Our Approach To Financial Planning

We help clients make plans to achieve the lifestyle they desire for themselves and their families and their businesses.

Initial Discovery Meeting

We will meet with you for around 60 minutes at our expense, with no obligation to proceed further. We will listen to what you want from a professional adviser, help you articulate your financial goals and ask about your current arrangements. We will explain how we work with clients and the costs of our services. If you then engage our services, we follow a number of steps to ensure plans we help create are relevant to you.

1. Establishing Your Objectives and Priorities

We will help you to focus on your short, medium and long term financial goals. This will establish the various timescales for which your financial plan must cater, and the priority you attach to your objectives.

2. Data Gathering

We will gather information about your financial arrangements, personal circumstances and your attitude to investment risks. This often involves contacting providers of existing policies to obtain information on valuations, terms, conditions and benefits. Discussion with you provides an insight into your existing situation, such as:

  • Valuation of your Assets & Liabilities
  • Your Income & Expenditure/Tax Position
  • Existing Protection Policies
  • Your Investments
  • Types of Assets held
  • Your Pension Plans

3. Analysing and Evaluating Your Situation

Analysis of data we gather enables us to evaluate opportunities for making your resources work most effectively. As part of this process, we examine the taxation and other implications when considering whether alterations to your existing arrangements represent an appropriate strategy.

4. Developing and Discussing Detailed Recommendations & Advice

When identifying ways in which your arrangements could be better organised to achieve your stated goals, we will recommend actions which will:

  • Be based on our impartial, expert opinion
  • Take into account your attitude to the relationship between risk and reward

We will meet with you to present and discuss our advice and agree any actions you may wish to take. The reasons for our recommendations and actions that you decide to take as a result of our discussions, will be confirmed in writing giving you a permanent record of the advice you received.

5. Implementation and Confirmation

If you decide to take action as a result of our recommendations, we can arrange all necessary steps to ensure your decisions are implemented thoroughly, accurately and in a timely fashion. A great plan badly implemented becomes a bad plan. So, we will:

  • Deal with all necessary paperwork
  • Liaise with your other professional advisers
  • Deal with changes to existing arrangements
  • Keep you informed of our progress
  • Contact you when arrangements are completed to confirm what has been done and emphasise the documentation you need to retain
  • Explain how our on-going review service provides you with peace of mind

6. On-going Monitoring and Review – Financial Planning is not a “One-Off” Event

Establishing a sound financial strategy is a major step towards securing the lifestyle you wish to lead. However, as the world around you changes, your strategy needs to evolve if it is to keep on helping you achieve your goals. So, we provide on-going service to ensure we can help clients keep their plans on track. Your adviser will agree with you a service arrangement appropriate to your strategy.

The GGM Approach to Investment

Capital available for investment is the fuel that drives a plan forward and it is essential to use that fuel as efficiently and effectively as possible. We follow a consistent, professional investment advice process over 7 key steps.

1. Objective Setting

This step focuses on what you wish to achieve through growing your wealth, taking income from your wealth or a combination of both. We will check that you hold sufficient accessible liquid savings and emergency funds.

2. Personal Risk Profile

Through use of a specifically designed questionnaire and discussion, we will establish your personal level of tolerance to any short term volatility in the prices of investments linked to or based upon stocks and shares. This step has a direct influence upon the type of investment funds included in our subsequent recommendations.

3. Asset Allocation – determining the “Blueprint” of asset types in your investment solution

We will identify the range and proportions of different asset classes e.g. equities, property, fixed interest securities that would provide a suitable degree of diversification for your investments in line with your personal risk profile. In other words, we won’t recommend putting all your eggs in one basket or taking more risk than is required to achieve your objectives.

4. Portfolio Construction – selecting funds to populate your asset allocation blueprint

We believe keeping pace with the merits of more than 30,000+ funds available to investors, is a job for organisations that specialise in this task on a full time basis. Therefore, we utilise the services of organisations with specialist knowledge, skills and systems to ensure meaningful quantitative and qualitative data is analysed in a fund rating and selection process. This means the solution we recommend could emerge from one of several options such as:

“A Fund of Funds” managed by a single manager, where the inherent mixture of asset classes held in the fund are automatically re-balanced within the structure of the fund.

“A Model Portfolio” comprising funds carefully selected from thousands of available funds, representing the blend of asset classes reflecting your personal risk profile.

“Portfolio Management by a Discretionary Fund Manager” i.e. the manager has a mandate to alter holdings at his/her discretion, but only in line with the client’s risk profile.

5. Tax Wrapper Selection

It is important that investments are placed under the most appropriate and efficient tax regime and our recommendations will reflect this aspect. As an example, utilising ISA allowances/Pension Planning etc.

6. Investment Administration and Valuation

An efficient method of investing in your agreed funds is for us to utilize a secure, on-line administration service known as a “wrap platform”. This service comes in the form of an account in your name which provides a window on the composition and valuation of the funds we purchase for you. We can administer any required future changes to your investments on-line, avoiding delays and additional paperwork.

7. Ongoing Reviews – Investment Planning should not be a One-Off event

Over time, your attitude to risk or the timescale of your investment goals can change. Other factors also affect the progress of your investment journey. Regular contact means we can monitor these factors and take appropriate action to alter your investment strategy if necessary. At a frequency appropriate to your circumstances and requirements, we will provide with you:

  • The performance of your Investment/Pension funds.
  • Options to ensure your portfolio remains allocated to the right mix of asset classes for your latest risk profile.

What our advice, expertise and service mean to our clients

Financial Peace of Mind

  • Clear understanding of their personal and financial goals.
  • A clear strategy and plan to help them achieve their goals.
  • Everything clearly explained in plain English.
  • Growing their knowledge and confidence regarding financial decisions they take.
  • Ongoing review of progress against their plan to enable necessary adjustments along the way.
  • Keeping them informed in a timely and accurate way.
  • Calls and enquiries addressed promptly by people who care about customer service.
  • Acting upon planning decisions in a timely way – generally able to switch, invest or encash within 24 hours.
  • To be there for our clients to discuss any financial matters when they are most needed. e.g.
  • during volatile stock markets, we help clients avoid making emotional decisions they may later regret.
  • family issues – including relationship break up, debt, illness, death – we listen and advise.
  • second opinion/sounding board on opportunities – Is it too good to be true? Is it too good to pass up? Should I/can I afford it?

Real Value for Money

We deliver value to our clients by:

  • Helping them take measured decisions with which they feel comfortable.
  • Ensuring they maintain sufficient capital for short term needs.
  • Keeping their investment strategy aligned to their attitude to risk.
  • Ensuring the spread of investments remain in the right proportions and properly diversified.
  • Monitoring portfolios on a regular basis and making adjustments if and when necessary.
  • Optimising tax-saving opportunities wherever possible around Capital Gains Tax and mitigation IHT liabilities.
  • Recommending alternative strategies if a change to any aspect of a financial plan is appropriate.

Trusted Relationship

Amongst other things the way we work means our clients can expect to experience:

  • One less thing to worry about.
  • Peace of Mind.
  • Security for the Family.
  • Confidence in ability, motives, accuracy and timeliness.
  • Trusted Relationship.
  • A sounding board for reassurance and advice when needing it most.
  • Time saving – we can delegate the paperwork, responsibility and worry.
  • Being truly understood and being able to properly understand.
  • Having a focus/clear plan.

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