Our approach to financial planning

As financial planners our main role is to help you understand your circumstances and make better informed financial decisions. As ethical financial planners, we’ll also help take your values and principles into account.

Finances can be daunting – and it’s important that you are comfortable and confident with the advice process. We’ll always do our best to be patient and clear, and to answer any questions, so you can make decisions when you feel ready to do so.

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Our approach to financial planning | Financial planners in a meeting with a client.
Lisa Hardman | Director and Chartered Financial Planner.

Helping you understand your options

Financial planning is key to a sense of financial security. I find it very satisfying helping clients to understand their options – and to navigate through what life can sometimes throw at you. I love doing puzzles and financial planning is often like a jigsaw – taking lots of bits (investments, pensions, objectives, ethics etc) and putting them together to create a complete picture for a client.

Lisa Hardman | Director and Chartered Financial Planner
Our approach to financial planning | Team of volunteers helping at a tree planting day.

1. When you get in touch…

We’ll usually set-up an initial call with one of our financial planners, at a mutually convenient time. We can talk about your situation and what you’re looking for, and discuss how Investing Ethically might help. This will be free of charge and without any commitment. It’ll also help you get a sense of who we are and what we do. Email is another alternative, if you’d prefer that to a phone call.

Our approach to financial planning | Man and woman chatting whilst out for a walk.

2. Getting to know each other

If you’d like to go further, we’ll talk again – in person or online – and gather more details. We’ll do a “fact find” about your circumstances and objectives, discussing any concerns you might have. We’ll assess how you feel about risk – and agree what’s appropriate for you. We’ll explain the process we’ll follow and be clear about fees and timings. This stage can take some time, building the foundations for a long-term relationship.

As ethical financial planners we’ll also focus on your ethics and values. What are the ethical issues that matter to you? Are there areas you want to avoid investing in, or particularly support? We’ll use our ethical questionnaire to help with this and talk with you about the details.

Our approach to financial planning | Fitting solar panels to a roof.

3. Research and recommendations

At the next stage we’ll review and assess all the information collected. We’ll analyse options and research suitable financial products and providers. We’ll discuss things with you and clarify anything you’re unclear about. Normally we’ll produce a written Recommendation Report, explaining the detail of what we’re advising and why.

Your ethical priorities will form an important element of our recommendations, as part of your wider financial objectives. For investments – including pensions – we’ll suggest a portfolio of funds, engaging with the ethical issues that matter to you, with appropriate levels of risk.

Our approach to financial planning | Woman and man working in a wholesale produce warehouse.

4. Putting things in place

If you decide to proceed, we’ll help implement your chosen recommendations. This might be setting-up new financial products or making changes to existing ones. We’ll support you in completing any paperwork and liaise with providers on your behalf. We’ll keep you informed along the way and – as ever – be on hand to answer any questions.

Our approach to financial planning | Young mechanic working in a bicycle shop.

5. Being there for you

We firmly believe that the best service we can provide comes from the long-term, supportive, and personal relationships we build with our clients. As a company we’ve worked more than twenty years on ethical finances and have clients that we’ve supported this whole time. It’s not uncommon for us to advise across generations of the same family.

Most clients choose one of our ongoing service plans. We’ll actively stay in touch. We’ll provide regular reports to keep you informed, with reminders and recommendations. We want to make sure your financial plans remain suitable and continue to reflect your priorities. So as things change in your life, and in the world, we’ll be there to support you. You can talk to us at any time.

Our initial consultation is free of charge and without any obligation on either side

Financial planning can sometimes seem daunting. Whether you are new to the practice, or have some experience, it is important that you choose an adviser you can connect with.

Charging options for our services

We always aim to be transparent and clear about our charges. You will always know how much a fee is, and what it is for, before any chargeable work begins.

We have a range of options for charging for our services. The main ones are:

  • Fee based (either hourly basis or fixed fee) – you’ll be invoiced directly.
  • Fee taken from your financial arrangements – agreed with you but processed by the investment provider.

For protection (insurance) we would typically receive a commission payment from the provider.
Our on-going service can either be paid via a monthly retainer or more usually via an on-going fee deducted alongside the annual management charges for each fund. We offer three service plans – Acorn, Samara, and Berry – with our advice charges typically ranging 0.6% to 0.75% a year (subject to a £750 minimum).

Please see our Client Fee Agreement for further information.

Our Glossary has a list of terms commonly used in financial planning and some additional ones reflecting our ethical specialism.

Phil Cockrell | Director and Chartered Financial Planner

Our work with you

It’s important to recognise that there is not really such a thing as a “100% ethical” portfolio. It’s often about “shades of grey”, such as the % weightings used for particular exclusions. You may need to prioritise – and potentially compromise – on what matters most to you. We’ll want to be sure your plans are financially suitable, as well as ethically robust. Helping you really understand your options is a key part of our service.

Phil Cockrell | Director and Chartered Financial Planner

Choosing where you invest your money is a powerful way to support change in the world

Growth in ethical investing has resulted in much greater choice. This comes with new challenges. Get in touch today and discuss your options.

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