Friday, July 18, 2008

The Advisory Process (Advice & Product)

Your decision on which advisor to go and visit will probably depend on a personal recommendation or on how broad you want the advice to be (see ‘Which Advisor?General Information).

Once you are sitting face to face with the advisor, you should probably start by asking about how the advisor is going to charge for their time and any products that may need to be put in place. Agree on the method, or combination of methods, of payment at outset

The methods of remuneration should be included in the advisors Terms of Business that you will be given at your initial meeting. It is a good idea to request these before the meeting, so that you have time to study them. If you do not understand any of the payment terms (or any other terms of business), ask for an explanation.

If you are comfortable with the answers, the next step should be the completion of a ‘Fact Find’ or ‘Financial Review’. This process should elicit as much relevant financial information as possible. It will give the advisor a ‘picture’ of your current position, determine what your appetite for risk is and highlight priorities.

When the transaction that you are interested in involves a pension, investment or long-term savings product, it is my opinion that a second meeting should be required. This would give the advisor time to study the information provided and come up with a proposal that suits your needs.

A transaction for life insurance can be decided on pretty quickly. Unless of course, you need to confirm what you have already or what levels of cover that you may have through your work.

If you are agreeable with the guidance being provided and that the most suitable product is selected, your advisor should provide you with a full disclosure ‘quotation’ or any other preliminary certificates that shed light on the costs and expenses of the product. Do take the time to look at these and ask for explanations.

You will also be provided with a ‘Reasons Why Letter’. This letter details the course of action suggested by the advisor and the reasons why they are recommending the product or funds for you. The advisor and client will sign this as part of the agreed advice and you should be given a copy for your records.

At this stage the advisor will complete any necessary proposal forms and provide you with a ‘Section 30 Receipt’ for any payments.

When the policy is issued by the life office you should get the ‘Original’ policy document’. Make sure that it is the original that you have and not a ‘Copy’.

No comments: