so that you can see the totality of your assets under one view. This gives you control over asset allocation, enabling informed and rapid decisions, giving you an opportunity to bring your finances together in a way that gives you lifelong control.
2. Offset mortgage
If you are on a standard variable rate mortgage, consider a re-mortgage to better rates or organise an offset mortgage, which provides flexibility until the end of its term. Individuals with offset mortgages in the current crisis have a security blanket of finance if required, or a potential investment pot if equities fall to levels that they feel present a huge buying opportunity. An offset mortgage, once set up, gives you enduring flexibility.
Our Deposit Service opened last April and has now helped clients effectively manage £140million of deposit assets by obtaining better interest rates as well as better banking protection. The Insignis service we use, in total, has helped clients improve deposits on several billion of assets. By separating deposits digitally across banks, we can achieve many multiples of £85,000 FSCS protection but via one view and control. We would would be happy to send you further information. Once set up the system gives you leading deposit rates for life.
4. Wills and LPAs
If your Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) are not up to date or in place, now is the time to deal with this. With many solicitors working from home, they can easily help you through the will instruction process and setting up a power of attorney. PWM has trusted relationships with a number of firms in various locations and we would be delighted to introduce you to individuals who can help on this front. Once completed, you will have peace of mind that you have ensured your wishes will be met.
5. Yours and parents’ estates
This is a great time to review your long-term approach towards mitigating inheritance tax. People often see this as a big event to tackle in one go. It is actually more effectively tackled by gradual measures over time. For example, setting up ISAs or junior ISAs and pensions for children and grandchildren can be highly effective, whilst creating a structure that incentivises them to use the money responsibly. In addition, often overlooked, the notion of regular gifting out of normal expenditure can be helpful at this time, where family member’s circumstances can change quickly. Discussing such matters can be delicate, but perhaps the crisis presents a natural opportunity for families to talk about their long-term planning. Our advisers will be well-versed in facilitating this and be able to share ideas specific to each individual situation.
This is often an area that we overlook as we move through life. It is widely recognised that there is a protection gap in the UK; most people do not have enough protection in place to ensure that they or their loved ones will be secure in the event of any unfortunate event. If you are unsure whether your loved ones would be able to continue with the lifestyle you would wish for them or repay debts in the event of something happening to you, a review of both the level of cover and whether existing contracts continue to be cost effective and appropriate should be a priority. Advisers have access to the whole of the market to arrange life assurance for clients and a range of policies that are bespoke to individual needs.
7. Consolidate Insurances
Arranging and paying premiums for insurances at several different times a year is an inconvenience. Our partnership with Gallagher means that we are able to offer clients a brilliant new policy collation service with a single renewal date for all their different insurances. This reduces the hassle and ensures that your cover is dealt with by one individually named broker with whom you build a relationship. Buildings insurance through legacy mortgage providers is often inadequate and expensive. If you would like to review your insurance cover, speak to one of our advisers who can introduce you to the PWM adviser at Gallagher, who has provided excellent service to many of our clients. Once created you are set up for life with a single annual insurance conversation and renewal.
All our advisers are financial planners because they enjoy the process of helping people improve their lives. Please do not hesitate to ask if you or anyone around you needs help over the months ahead. We are here to listen, help if we can, introduce others or simply point in the right direction where help can be found. Please contact us via our central email and telephone on email@example.com or 020 7444 4030.
The contents of the article have been prepared solely for information purposes. The article contains information on financial products and services and such information is designed for and addressed solely to individuals seeking generic industry information.