Is Professional Financial Advice Good Value For Money

Measuring adviser value

Investments are no longer just about price and performance. Changing technologies, regulations and external pressures mean it’s harder than ever to compare ‘like with like’. This makes it hard for clients to quantify the value of the advice I, and others, are giving them.

While investment performance can be tracked over time, adviser advice is harder to measure. Studies by Vanguard suggest that its value is somewhere between  3% per year  and 23% over a lifetime.

And, according to research by Unbiased, UK consumers who take professional advice save on average £98 more every month and receive an additional income of £3,654 every year of their retirement, based upon a pension pot of £100,000.

So exactly how much value does an adviser add to a client outside of their investments? And how can we ensure that we continue to provide excellent value year after year?

Improving your financial life

My view is this: as an adviser my job is to help clients to improve their life worth over the course of our relationship. We call it a return on life, though their money.

Of course, this partly centres on the value of investments, which is easy to measure. However, a good adviser also gets to know their client beyond some basic questions about retirement planning or investments. They develop a deeper relationship and provide advice on subjects ranging from portfolio allocation to cash flow.

Take Pat for example. Pat is now 90 years old, at her last annual review she reminisced about the best day of her life thanks to me. Now, I suspect Pat has had many days of similar value but is kind enough to share with anyone that will listen – my input into her later life.

It was 2011 and Pat’s family had been client’s of mine for about ten years. I informed Pat that her investments had grown above what we had expected, and she should either spend more or give some money away. We went off at a tangent for a while about the Olympics coming to London. She had been a keen middle distance runner in her day, and had nearly gone to the Oslo Olympics of 1952. We got talking about what she would do if the world was going end in the near future. She piped up “take all my best friends and family to the Olympics, and make the weekend of it in London”. To cut a long story short – that’s what she did.  Her memory is of seeing Mo Farah, Jess Ennis and Usain Bolt pick up their golds “We cheered until we were hoarse, and waved our flags without any hint of embarrassment. It felt good to be British. More than that, it felt wonderful”. The hardest job for me was to convince someone brought up in the war years, that she should spend that kind of money, and convince her that she could afford it. A bond and trust needs to be earned first.

Advisers are here to provide peace of mind. Clients who come to trust their advisors are less likely to worry about the day-to-day fluctuations of the market. Studies show that “investor satisfaction in the advisory relationship tends to come from personal attention rather than from actual financial returns.”

My job is to help my clients simplify their financial life. As the number and complexity of financial products continues to grow, I’m here to cut through the noise and deliver bespoke, realistic recommendations, from targeted opportunities to annuities and insurance.

I’m also here to help provide my clients with perspective. Perhaps they are thinking of changing career and need someone to help them understand the financial implications of such a decision? That’s where a good adviser can provide perspective and peace of mind.

At the end of the day, even the smartest clients can have trouble taking a step back. Good advisers help investors understand what’s under – and out of – their control.

My job is to continuously work to help my clients navigate their financial life. If you also want to add value, book a free consultation today to find out how we can help. Call (01372) 404417 or click here.

Ray Martin is a financial advisor based in Epsom & Ewell, Surrey


Reviews and Ratings for Financial adviser Ray Martin, Kingston-upon-Thames

We’re highly rated

We retain a 5-star rating on VouchedFor, an independent service that enables clients to review their professional advisers. VouchedFor verifies the reviews and testimonials we receive, so you can be confident that they are authentic. 2018, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 Top Rated Adviser, as listed in The Times

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Our former financial adviser was retiring and recommended Ray to us. He alleviated the constant worry of where to best invest our savings without too much risk. We’re very pleased with the results over the last 10 years. He explains things in layman's language, which we appreciate, and gives us the confidence we have made the right choices. What more can people expect?


We had pension policies and investments that needed sorting out ready for retirement. We didn't know what to expect from a financial adviser. We assumed that he would simply advise us where to get the best deals. How wrong we were. Ray took us right back to basics. He made us carefully consider what we really wanted to achieve. He has allowed us to start to really enjoy our retirement.


I needed financial advice about pensions and investments as I approached retirement. My wife was in the same position. Ray Martin worked out a comprehensive plan for putting my pension provision and savings into proper order. He did the same for my wife. He has continued to provide us with advice ever since. Ray is always straightforward, open and proactive.


I was approaching retirement and wanting to look into limiting taxation and Inheritance Tax, as well as providing for my wife. Ray provided sound advice to switch from my current arrangement to a Drawdown Pension and ISA investments. I have now retired and have started seeing the benefits of his advice. The returns on my portfolio have increased beyond expectation. Ray performed extremely well.


I had sold my house and didn't know how to invest the money. Ray invested very wisely and there has been about a 5% increase every year. He listened to our queries, gave answers that we fully understood and followed any requests. He always had time for us, and never rushed us. We would have been financially at a loss without his help.


Ray has been advising my wife and me for about 20 years. He is everything one could hope for in a financial adviser: wonderfully enthusiastic, extremely well informed, completely trustworthy and scrupulously observant of the regulatory requirements. He is able to explain complex matters very clearly, and so far, his advice has always been first class.


I had money to invest and had no idea how to go about investing it and hopefully making a gain. I have three children and wanted advice about inheritance planning. Ray is very patient, very clear when he explains things, he is very interested in me as a person, totally trustworthy and is an excellent listener. We have never been disappointed! He`s been brilliant.


I had just been widowed. Ray sorted out and simplified what was a very complex set of investments into a much less confusing portfolio. I have been extremely happy with everything Ray has advised over the last 12 years. Whilst moving with the times, he has dealt with all aspects of my investments wisely and given me all the guidance and help I have needed.


As the financial director of a company, I was seeking to get advice on how to plan and invest for retirement. Without a doubt, Ray Martin helped me understand and plan how to fund my retirement. Ray has been with me every step of the way. His advice has been invaluable. I retired and achieved my annual income goal. His continued advice is helping me in the next stage of my life.


I needed some advice regarding my late mother’s estate. I had also retired and required advice on how to manage my private pension. Ray was extremely helpful, and his advice was very clear and easy to understand. I came away from our initial meeting feeling very relieved and less stressed. We have just had our first yearly review and I was surprised how well my investments had done.


In the last 10 years, my circumstances have changed with the passage of time. Ray has guided me on how to protect and make my money grow. He listens carefully to my needs and gives clear, concise advice in a professional manner. He and his team are always accessible and patient with my questions and their approach gives me confidence that my finances are securely looked after.


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