The Three Rs

Review, Research & Recommendation – The Three R’s

When we meet you for the first time, our main objective is to get to know you. We ask loads of questions about your goals and objectives, trying to ascertain what (and more likely who) you’re investing for, and how you’d like your life and your finances to fit together.

When we know what the destination looks like, we need to find out how far along the road you already are. Then we can make some recommendations.

This is where The Three R’s comes in.

Nobody comes to a Financial Adviser right at the start of their path, having not taken even one step, with nothing at all they’ve put in place. What usually happens is that you have a go at things yourself; setting up a work pension, opening an ISA and having a go on the Stock Market, moving jobs and losing track of where everything is… and you quickly realise you either love it (rare) or hate it (very common).

When you come to us, you’ll have a broad collection of old pensions, investments, insurance policies linked to old mortgages, and it’ll become apparent that there wasn’t really a guiding strategy when you were collecting these policies.

The whole point of The Three R’s is that you can dump that pile of metaphorical paperwork on my virtual desk and say:

“Tell me where I’m at, and what I have to do to get to where I want to be”

And that’s exactly what we do.

We give you a price for the project – which is based on complexity – and off we go.

We ask you to sign a collection of forms called ‘Letters of Authority’ which allow us to approach the providers on your behalf and request information about your policies.

The information we request depends on the type of policy it is. Usually we’re asking for things like fund values, contribution histories, portfolio breakdowns, details of the charges, forecasts, sums assured, guarantees, protected benefits… the list goes on.

Because your provider knows they’re sending information to qualified advisers, they send us all the technical stuff in one pack, which is often the more efficient way to do it.

Collecting this data can take ages, depending on the provider. It takes our back-office team 4-6 working hours per policy to get the correct data onto the desk of the adviser, but sometimes it can be significantly longer.

Once we have the data, the adviser will analyse the features, benefits & portfolio construction of each policy, checking the T&Cs and all the fine print. Before even getting to the Research & Recommendation.

Research is the next step – where we identify themes in your planning, build our advice and work out practical steps to improve the chances of a successful outcome.

Next, we write up the Recommendation. The majority of the report is put together by the Paraplanning Team, and given a check by the adviser before being finalised.

And finally… when we’re reviewing old plans, we always take the extra step of sending the recommendation in to our central compliance team for double-checking, just to add another layer of security to the process.

So as you can see, The Three R’s is quite an involved process.  It takes a while, involves some serious expertise, and a to a point we’re at the mercy of your product providers.

But… it’s worth it.

People come to us with planning blues – they don’t know how anything’s doing, it’s all in a muddle – and after The Three R’s, they’re back in the driving seat and they know exactly where they’re headed.

We hope this has been helpful, feel free to let us know if you have any questions!