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How long for an IFA's report?

(20 Posts)
pixiebaby23 Mon 13-Feb-17 11:52:42

I'm wondering if this is normal or if we should find another IFA.

We consulted someone in August 2016 after speaking to several IFAs to find someone we felt comfortable with.

She's chartered, didn't make any wild claims and seemed to know her stuff. She was leaving the company she was with and setting up on her own, so needed to set up her business - fair enough, I understand that takes time.

Our financial affairs are relatively complex in that we have quite a few options to consider, around pensions and investments.

But two meetings and some six months later and we still haven't had her report, and neither has she contacted us with any reasons as to why it's taking so long.

I know she was waiting for pension providers to come back to her after we signed permissions, but we're become disillusioned about the amount of time it's taking and the lack of comms.

Am I being impatient or should we think of going elsewhere?

aintnobodygottimefodat Mon 13-Feb-17 12:20:19

OP do you mean you signed your policies over to her as the acting agent? Meaning she's receive commission etc? What reports are you waiting for exactly? Are you wanting a valuation of your overall portfolio or a projection on pensions etc? If it's the former, a valuation can be obtained within a matter of hours, if it's the latter, it would take a week or two at most. With such a lack of communication I would suggest you look elsewhere as she seems a little unreliable.

pixiebaby23 Mon 13-Feb-17 16:00:58

Thanks for responding.

We haven't appointed her as agent for existing investments, but gave permission for her to obtain details of those.

We will pay a flat fee for a report which reviews our existing pensions and investments and then she takes 2% of anything we invest with her.

It took ages to find someone we felt comfortable with, and, she is well-qualified - but just very slow.

aintnobodygottimefodat Mon 13-Feb-17 17:54:53

Ah I see. I was an administrator for an IFA for a number of years so have a little knowledge in the matter. In my opinion 6 months is far too long to wait for any type of report. The software that IFA's use can help them to produce quotes and illustrations in a matter of hours. Understandably, if she is/was in the process of starting out on her own, then there will be delays.

However, she shouldn't be writing business or producing illustrations without the proper regulations in place. Silly question maybe but have you checked she is regulated?

Turnaround time in the industry needs to be fairly quick, with stocks and shares changing so quickly. You could have a quote for something one day, and it be totally different in the space of a week.

Ultimately, it's important for you to have confidence with whoever you choose to manage your finances, and if this particular advisor is making you doubt anything at all then it may be best to look at other options.

Good luck OP!

JoJoSM2 Mon 13-Feb-17 19:30:38

Half a year is ridiculous. As she was leaving, weren't you basically the company's clients but no one from the co pant picked you up? Also 2% is a terrible rip off so I'd find someone else instead.

pixiebaby23 Mon 13-Feb-17 19:59:41

Thanks. We could have stayed with her previous company, but didn't like the other adviser, so decided to go with her.

All we are paying for at the moment is the report - we don't have to take the advice from it, or could invest elsewhere.

What are the going rates for investment fees? And, who (who would be a recommended company) would offer lower fees?

I'd already thought I would renegotiate fees for any larger investments - at the moment, we will have about £25,000 to invest and I'd been under the impression 2% was the going rate for under £100k.

aintnobodygottimefodat Mon 13-Feb-17 20:02:09

Oh i second JoJo, my former employer used to take 0.5%

pixiebaby23 Mon 13-Feb-17 20:05:31

Thanks - so which (nationwide) IFAs offer lower rates ?

pixiebaby23 Mon 13-Feb-17 20:07:20

She is properly regulated by the way, and I believe that registering and going through additional training caused some of the delays.
I think we need someone else who charges less though.

Unicorn81 Mon 13-Feb-17 20:30:07

I would contact her and ask her for a timeframe of when this can be sent to you. Have you also had a look on here for fa?

You are paying her for her services so she should be keeping you up to date.

pixiebaby23 Mon 13-Feb-17 20:33:50

We found her previous company via that website, maybe time to have another look. Several of the IFAs we spoke to first just seemed like wide boys.

dontcallmethatyoucunt Mon 13-Feb-17 20:53:54

wide boys are definitely thick on the ground (no pun intended), but good Chartered IFA's are also available.

If she were going on her own and looking at Direct authorisation then it could take several months depending on her history (not necessarily suspect). However, this is too long for a client. God forbid you died in that time the IHT implications of not having post 2013 pension contracts could be huge - just as an easy example.

You sound like a good client, I really can't believe she isn't keeping you informed. I wonder if she now embarrassed and rather than face you she's in denial.

I'm Chartered and there is a list of us on the CII (Chartered Insurance Institute) website. We are not many by number, but she can't be the only one in your area. Clearly personality along with qualifications count here, but it's a good starting point.

For those saying 2% is too much, that will depend on the amount invested. The Which report that looked at charges deemed this fair. I'd say it depends what's involved. ISA transfer, too much pension work, fair enough.

dontcallmethatyoucunt Mon 13-Feb-17 20:55:09

my former employer used to take 0.5% ongoing I expect, initial charges used to be as high as 7% shock

dontcallmethatyoucunt Mon 13-Feb-17 20:56:29

2% on £25k is very reasonable, many IFA's charge 3% and 0.75% ongoing.

pixiebaby23 Mon 13-Feb-17 22:34:42

Thanks, it's very useful to have a range of opinions on this.

childmaintenanceserviceinquiry Mon 13-Feb-17 22:41:52

Don't what are post 2013 pension contracts?

BillyDaveysDaughter Mon 13-Feb-17 22:51:59

I'm an FCA compliance person...a six month delay is not acceptable, if she's earning her fee she should at least keep you updated even if she hasn't managed to get all the material for your report yet. Although I don't see why she shouldn't have in 6 months.

2% initial fee is very reasonable, the average is 3% initial. Anything from 0.5% - 1% is usual for ongoing, but the service you are receiving for any ongoing fee must be substantive (meaningful and justified).

Just find another one, there are about 17,000 firms in the UK and I guarantee that there are plenty who would do better. As a PP said, try Unbiased.

dontcallmethatyoucunt Tue 14-Feb-17 07:55:20

It should be post 2015 pension contracts (I'm blaming typing on my phone --and wine--). The point is that 'Return of Fund' is the standard death benefit in most pensions. Post 2015 we use 'Nominee' and 'Successor' to hand pensions down still staying as pensions. The tax regime is the same on the pension when handed to the beneficiary, but the pension that stays as a pension is not liable to IHT and is therefore (potentially) a £1M per person additional IHT planning. In the South East many clients have properties that are valued at >£1M and pension funds are useful intergenerational wealth transference.

If you imagine you inherit you spouses pension of 200k, you have an estate already in excess of the NRB and then you die. If you have taken the money as 'return of fund' it's in your estate and will be liable for IHT at 40% when you give it to your kids. If you received it as a nominee as an inherited fund (same tax implications as before), you simply hand the pension on, still outside your estate. You can pass pensions to your kids, potentially tax free.

This rule did not exist pre 2015 and so contracts written and signed under the previous rules do not contain the ability to create nominee account and any Expression of Wish form will simply facilitate ROF.

This applies to all pensions that are structured as Money Purchase funds, different rules apply to pensions that are Defined Benefit (a promise linked to earnings most usually).

This is the sort of thing that a good IFA will know and do and THIS is what earns the fee.

themueslicamel Wed 15-Mar-17 22:34:40

I run a team of Paraplanners for an IFA in the city and I'm a qualified IFA, the FCA officer is right, she is taking the piss.

Find a new firm of professional advisers who will help you out and begin working for you now.

Kerplonker Tue 25-Apr-17 14:59:14

The death benefits of a pension fund are free of Inheritance Tax in almost all cases - this applies pre and post 2015. The only exceptions are where someone transfers to a new provider, then dies within 2 years or if the make a binding nomination rather than the usual 'expression of wish'.

Post 2015 there is the facility for the beneficiary to keep the money in 'Flexi access drawdown' rather than drawing it all as a lump sum. The tax paid depends on the age of the deceased. If death is pre 75, there is no tax. If death is post 75, the beneficiary pays Income Tax on the amount drawn from the pension.

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