Introduction to Stonehage Fleming Wealth PlanningPublished on 19 February 2019
Stonehage Fleming Wealth Planning provide integrated planning and investment advice focused on the needs of UK resident and domiciled, deemed-domiciled clients.
What is wealth planning?
Kate Boswell and Matthew Brown on helping individuals and families articulate a strategy for their wealth
KB: In its simplest sense, Wealth Planning is about helping individuals and families to articulate a vision for their wealth and then implement the component parts of it. To be a good wealth planner you need to be a strategist – starting by understanding the big picture before drilling down into the individual technical aspects of a client’s affairs.
MB: Wealth planning is about understanding where our clients are currently, where they want to be and then understanding if their affairs are arranged in the most appropriate way to get them efficiently from A to B.
At what point do people tend to come to you for advice?
MB: Rarely, someone will come to us who simply has a sense that their wealth is at a level where they need professional advice. Usually, however, there is a trigger - be it a pension, investment or tax question. However, to deal effectively with the specific issue, we have to look at the broader picture to understand the context of the question asked. Having ascertained a client’s wider financial position, we can often add much more value in many areas of their wealth planning.
How to you get to grips with individual client requirements?
KB: I often ask new clients what sort of help they feel they need, because I think it is important to make sure that the role we play for our clients adds genuine value to their situation. Making the initial process as consultative as possible ensures that.
We’re also very good at being nosy! Really understanding a client means more than knowing their financial ins and outs – it means understanding what motivates them and what genuinely matters to them. Only once you know this can you say that you act as their trusted adviser.
MB: First we want to know about the nuts and bolts - assets and liabilities, income and expenditure. Wealth is only important relative to what you spend. But we also have to know a client’s objectives. Understanding what someone wants to achieve is fundamental to wealth planning. We also ask a client what keeps them awake at night. Those three things - understanding where someone is, financially, what they want to achieve and what concerns they have - form the basis of a strategic plan.
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