Financial Planning Service – Client Charges

Client charges can have a significant cost drag on a portfolio’s overall performance. Traditionally, the charges have been broken down into component parts, making cost comparisons between different providers difficult.

I feel that it would be much fairer if all firms whose services include investment management (i.e. not just individual funds but discretionary investment managers and financial advisors/planners) were required to disclose their Total Expense Ratio (TER).

TER measures the headwind that has to be overcome and includes the annual management charge and certain fixed costs but excludes dealing charges. As a benchmark, the average active equity fund has a TER of a little below 1.7%. Tower Hill Associates’ comprehensive financial planning service (including portfolio funds, all product charges and platform costs) comes in at less than 1.6% for most clients and much lower still for larger investment portfolios.

If your current financial advisor offers a comprehensive personal service focused on helping you achieve your goals supported by a client centred investment process for a TER of around 1.6% there is little reason to look elsewhere.

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