Foundation is designed for clients that are in the early stages of their financial planning and, as the name suggests, provides the secure base on which their financial planning will be built in later years. It provides a starter financial planning service that aims to build £50,000 of assets under management, thereby providing a path to our Gold Service Proposition, as Foundation is a path to the more intensive level of management that your financial planning is likely to need in later years and not an end in itself. It is suitable for clients that understand the value of advice, even when beginning their financial planning, and want to develop a long-term relationship with their adviser which can add even more value as the complexity of their planning develops
As the early stages of financial planning use a limited range of product wrappers, Foundation focuses on that range, currently Individual Savings Accounts, Collective/General Investment Accounts and Personal Pension Plans (including Self-Invested Personal Pensions). Should an exceptional circumstance arise where advice on a product outside of this range were required, this would need to be dealt with outside of Foundation.
Each year you will enjoy a half-hour meeting with your adviser, either by telephone/video call or face to face in our offices, at which your circumstances will be reviewed so that your adviser can inform you if any changes to your planning are needed, either as a result of changes to your circumstances or external factors, such as tax rates. In addition, your risk profile will be checked to ensure that the investment solution used remains appropriate.
A wide range of investment solutions are used from the whole of the investment market, including the following (details of which are later in this document):
- Managed and Multi-Manager funds;
- our Ruby and Gaia discretionary model portfolios (the latter invested on a sustainable/positive impact basis).
Clients receive a valuation report before each review meeting, as well as access to live valuations, via our client portal. In addition, performance information on our portfolios, both absolute and relative to the benchmark, is provided via our website.
Foundation is paid for by a 1% annual charge on the assets being managed. The cost of joining is £250, although this is waived for the children and grandchildren of Gold, Crimson and Purple clients. This charge is VAT exempt in most cases but, if this is not the case, we will inform you before making any recommendation.
Investment Solutions In Detail
Managed & Multi-Manager (MM) fund solution
The funds available in the market are researched on an on-going basis with a formal review each quarter. These reviews look at performance, the level of risk taken to achieve the returns, adherence to mandate and how these factors compare to similar funds, using the output to establish a list of approved funds. In the event that a fund loses its ‘approved status’, or a better option exists, clients are sent the necessary forms to make the changes required.
Ruby & Gaia discretionary model portfolios
Our discretionary model portfolios are managed by Investment Committees made up of our own Investment Team and carefully selected Discretionary Investment Managers (DIMs). The holdings within the portfolios are reviewed on an on-going basis, with any changes required made without the need for a client signature, using the DIM’s discretionary powers, to enable the portfolios to be as responsive as possible to changes in markets.
Our Ruby portfolios invest in all asset classes and sectors without exclusions, with the DIM selected currently being Smart Investment Management, managers with whom we have worked for many years and are experts at multi-asset investing. By contrast, our Gaia portfolios use only funds that meet sustainable and/or positive impact criteria consist with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, with the DIM selected currently being LGT Vestra, and their Sustainable Investment Team in particular.
As well as choosing our DIMs carefully, we select a platform that provides competitive charges but, equally importantly, a wide range of quality funds to provide the potential for strong investment performance. The current platform used is Praemium.