About our serviceAll the details
Not everything that counts can be counted.
Not everything that can be counted counts.
Yes, we’re independent financial advisers, but we’re also so much more than that. We’re here as your trusted partner to provide a genuinely meaningful service at great value, that helps you to focus on the things that are important to you.
Money is undoubtedly a complex, emotive and important subject, but it should facilitate our life rather than drive it. That’s why we have spent years studying both Financial Planning and Life Planning, so we can put you in the reassuring position of knowing you’re making the most of your time and your money. We are one of a very small, but thankfully growing, number of advice firms who are qualified in this way – focused on you as a person rather than just your money as numbers.
Once we have a clear picture of what’s important to you; the things you may like to do more or less of and the way you like to spend your time, we use sophisticated planning tools to put your financial resources into context alongside the life you’d like to lead, so you can clearly see how the future could look and what to do for the best. We have the specialist knowledge required in a range of complex areas such as tax efficient retirement planning, pension sharing on divorce, redundancy packages, the lifetime and annual allowances, but we simply deal with these for you as a matter of course, so we can put the time we spend with you to best use in helping you answer big questions like “do we really have enough?”, “when could I stop working?”, “am I doing the right thing?”, “how much could we give to others?”, “what would happen if I make this change?”, “how many adventures can we really afford to go on?”.
Our work together makes the difference between thinking you’ll probably be OK and knowing it for certain. That’s the kind of financial security that brings the benefits of freedom and choice into all areas of your life – enhancing your family time, your health, travel and overall well-being. Our clients tell us they feel “liberated!” and “reassured”, with “a new confidence in the years ahead”.
Throughout our work we are aware that it’s an honour and privilege to be entrusted with people’s financial planning. We never take that for granted and will remain on hand to provide the best possible service, the sort of service we want for ourselves and our loved ones.
Who do you work with?
We work with those where we can have a mutually enjoyable and beneficial relationship.
Given our specialist skills and qualifications, our advice is of particular benefit to those considering or going through a life change, such as retirement, redundancy, bereavement or divorce. We use our expertise to put complex matters around tax planning, pension sharing, drawdown and investment risk into the understandable context of your life, to provide confidence that at the other side of such events you can be comfortable and happy. We’re then well placed to provide ongoing support beyond this, to help you enjoy the next stage of life and make sure our plans become your reality.
We’re also popular with people who have previously felt reluctant to take advice and so have been managing their own affairs but have come to a point where they either need specialist help or we have been recommended to them as advisers worth trusting. We won’t pass judgement on your financial planning skills, we’ll simply help you invest your time into something you enjoy more than your investments!
We understand it can feel comfortable to know whether we work with people like you before you approach us, and a lot of people benchmark this with a value or phrases like “high net worth”. The section on our fees details some of the costs to be a client and generally speaking if you can afford our fees and like the sound of how we work, that would indicate we are a good fit. If it helps, our clients tend to have investments/pensions of around £500,000 to £1,500,000 that we look after as part of their plan.
The majority of our clients do live in the surrounding towns across Leeds, Bradford and the wider Yorkshire area, but we also look after people from much further afield who wish to benefit from our different approach and level of service, so do contact us regardless of your location.
Why Life Planning?
It hopefully makes sense that you should plan what you want to do with your life before you plan what to do with your money, but typically financial services focus solely on your money, missing its fundamental purpose. After all, money is only a facilitator to help us enjoy the time we have. Life Planning provides a structured way to understand and articulate who you are and what is most important to you. Then, combining this with our financial knowledge, we’ll encourage you to pursue your aspirations, discuss and resolve obstacles, create a concrete financial plan, and provide ongoing guidance as you accomplish everything you hoped for. Why do we take the time to do this? For two key reasons: Firstly and practically, it makes for a more robust financial strategy. This is best explained by a quote from Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start With Why’ – “A plan is uncertain, changeable and sometimes flawed. It is the vision that must be immovable, fixed and inspiring. Remember, Martin Luther King gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a plan’ speech”. If we fully understand what a life well-lived looks like to you, we’ll know what’s needed to point your money towards that, come what may. Secondly and personally, we’ve seen the wonderful results – our clients squeeze every bit of life out of their money and it’s a joy to see. This in turn makes our job more meaningful and enjoyable, which fits our own life plans.
Clients tell us they simply enjoy the opportunity to stop and think about themselves for a while, to consider their values and whether their time is being spent in alignment with them, and to take action where it isn’t. When your money is aligned with your life and values it gives greater meaning to your financial decisions and helps you to stay calm in times of adversity. To find out more about this important aspect of our service that further sets us apart from other firms, visit the Kinder Institute website, where you can find out about the in-depth training Sophie completed to be awarded the Registered Life Planner title and learn more about the benefits for you as a client. There are very few advisers in the UK who are technically competent enough to hold the Chartered Financial Planner title whilst also being well versed in the meaningful human and emotional aspects as a Registered Life Planner, so you know you are in good hands.
What are your fees?
The very Yorkshire question.
It is difficult to cover fees properly on a website, as everyone’s situation is different but to give you an idea of what to expect we’ve tried to summarise below. Importantly, we offer a no cost and no obligation first meeting, to give you chance to suss us out face to face. After we’ve met, we’ll be in a better position to give you a personal quote, so you know exactly what you will pay when and what for, then you can put the value into perspective. Any of our fees can typically be paid from your existing pensions/investments or directly, whichever you prefer.
We charge fixed transparent fees for our initial planning, research and implementation work. This is different to a lot of advisers, who will charge based on a percentage of your money. Everyone is free to run their business as they see fit of course, but we believe that charging initial fees on a percentage basis can create a conflict of interest and focuses too much on a new end product (that may not be required), rather than the valuable advice on what to do for the best. It’s important to us that you get value for money and that you are happy to pay our fees because we’ve done a great job in delivering financial security and peace of mind, not just because we’ve moved your money around.
To go through our financial planning journey (“much more interesting, enlightening and enjoyable than I would have thought possible”, we’re told) we charge a fixed fee of £1,800. This thorough and meaningful exercise will plot your desired future alongside all the resources you have available to support it, so it becomes clear exactly what you need to do and why to achieve what you want. This puts your money into context and helps to ensure you have long-term peace of mind over any decisions, as we find that when people jump in to deal with investment or pension options in isolation, they can inadvertently put a solution in place that makes your personal objectives more difficult to achieve. We believe in doing the job properly from outset, to save you time, money and worry later on.
If we can see from your plan that you need to set up or change a financial product, we charge separate fixed fees (again, not a percentage) to implement our recommendations for you. These fixed costs are typically a few hundred pounds, depending on what you need and how many policies are involved. This is all broken down in our Terms of Business, which would be given to you when we meet, but for example, a new pension would cost £500 to implement. Or, if you needed a new investment portfolio and to transfer an existing one to that new home too, this would cost £700. Again, this is regardless of the values and we would always make the costs, benefits and rationale very clear to you before you decide to proceed with any recommendation. If you compare these fees to the 1-3% initial fees advisers typically charge, you will see how we quickly become much fairer value, whilst delivering a thorough, meaningful service. Our fee structure is designed to be good value for everyone but, due to the fixed cost nature, it is particularly attractive for those with higher value assets and as such we have naturally developed expertise in more complex planning areas.
If we can see you need specialist advice, on something like annual or lifetime allowance pension planning, we would quote a fixed fee for you as part of the planning process.
If you would like our ongoing support to ensure your plan becomes your reality, we charge a set annual fee that has a link to the value of the assets that are part of your plan. This is tiered at 1% on the first £500,000, 0.5% on the next £500,000, then 0.25% on assets over £1,000,000. Our ongoing support service is based on your overall financial life plan and well-being, i.e. it’s not just about “managing a pension”.
Aside from our advice fees, when you have pensions or investments there are typically product and fund management related fees you would pay too. We are mindful of these, as every pound you pay to invest comes from your return. We don’t use companies who have an initial charge and our investment philosophy is based around the defined asset allocation model needed to drive your personal plan. When we make any recommendation we will break down all costs for you so you know exactly who you are paying and what for. For example, the total annual cost of platform/account administration, investment fund management and ongoing financial planning support for a typical client with around £750,000 invested would usually be around 1.25%. There are many investment funds that cost more than this on their own, so the benefits of using our independent research and experience is already evident.
Cleverly Planned Ltd is registered in England & Wales. Registered number: 11930628. Registered office: 22A Victoria Road, Saltaire, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3LQ. Cleverly Planned Ltd is an appointed representative of Sense Network Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Cleverly Planned Ltd is entered on the Financial Services Register here under reference 842889.
Cleverly Planned Ltd, independent financial advisers helping people put pensions and investments into real-life context. The information contained within this website is subject to UK regulatory regime and is therefore restricted to consumers based in the UK.
The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services business aren’t able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.