FAQs Investment

Meeting a new adviser can be a daunting prospect and it’s best to feel prepared.

To help you understand how we work, and assist you in your preparation for our initial meeting we have prepared some Frequently Asked Questions.

If we haven’t answered your question, please call us on 02380 633377 or email info@choicefinancialsolutions.com and we’ll do our best to answer it.

What is the difference between ‘savings’ and ‘investments’?

Savings and investments both refer to ‘capital’ that you have accumulated.

However, savings generally refer to ‘cash- based’ deposit accounts. Normally these would be held with Bank and Building Societies in savings accounts and could be ‘instant access’, ‘notice accounts’ ‘Fixed Rate Bonds’ or ‘Cash ISAs’.

‘Investments’ generally refer to capital that is working for you over the medium to longer term and will usually incorporate an element of risk. ‘Investments’ would normally be expected to produce a higher return than ‘savings’ over the longer term but their value can fall as well as rise.

How much of my money should I be investing?

The amount of capital that you should invest will depend on your individual circumstances and what objectives you are trying to achieve. We would always recommend that you have at least four months income and a minimum of £5,000 held in savings accounts ‘in case of need’ before you consider investing any capital.

What is the minimum/maximum term over which I should invest?

This very much depends on what your investment objectives are and also your attitude to risk.
We will ascertain these at our first meeting.

Whilst you will generally be able to access the value of your investments ‘as and when’ required, ‘medium to higher risk’ investments will include some equity (share) exposure and therefore some capital fluctuation can be expected. Whilst this should level out over the longer term, we would generally not invest capital unless you were prepared to leave it to work for you over the medium term of say at least five years.

Most investments have open-ended terms so the money can usually remain invested until it is required. Of course, we could consider shorter time scales for lower risk investments, bespoke to your specific requirements and objectives.

How often should my investments be reviewed?

Whilst you can leave your capital invested as long as required, we recommend that your portfolio is reviewed at least annually.

This is available as part of our ‘Silver Service’.

For larger sums, more regular reviews may be appropriate. If you take advantage of our ‘Choice IPS Model Portfolio Service’ we will review and rebalance your investment portfolio on a quarterly basis.

How do I get the best return without risking my capital?

Before you invest your money, we will have a detailed discussion with you about your investment objectives and your ‘attitude to risk’. We will also make sure that you have sufficient short-term capital in your savings accounts to ensure that the money you invest can remain invested until your objective has been achieved.

Once the amount to invest and risk profile has been agreed, we will construct a suitable portfolio that is diversified across the key asset classes of ‘cash’, ‘equities’, ‘property’ and ‘bonds’. How much we invest in each asset class will depend on your risk profile, investment time scales and objectives.

What is meant by ‘investment volatility’?

‘Volatility’ refers to the level of fluctuation you can see in the value of your investment over a given period of time. Generally speaking, the higher the level of risk, the greater the level of fluctuation you could experience in the value of your investments.

It is also true that over the longer term, investments with higher level of volatility are generally able to generate greater levels of returns.

How much will it cost to invest?

Our first meeting is always provided ‘free of charge’ and this is where we will assess your needs and discuss your investment objectives.

When we meet, we will tell you more about how our different levels of service are structured and agree the most suitable investment strategy for you. We offer five levels of service: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Bronzelite. They offer different levels of ‘advice time’ and are priced accordingly.

We can usually provide discounts on the fund management costs of your investment that help offset the annual costs of our services. Our annual costs range from 0.50% to 1.00% depending on the amount you wish to invest and the level of service you require.

What is an investment platform?

Investment Platforms are administrative tools that enable us to manage your investments in a very cost effective way. They allow us to reduce the running costs of your investments and to deliver an efficient and scalable means of running your investment portfolio. This is done by centralising the administration of your investments and leaving your individual investment fund providers to just concentrate on the most important job – making your money grow.

In the main we use the Standard Life WRAP and Aviva Platform to manage client’s investments.

These provide investor access to the Choice Investment Portfolio Solution service (Choice IPS) and our range of Wealth of Choice IPS Model Portfolios.