Why Speak to us?
Working together is the cornerstone of effective Financial Planning. While we will work with you to build your own personal plan, it is only by working together as a team, that we can hope to get the best out of what we create. The first stage in building that plan is sitting down and establishing whether we can work together. As we hope to be working with you for the rest of your life, it is extremely important that we are going to be able to get on with each other. There is no charge for this first meeting because it is a vital part of creating that relationship, and without it we can’t possibly know whether we can form an effective partnership.
We will ensure that we understand all of your personal and financial circumstances, and work with you to establish your current and future objectives. This might all sound very grandiose, but experience tells us that sitting down with people and exploring their hopes, plans and fears, often creates a level of clarity and purpose which otherwise hadn’t existed. We’ll then play that back to you to sense check it, and ensure that we really understood what you were saying.
Having worked out what you want to achieve, we’ll then work with you to build a long term financial plan, taking into account your attitude to investment risks, our views on what you might see in terms of investment returns, any planned major life events such as a wedding, or your retirement, and as far as we can, some insurance against unforeseen events.
This plan will be fully comprehensive, and will point out all of the areas where we feel you need to do something, and when we sit down together to discuss it, we will jointly prioritise which elements are urgent, and which we can put off until your circumstances permit that they can be addressed. We think of this a bit like the “advisories” section of your car’s MOT where you are told what you are going to need to do in the future, but which don’t make your car unroadworthy today.
Having decided on your priorities, we will them work with you to implement the immediate solutions and will keep you abreast of progress as we move to completion, before agreeing a program of regular review where we measure your progress against your plan. This will be done to suit your needs and will be done in a manner agreed with you. Most people like to sit down with us to discuss things, but we are equally comfortable reviewing progress by email, phone, Skype or just about any other means of contact
Financial Planning V’s Financial Advice
It is often said that “Life is a journey”. Financial planning is the process of helping you to meet your lifetime financial objectives. Ensuring that throughout your journey, you are able to meet all planned, and unplanned expenditure, whilst also making sure that you enjoy your retirement, and provide for your family before and after that journey ends.
We believe that there is a huge difference between Financial Planning and Financial Advice. Traditional financial advice forms an important part of the planning process, but it tends to focus on specific and individual events, whereas financial planning is a more holistic, whole of life service which is designed to ease all of your lifetime financial worries and ensure that achieve your life’s goals.
Financial Planning V’s Financial Advice
Of course, we also know that not everyone’s needs are quite this complicated, perhaps your only current issue can be solved with some relatively simple advice, and so we will ALWAYS tailor our service to suit your immediate, and future needs. Please rest assured though, that where we see things which we believe you need to be aware of, we will point these out to you and ensure that you understand the implications of them.
Source: Sun Life Financial
Why might you need to speak to us?
Our experience tells us that people have various reasons for getting in touch with Financial Planners and as a result it is almost impossible to describe our typical client. Whether you are worried about your standard of living in your later years, or need to save for your children’s education, we can help you to ease your worries and meet your goals.
Concerned about your standard of living in later years?
There is no doubt, that we are living longer, in fact statistics from Public Health England show that in 2016, a 65-year-old had a life expectancy of a further 19 years for men, and 21 years for women. This creates a significant problem for the state as the number of people drawing State Pensions increases, and adds to the pressure on those contributing through National Insurance towards it. Recent changes to the age at which this can be drawn helps this position, but the stark reality is that we cannot simply meander into later life and trust the State to look after us.
Even if you’re eligible for the full State Pension of £164.35 per week for the tax year 2018-19, this is far below what most people say they hope to retire on, and if you consider that to provide that sort of income for yourself, you would typically need a pot of around £160,000. With this in mind you can see why it is never too early to start planning for your income requirements in later life.
Despite so called “pensions simplification” introduced as far back as 2006, the world of retirement savings is still as complicated as ever. We pride ourselves on being completely up to date with all of the complicated rules and regulations which attach to this area, and are “Pension Transfer Specialists” which allows us to advise on all aspects of retirement planning.
Worried what would happen to your family if you were to die, or get seriously ill?
If you’ve ever had this concern, then you are probably in need of a conversation with us to understand what options are available to you. If you haven’t, then answering the following two questions may mean that you do.
• Would my dependants be financially stable on their
own in making certain payments, such as the mortgage or daily expenses?
• Would my death have a financial impact on my
children or partner?
But it’s not just early death which should worry you, an accident or illness which prevents you from working can have just as serious an impact on you and your family, and is often just as easy to protect against financially. We will help you to understand all of the options and which are the most appropriate to your individual circumstances.
Keen to leave a meaningful legacy to your family?
It’s a painful truth that the taxman is often the biggest benefactor of a deceased person’s estate, indeed after Cilla Black’s death in 2015, the £6m Inheritance tax paid by her estate was twice what each of her three sons received individually. It’s not just the mega-rich who are caught by Inheritance tax, but the good news is that although the rules are incredibly complex, careful planning throughout your life can reduce or eradicate the pain of losing hard earned funds to unnecessary tax.
Even something as simple as writing a will can significantly help, because if you die without a will, your estate is divided out according to a pre-set formula and you have no say over who gets what and how much tax is payable. We can either work with your existing will writing professional to ensure that it fits your plan, or introduce you to a specialist who we trust to cater for your needs.
Anxious about the security of your savings or that they are not growing quickly enough?
You may well be missing out on returns because you are concerned about volatile stockmarkets. Did you know that over the last 90 years, stockmarkets have tended to fall by more than 10% roughly every 11 months, by 15% every 2 years, by 20% around every 4 years, and by 30% every 10 years? (Source: optionalpha.com) On that basis it is understandable to have concerns, but you must also bear in mind that shares historically have delivered the highest returns, and therefore should always to be considered in any long term financial plan.
Seeing your savings reduce as a result of stockmarket falls isn’t the only risk which you face as an investor, inflation has a significant impact on long term savings as well. Did you know that an inflation rate of only 3%, just slightly more than the current Government target, more than halves the spending power of your money over 25 years? This could have a huge impact on your lifestyle, or a material reduction in the value of the assets passed to your survivors.
Helping you to understand the risks as well as the opportunities of investing is a core part of our service, as well as showing you ways of minimising the risk of losing your hard-earned capital. We always build the effects of inflation into our planning, to ensure that you at least maintain the spending power of your money, at all times in the most tax efficient way possible. Remember that the value of your investment and any income from it may go down as well as up. You may not get back the original amount you invested
Heard about “pensions freedoms” and wondered what they mean to you?
On April 6th 2015, savers were given unprecedented freedom to access and spend their pensions as they wished. It was the biggest shake-up in the retirement rules for a century. The Chancellor’s pension revolution was hailed as the end of the scandal of savers being given annuities which turned their pension pot into an income for life, that paid poorly or were inappropriate. No longer would pensioners see their nest eggs go straight into the pockets of insurers when they died.
But these changes thrust a huge amount of responsibility onto retirees and left many people confused. Essentially, where once there was no choice at retirement, suddenly there were a number of options.
Unfortunately, a side-effect of these freedoms is the possibility of running out of money completely and so while useful, they also need careful planning to avoid disaster in the future. You should also bear in mind that most Defined Benefit, or “Final Salary” pension schemes do not have these flexibilities built into them. We can help you to assess whether the flexibility offered by pensions freedoms would be useful in your retirement planning.
Want a second opinion?
How many times have you started a DIY job at home, and half-way through wished that you’d called in an expert at the start? We find that many people who come to us, do so because they are unsure whether what they have arranged for themselves is REALLY the most appropriate thing for their circumstances, and whether someone with more knowledge and experience could improve on it. The internet can be a financial jungle, and the risk of falling prey to a scam, or simply buying an investment or insurance product which doesn’t meet your needs is huge.
We are always happy to give you our considered view on what you already have, along with our thoughts on what else you should be considering in building a holistic financial plan.
Put us to the test!
Bill has a wealth of experience in Financial Services, stretching out to almost 45 years.
Having left his original occupation as an engineer in 1974 he embarked on a career with Prudential starting as an Agent in North Liverpool, and eventually working through the ranks becoming Sales Manager, and Branch Manager.Bill left the Prudential in 1998 to take up Partnership in a firm of Independent Financial Advisers (IFS’s) in Chester to form Quinn Foden. This firm later merged with Thomas Slasberg to form Quinn Thomas & Partners, the largest Independent Financial Advisers in the Chester area, and was a Partner in this firm until it was sold in 2006. Bill then worked for a National Firm of IFS’s – Buckles Investment Services Ltd which were eventually acquired by a South African Company SANLAM.
Having been a partner in the former Quinn Thomas & Partners Bill didn’t feel he was suited to this environment and left in 2008 to set up Stonebridge Financial Management Ld. Bill is a Chartered Financial Planner which is the Blue Riband qualification for the profession. Bill’s emphasis within Stonebridge Financial Management is to provide a quality service to his clients along with the appropriate advice relating to their individual circumstances
Andy has more than 30 years’ experience in Financial Services having worked in Advice, Investment and Insurance companies at a senior level. Andy joined Stonebridge in 2018, to help to develop it into a modern financial planning business which continues to place its clients at the centre of everything it does, and having worked with advisers all over the UK during his time as a Director of Old Mutual, as well as in a National firm of Financial Advisers, he believes that he has seen all of the good (and the bad) elements financial planning, and how they impact on clients.
Away from work, Andy enjoys spending time with his family, and when time allows, a round of golf or a walk in the hills.
Gill's role is to continuously support the Stonebridge team and to liaise with clients, product providers, accountants and solicitors. A key part of her role is to ensure that every client is looked after efficiently and kept informed of progress from application, through completion and onwards into regular reviews.
Gill has over 10 years’ experience in office management and has lived in Chester for 40 years.
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Stonebridge Financial Management Ltd, Company number 06583576, registered at Oak House, Castletown, Farndon, Cheshire, CH3 6PF,
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at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk or by contacting them on 0800 0234 567
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Established in 2008 by Bill Minards, we are a firm of Chartered Financial Planners, based in Chester and with more than 60 years’ experience in Financial Services. We pride ourselves in providing a high quality, easy to understand and comprehensive service to our numerous clients.
We passionately believe in putting you at the centre of everything we do and explaining how we can help you in plain English. That’s why we prefer not to talk about the products we advise on, but rather on your hopes and concerns, and how we can help you to meet or solve them, today and into the future. After all, no-one wants a personal pension plan, but we all want the safe and secure retirement which comes from investing effectively through our working lives as part of an integrated financial plan. Equally, no-one wants a convertible term assurance policy, but we all value the peace of mind which comes from knowing that our loved ones would be provided for in the event of our early death or serious illness.
We are independent financial advisers, and you will pay for our services by fees (or commissions in certain circumstances) which will be agreed before we undertake any work for you. Our client agreement can be found here.
Why Speak to us?