We’ve done our best to answer questions that you may have regarding the level of service we offer, qualifications, charges and our regulatory status. If you have any other questions, please see the bottom of this page for ways to contact us.
Your Questions, Answered
The adviser should be regulated and approved by the FCA, and you can check their Register to ensure they are. If you use an adviser that is not approved by the FCA, you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.
Aspirations Financial Advice Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our Firm Reference Number is 668764. Our Retail Clients have access to the FOS and FSCS.
The FCA have increased the minimum standards of qualification that financial advisers have to meet to ensure their knowledge is up to date. Advisers now have to be qualified at Level 4 or above of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (equivalent to the first year of a university degree). They also need to obtain an annual Statement of Professional Standing (SPS). You should check that your adviser has these qualifications
All of our Advisers hold the Diploma in Financial Planning or equivalent and we are a firm of Pension Transfer Specialists and able to advise on Defined Benefit pension transfers.
Financial advisers can offer ‘independent’ advice, where they can consider products and providers from the whole market or ‘restricted’ advice, which is limited to certain products, providers or both. Your adviser has to clearly explain if they specialise in certain areas, such as shares, funds, units, insurance products or anything else, and the providers they look at.
Aspirations Financial Advice Ltd offers Independent Advice, you can find out more in our Key Facts Document.
It is important to understand what fees and charges you will pay for advice and when you will be expected to pay. Start by finding out if there is a fee for an initial consultation. You should have the option to pay a one-off fee or you may pay a regular fee if the advice is ongoing. Following changes the FCA have made, advisers will no longer be paid commission from your investment by product providers and will have to tell you upfront how much their service costs. This means you can now be sure you know how much advice is costing you.
The Initial Consultation is FREE where our different charging options will be outlined. We will also establish whether we can add value to your financial circumstances. We offer a choice of two options:
1) Fixed Fee based on the nature of the advice and amount of work required, chargeable at each stage of the Advice Process
2) A percentage of the monies invested, payable once assets are under management
We are firm believers in honesty and transparency and will not conduct any work on your behalf without having agreed with you how much it will cost and that you want to go ahead. You can view charges in our Advice Process and Charges Document.
You will need to agree with the adviser how you will pay for the advice you receive. You will also have to agree whether the fee can be taken from your initial investment rather than being paid upfront. Your adviser may accept payment in instalments if you have a regular contribution contract with them, but this is not allowed with lump sum investments.
We give you the choice whether to pay us directly, or for the fees to be deducted from your investments.
Asking the adviser this question will help you understand the process your adviser uses to decide how to advise you and what to recommend to you. It may also make clearer why your adviser needs certain information or ask particular questions.
We conduct a fact find to gather all the necessary information regarding your personal and financial circumstances. We need this information in order to be able to provide advice and recommend suitable options.
During your Initial Consultation your local adviser will confirm whether we can help you and how we can add value to your financial situation. Find your nearest adviser here or take a look at Our Financial Advice Process.
Your adviser should explain what they consider your risk profile to be and how each recommendation or product fits in with this. If you think you are prepared to take more or less risk than your adviser suggests, ask them to explain how they decided your risk profile and whether it should be changed. To ensure their advice continues to suit your needs, you should also find out how you can contact your adviser if your circumstances change.
A lot of Product Providers offer Risk Questionnaires to assist with classifying your Attitude to Risk. We have designed our own Questionnaire but nothing can replace a sensible discussion about the concept of risk to determine how you perceive it. We will re-assess your Attitude to Risk as part of our Regular Client Review meetings to ensure your Investment Strategy remains suitable.
You should ask whether the advice will be given to you face to face, on the phone, via email or in a report. Tell your adviser if you prefer one way over another and ask if there are different prices for each. Your adviser should send you an outline of their recommendations, which is usually called a ‘suitability report’. Check this carefully to ensure it reflects the discussion you had with the adviser and that you understand why they recommended a particular plan or product.
Face to face advice is the preferred method to ensure that all questions are answered and your local adviser is confident that you fully understand the recommendations which are being made. You will be provided with a Suitability Report which confirms why recommendations were made. This will be stored on your client website which you can access at any time.
Advice can be provided over the phone or in writing if preferred. Often it is a case that all channels of communication are utilised throughout Our Financial Advice Process.
You should ask the adviser how often they recommend reviewing your investments and who will be conducting the reviews.
Your local adviser will conduct your investment reviews. The frequency of reviews will depend on the level of investment and the ongoing annual charges but will take place at least annually.
You should ask if your money will be managed only by the adviser you are meeting or if other advisers may advise you in future. You could also ask what will happen if the adviser leaves the company or retires.
Your local adviser will look after your advice, but should he/she be on holiday or leave the company, we will assign a new adviser to look after you.