The twelve key benefits of our trademarked Clear and FAIR service are –
- Twice-yearly internal fund reviews in line with our overall fund panel reviews
- Ongoing advice on fund, plan, and platform switches as and when necessary
- Annual suitability review offers to ensure your planning stays relevant
- Personal reviews (no charge) here or by Skype or Zoom up to twice each year
- Incidental advice as and when needed at no charge either, on a fair-usage basis
- Your Personal Finance Portal (PFP) to communicate with us securely online
- Quarterly newsletters to keep you up to date with both financial and company news
- Low costs and our trademarked FairFees Promise
- Personal service from one of the best-respected firms of its size in the UK
- Fee-free reinvestment of withdrawn funds within two years of withdrawal
- Nil initial adviser charge on Junior ISAs and children’s Stakeholder Pensions
- 24/7 access to the owner of the business in emergencies
FAIR stands for Fact-find, Advise, Implement and Review.
Fact-finding: This, naturally, is the first part of the process. It’s extensive and it’s thorough.
Advising: Once we have in place a signed Client Agreement, we can give our advice.
Implementation: Putting into practice the course of action we have agreed with you.
Reviews: ‘Review’ in this context, does not mean face-to-face meetings at our premises, Skype discussions or updates by phone etc. We do not charge separately for such meetings or discussions; they are entirely complimentary and provided to our investors at our expense. ‘Reviews’ means the internal process here by which we continually assess the suitability of the funds in a client’s portfolio as well as the fund ‘wrapper’ and platform on which the portfolio sits. As a result of this process, we then recommend any switches or transfers, and carry out the same without any additional charge by us. Most adviser firms charge some percentage of the investment for a switch, transfer or for a ‘Bed and ISA’ exercise in addition to their normal ongoing fees. We don’t. It’s all included in the adviser ongoing fee. And our ongoing fees, on a like-for-like basis, are lower than those of any other form of which we are aware.
Your Annual Suitability Review Offer
Each year we shall issue you an annual suitability review offer to prompt you to advise us of any changes to your circumstances, objectives, and attitude to risk as part of our annual suitability review process which allows us to reassess your circumstances and update your strategy accordingly. Any changes required as a result of our internal review process will be communicated to you in two ways. Personal reviews, which are regular and specific, and large-scale switching exercises, which are irregular, more general and triggered by external events. Stand-out opportunities created by major events do not happen very often, but when they do, we try to use them to our clients’ advantage. We have performed such exercises successfully for our clients around the 2008 financial crisis, the Brexit referendum, and the Coronavirus pandemic amongst others.
Our FairFees Promise guarantees clients many benefits. It applies to all funds bought via the platforms we use, whether directly or via ISAs, pensions, or bonds. Different platforms suit different clients’ needs better than others. We select based on portfolio size and the type of funds and products to which the client needs access. FairFees also guarantees impartiality in fund selection. Whereas some so-called ‘vertically-integrated’ adviser firms only invest clients in their own in-house ‘fund-of-fund’ offerings to maximise their profits, we select funds sourced impartially from the entire market.
FairFees comprises an initial fee charged for the setting-up of a portfolio and an ongoing annual fee to cover our continuing intermediation, ongoing advice on the portfolio and the buying and selling (switching) of funds as necessary. Both initial and ongoing intermediation charges are deducted from the investment and remitted to us by the platform. This streamlines the investment and administration process, enabling us to keep costs down which in turn enables us to minimise fees. As well as all the services comprising our Clear and FAIR offering, FairFees also provides that once we have been paid our initial fee on any given tranche of money, we shall not charge an initial fee on subsequent switches of that tranche of funds. This applies to all switches regardless of how much the investment has grown in value and even if it needs to be switched from one product to another, say for example from a Unit Trust/OEIC to an insurance bond, vastly reducing reinvestment costs, often to zero. This, our unequivocal ‘no-churn guarantee’, is, for clients, probably the single most attractive feature of FairFees. (The phrase ‘churning’ originally referred to the unethical stockbroking practice whereby clients would be advised to sell one share and buy another simply to generate commission for the broker.) From founding West Riding we made it a key principle that there should demonstrably be no incentive to churn and every incentive to deliver ongoing service.
Withdraw Funds and Reinvest Later Fee-Free
Our highly popular ‘return fee-free’ policy recognises that situations can arise where a client needs to withdraw funds temporarily with the intention of reinvesting them later. This might occur for example where a client needs to fund the purchase of a new home whilst awaiting the sale of an existing property. Where clients find themselves in this position, we guarantee to reinvest their funds on our current ongoing fee terms but at zero initial adviser fee. All we require is that we are notified of the intention to reinvest at the time of withdrawal, and the reinvestment of the funds within two years of their withdrawal.
Affordable Advice When You Need It
If you have ever used a law firm, you’ll know that solicitors charge for everything in minimums of six-minute units, typically charging a minimum of £25 plus VAT to answer even the briefest call or email. Direct clients of insurance companies get no real help or advice at all. One of the first things an insurance company staffer will tell you if you do ring them, is that they can’t provide advice. To have advice on tap 24/7, you normally need to be wealthy. West Riding however offers Clear and FAIR clients the incidental ongoing advice that we find all need from time to time at no additional charge, provided the facility is used reasonably on a ‘fair use’ basis. In other words, we won’t put you ‘on the clock’ and send you a bill if you email or call to talk something through. All we ask is that this facility is used reasonably and respectfully; ‘fair usage’.
In times of genuine need, we aim to be here for you. Our mission is to look after clients in an all-round sense, making ourselves available to deliver the personal, friendly, helpful, all-inclusive, and value-for-money service on which our business was built – “a private bank type service for people who could not normally afford a private bank” as a well-known public figure once described what we do. A perfect example of how valuable this facility can be is illustrated by client who sought our advice on London Capital & Finance (LCF) Minibonds, rather than just investing without advice as did others. We told her to steer clear. That one email of hers to us saved her £60,000. LCF turned out to be a colossal fraud. We also warned the Financial Conduct Authority but sadly for those investors who lost out, it ignored our warning. It’s been extensively reported in the media. Google ‘Neil Liversidge LCF’ and see the reports that come up.