Acumen currently manages more than £190 million of assets on behalf of our clients. With the best in-house financial advice and links with a broad selection of the UK’s finest investment houses, our approach is designed to give you the best of everything. In this article, we explain how choosing the right investment adviser can make all the difference to your financial outlook.
Choosing the right investment adviser
In the Financial Services industry, financial advisory firms can adopt several different strategies when it comes to managing clients’ investments. Some will entrust their investments to one designated firm of investment managers, while others try to juggle financial planning and investment management in-house. Acumen does things differently.
“A lot of other firms only deal with one investment house but Acumen deals with a wide range,” says Angela Maher, Managing Director at Acumen Financial Partnership. “They’ve all got something slightly different to offer. We know they all manage money well because we have checked every one of them out before we agreed to deal with them, but they’ve got different styles of money management.
“Some are better at bigger lump sums than others, whereas others are more comfortable with lower amounts. It’s a bit of a matchmaking approach. We can usually work out accurately what kind of adviser a client would work well with so we’re there as the financial planner and will have somebody bespoke and dedicated to make day to day decisions about the actual investments. Acumen works as a trusted adviser to get the right match for our clients,” Angela adds.
Independent investment advice
Acumen offers independent investment advice and outsources the day-to-day management of funds to one of our trusted network of investment advisers. That enables our IFAs to concentrate on what they do best – financial planning. This puts your assets in the hands of investment experts who have all the resources and requisite industry knowledge to deliver the best possible results.
“Acumen does all the planning,” says Jon Landy, Director at Acumen. “Some IFAs try to do the whole thing. They do the planning and strategy and also try to run the investment side of things. We believe you can’t. It’s very difficult unless you’ve got the resources. The specialist investment firms we’ve chosen have huge research teams and asset allocation teams, which means they have a lot of in-depth knowledge and resources behind them.
“We could do everything but we want to concentrate on what we do well. Financial planning is what we’re good at and what we focus our resources on. Our investment contacts have different skills sets to us to run the money day-to-day. So clients get the best of everything – a better overall package with no unconscious bias and access to soundly researched industry knowledge,” Jon adds.
Investment advice tailored to you
Acumen’s commitment to adding value to everything we do means that we still maintain many of the extra services that were integral to the role of ‘life and pensions brokers’ of old. As such, we provide a suite of third-party services to assist our clients’ whole life financial journey. “Acumen doesn’t try to do wills, LPAs or tax returns in-house, we introduce specialists such as accountants or solicitors in to assist when the need arises so these important steps are dealt with properly,” says Angela.
One particular service that is proving increasingly popular, particularly since greater pension freedoms came into play, is equity release. While most investment advice centres on leaving investments alone to accrue value, equity release enables retirees to unlock an income stream that would otherwise be tied up in bricks and mortar.
“Equity release can be an integral part of retirement planning,” continues Angela. “It can be a source of wealth that is typically otherwise locked in. Previously your choices would be to sell the house where you’ve brought up your kids, know the neighbours and like the area. Or you don’t want to move out but you can’t afford to paint the windows, redecorate, upgrade the boiler or whatever it is.
“You’re sitting in a house that holds so many happy memories but are now unable to keep it in a way that’s comfortable for you. The opportunity to access equity release can be truly transforming. It can be something that makes such a difference to people’s lives,” Angela adds.