Monthly Archives: June 2016

A Post Brexit World

In a post Brexit world we need to be prepared to plan for our futures and above all lets be sensible, why panic there’s really no need!!!

Despite all the negativity and may I say, appalling rhetoric being spouted by politicians who either were In or Out, the facts seemed to be buried for the sake of political point scoring and one-upmanship.

So at the risk of being sensible lets look at some of the facts.

For nearly 10 years the Bank of England Base rate has been at an all time low of 0.5% per annum. There’s no point in harping on about “oh I remember when I could get 6% per annum from my building society accounts- (that was a generation ago!!). We now live in 2016 and things are not the way they used to be.

Unemployment is at the lowest its been for nearly 6 years, Inflation is at a very low point., mortgage interest payment rates are at all time lows.

Theirs a reason for this, the economy of the UK specifically, and the rest of the World generally, is totally neutral and balanced and there is a high degree of economic stagnation going on. This decision by the UK to exit the European Economic Community has dropped an absolute bomb into the pond. Quite honestly its probably the catalyst that’s been needed to “get things going’.

If we draw some historical facts out of the fire, then its worth mentioning that the reason for this flat lining of the economies was due to the complete miss management of the lending books of the American, British and certain European Banks, they were all greedy for market share, they wanted to play ‘I’ve got more customers than you have’, they lent money out for mortgages irresponsibly, they saw Bricks and Mortar as the only asset class that was worthy of lending money against. They under invested in businesses and entrepreneurs, where historically they made more money than they ever did from mortgages!!

In 2012/13 the Banks pretty well realised they were incapable of running compliant and trustworthy Financial Services divisions and there was a near total capitulation of Bank Assurers. (thank god for that !!, leave it to the professional IFA’s thank you very much!!!).

It is now the time to look at how you have structured your finances. Look outside of the Banks Cash ISA’s or Building Societies. I’d even go as far as to say National Savings and Income NS&I are not too clever an investment either.

Professional Wealth Management via an Independent IFA is going to give you a proper appraisal of what is available to you, your IFA should monitor developments and position your money into the most appropriate places as and when the market conditions dictate they should. You get peace of mind; lower taxation and you should make more money. What have you got to lose???

Frank S Cochran – Managing Director & Independent Financial Adviser, FSC Investment Services Limited.

The purpose of this article is to provide technical and generic guidance and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation or advice. You are not certain to make money – you may suffer a loss. FSC Investment Services Limited is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of FSC Investment Services Limited.

How much does Independent Financial Advice cost?

This is a thorny subject as Independent Financial Advice (IFA) firms all over the UK are at liberty to set their own charging structure. Some charge an initial set fee for preparing a report, then they charge an hourly or percentage fee based on the time spent preparing and completing the advice. Others charge a flat percentage of how much you invest others charge a pure hourly based fee. All appear to work, but as you may appreciate some may suit you better than others. 

Transparency in what exactly you pay I fear is a bigger issue than what the IFA tells you on their terms and conditions of business letter.

Let me explain.

There appears to be a common thread throughout the industry that I personally don’t like. This trend is relating to how the company actually manage your money.

Once the IFA has determined which financial product is best suited to your own needs or aspirations the next step is to perform a detailed (well ours is detailed I can’t speak for anyone else’s) risk and capacity for potential loss assessment. The results of the risk profiling exercise is that the IFA will then determine what level of risk, volatility and appetite for movement in the value of your capital that you want to take. After this the IFA needs to determine the spread and mix of investment funds that are going to be needed to achieve your desired results, and this is where the problem lies. Many companies are now ‘outsourcing’ this to a platform or Discretionary third party manager.

In simple terms you pay for a third party to make the decisions on which funds your money is going to be invested into. So you end up paying for your IFA’s fee, Your Product Providers plan fee, the Discretionary Fund Managers fee and finally the fee to the management team who actually run the fund. Now as you can imagine this amounts to quite a number of mouths to feed before you get anything like a net return on your investment. Where FSC Investment Services Limited differ is that we have chosen to employ our own internal Research and fund advisory team who are responsible for selecting and managing your funds directly. This cuts out the extra cost of the third party managers, we also in many cases negotiate discounts with the product providers and direct fund management houses which will result in lower costs and greater potential for you to make money if two identical portfolios are matched head to head.

We are immensely proud of the fact that due to our way of doing things each and every client has a bespoke portfolio which has been hand selected for them and them alone, this ensures a perfect match initially to the clients risk analysis profile, which is regularly reviewed. The Discretionary or platform method often results in the client being ‘pigeon holed’ into a fund that ‘closely reflects the clients attitude to risk and reward’. We are also able to demonstrate that our custom built portfolios out perform the Association of British Insurers (ABI) averages for each sector and fund group. We only choose and select our portfolio funds after intensive research and analysis and benchmarking against the best in sector funds. Our aim is that all our clients have portfolios built using best of breed funds, and these are then managed and swapped as and when market conditions change (with the clients approval).

We are so confident that our system is more economically superior to any other model currently on offer that we are willing to offer a “Price Match Guarantee’.

We will match or beat the charges on any portfolio that you may be offered by any other Qualified firm of IFA’s. All we ask is you provide us with the report from the IFA showing the full costs (ie The IFA Fee, Product Costs, and fund management charges and all other related costs), we will then provide you with our detailed report using our custom built portfolio and the costs appropriate to that investment, we will then guarantee to match or beat the charges on the other IFA’s quotation.

To test our ‘Price Match Guarantee’ please contact us on 01902 422333 or email

Frank Cochran – Managing Director & Independent Financial Adviser

FSC Investment Services Limited.

The purpose of this article is to provide technical and generic guidance and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation or advice. You are not certain to make money – you may suffer a loss. FSC Investment Services Limited is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.