How We Work
Working With You
When you approach us for the first time we will usually arrange a meeting with you at our offices near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire for an informal chat over a cup of tea or coffee. This is your opportunity to find out about HDA and the team you will be working with if you appoint us as your advisers.
First impressions are very important. You need to feel comfortable. We will earn your trust over time but you need to take that first step. We encourage you to ask us anything you like. There are no silly questions. We will also be pleased to provide contact details for existing customers who will share with you their own experiences of working with HDA.
A first meeting is also a chance for us to find out more about you and your particular requirements. We will usually be able to glean enough to let you know whether we can help. Assuming we can help we will explain our services to you and outline the next steps. We will also explain our fees and we will confirm these to you in writing.
We will usually need more detailed information than you are able to provide at a first meeting. It may be that you are able to provide some or all of this information from your own records. If not we will arrange for you to sign letters of authority which will allow us to make enquiries with investment and pension providers, mortgage lenders, professional advisers and other relevant third parties.
We make no charge for the time we spend getting to know you and gathering information. We do make a charge for our advice which will always be put to you in writing. We will agree a fee with you for our advice before we send it to you. Our fee will be payable whether or not you choose to act on our advice.
Implementing our Advice
Our independent financial advice will often include product recommendations, be it investments, pension plans or life policies. As fully independent, chartered financial planners we are able to source suitable products from the full range available and act as your agent in setting these up.
Products will always be arranged in your name and not ours. Payments will always be made directly to product providers and not to us. We act purely as an intermediary and never have direct access to your investments.
We charge a combination of fixed fees and percentage-based fees for arranging products. These fees take account of the time and resources involved (product research and due diligence as well as implementation) and also a risk-based element which reflects the costs we incur in relation to Regulatory Fees (payable to the FCA), contributions to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Professional Indemnity cover.
All costs, charges and fees will be fully set out to you in writing before we arrange any products on your behalf.
Ongoing Advice, Investment Management and Reviews
The financial decisions that are made today need to be regularly reviewed to take account of changes to your own situation as well as economic and legislative change. We encourage all of our customers to meet with us at least annually to review their financial planning.
Most of our customers have no desire to manage their own investments. We offer a sophisticated investment management service which is entirely risk-driven. We are fortunate to have the support of an excellent investment research team based in the City who constantly challenge conventional investment “wisdom” and help us to focus on wealth preservation as a core priority. The economies of scale we have developed over many years allow us to offer this service at a highly competitive cost.
All of our active fee paying customers benefit from our quarterly newsletter which covers topical issues and provides a regular commentary on the development and performance of our investment management service. These customers also benefit from a personal six-monthly review of their investments.
Investments are accessible 24/7 via our own “Wealth Platform”, a secure online portal offering real time and historical valuations, performance information, risk profiling tools and a document library.
Behind The Scenes
Our team of advisers is supported by a strong admin and compliance team. They are all in-house at a single location which improves efficiency. Over the years we have invested heavily in technology and we have a state of the art back office system which links with investment providers in real time and feeds live information directly to our Wealth Platform. We have operated a (nearly!) paperless office for more than a decade.
Our investment research team now boasts 22 staff with a plethora of PHDs and MBAs. We have made a significant investment into this resource over the years and we are confident that the depth and quality of investment research available sets us apart from most if not all of our competitors.