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Savings guide questions relevance of wealth managers – Portfolio Adviser

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Entitled ‘Shhh Insiders Guide to Wealth Management the firm suggests investors ask eight questions to help them understand their wealth management service.

It also asks the question ‘Do you even need a wealth manager?’, suggesting that managing savings in deposits might suit some more risk-averse savers.  

The guide, written by director Anna Bowes, warns investors that they may be paying hidden charges for, among other things, transactions and for custody services.

It also warns that most wealth managers charge a percentage fee of the sum invested and urges investors to ask if a fixed fee is available. It also says they should ask for a pounds and pence figure for the service rather than a percentage charge.

It says investors should consider the nature of the service they are receiving, including whether the wealth manager offers investment management only, investment management first with financial planning second or financial planning first with “investment advice only if appropriate”.

It also implies it is much better to seek out a wealth manager that provides independent financial planning.

It asks: “Are they just selling you products or is it true financial planning? It is imperative that you get independent financial planning advice before deciding your investment strategy.”

“A frighteningly large number of wealth managers only offer restricted advice. To reach the most appropriate outcomes, you may prefer a wealth manager who can guide you based on a comprehensive, fair and unbiased analysis of the relevant market. Only an independent financial adviser can truly deliver this.

“A restricted adviser may be constrained by product, provider or solution, and by definition will be limited in the scope of advice or service they can offer.

“After all, if your adviser can’t put every option on the table in the first place, how do you know you are consistently being given the most suitable solutions for your needs?”

Tom Adams, head of research at Savings Champion said the team had produced the guide to help consumers navigate potential pitfalls when choosing a wealth manager.

He said: “A combination of a complex legislative backdrop, challenging financial markets and the introduction of new technologies has meant that it has never been more important to work with the right wealth manager.

“Using over 30 years’ experience of the wealth advice sector, we have examined the market in great detail and this guide is the result.”