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FAQs

How much do you charge for advice?

We offer a transparent and flexible fee structure which is designed around each client. Your adviser will always discuss these with you in advance and confirm in writing, to ensure that you’re happy and in agreement.

I have a small amount of savings and am ready to take the next step into investing. How can I get started?

Firstly, well done. It’s important to pay off any debt (barring your mortgage) and have a cash reserve suitable for your needs and circumstances before embarking on an investment strategy. That way, if anything happens, you don’t have to touch your investment to cover everyday expenses. Once you have all of that in place, we’d love to talk to you to discuss an investment plan which will work for you. We can help with regular monthly contributions or a lump sum, or a combination of both. Some providers require a minimum investment amount (sometimes around £20,000) to open a product with them, but we can search the whole of the market to find a product which suits you best.

Is it worth paying for financial advice?

Absolutely! But you would expect us to say that. Let us explain:

The distinction between paying a fee and whether it’s worth it is to ask what value does that fee provide you? In other words, would saving that fee reap more for you in the long run than the investment growth which would be gained if you do spend it?

We treat our fee as being part of your investment strategy: a small cost contained within a much bigger picture, all aimed towards achieving your financial goals. For example, we could agree a fee together of 1.2% per annum, but the projected growth of your portfolio over time could be 7% year on year. The benefits here far outweigh the cost. This is what we mean by value.

Do you only look after women?

Not at all. We have built our business on a firm understanding that some clients want more choice amongst financial advice and services, and not necessarily a traditional, corporate approach. We are fresh, different, and proudly here for everyone.

How is advice for women different from other financial advice firms I’ve come across?

For a start, there are no corporate suits or mahogany desks. We build relationships and offer a personalised approach: it’s only once we know you well, that we can recommend a plan that is going to suit you. We know first-hand the financial realities of being a woman and can relate to the unique financial circumstances and priorities which need to be managed. And we know that sometimes it’s easier to talk with a woman about sensitive life issues, so can always ensure that you have access to a female team if you prefer.

How can Independent Women help me?

I’d like some advice but don’t know if it’s right for me. What can I do?
Just ask! We’re always happy to help with any questions and would love to hear from you. If we can’t help, we can let you know up front and will try to put you in touch with the right person for your needs. Also see our Personal and Business services and useful links pages – these may help.

What are your credentials?

We are a proudly award-winning firm offering over 25 years’ experience. Established in 1997, we are the UK’s longest running financial advice firm dedicated to offering female-centric advice and services to private wealth clients. All our financial advisers are professionally accredited and registered with the FCA. For added reassurance, we are part of Mazars, a chartered financial planning firm, the pinnacle of accreditation within our profession. As financial advisers, we also bear an ethical obligation to uphold and act in our clients’ interests at all times.

Do you hold client money?

No. We provide advice and management services on behalf our clients, but your actual investments are held with various platforms and fund providers. We will never ask you to make a payment to our firm, except where it relates to payment of our firm’s fee for advice.

Am I protected if any of the firms I invest with fails?

Yes, most individuals in the UK are covered by law for the first £85,000 of savings or investments held. This means that the government provides security for the funds in the unlikely event that an investment firm fails. There are eligibility requirements and restrictions – please see the FSCS page or ask us for more information. We’d be glad to help.

I’d like to add or withdraw some money to my existing portfolio. What’s the process?

Let us know as early as possible. Because your funds are invested in a variety of different funds, we may have to sell or buy units through your provider’s trading team, which can take some time. Sometimes, a written report will need to be prepared, and an authorisation form signed. This can all take time so to avoid any disappointment, we suggest allowing around 4 weeks if possible. Please bear in mind that market values can fluctuate in this time so you may invest or disinvest at a different price than at the time you send us your request.

The market has fallen. What should I do?

Generally, don’t worry too much, although we understand it’s only natural. We have constructed a portfolio for you which takes market fluctuations into account. We carefully select funds and types of products (called asset allocation) which spreads your exposure to risk. So where one fund falls, others should provide a buffer to keep the overall investment on track. There are exceptions of course and please do always contact your financial adviser if you have any concerns.

I’m an ex-pat and need advice about my finances. Can you help?

Unfortunately, current regulations can make it difficult to support some financial planning clients who live overseas. If you are ordinarily resident in the UK, we can provide financial planning advice when you are in the UK and would love to hear from you. If you are ordinarily resident outside the UK, it can help to use a financial adviser in your country of residence who understands the local financial laws and regulations. If you are unsure, just let us know – we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.

If you are based overseas and need advice on tax returns or corporation tax, we may be able to help. In conjunction with our private client tax team at Mazars, we can sometimes assist with offshore tax advice in certain circumstances. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to see if we can help.

My pension provider has told me that I need to take financial advice before I can access my funds. Can you help?

We believe that it is ethical for us to provide advice once we have a full understanding of your situation and have reviewed your investment. If you are happy for us to carry out this review, we would be delighted to help. For this, we have to charge a fee, but we will always try to keep this as flexible as possible to suit you.

Unfortunately, we’re unable to act as a ‘sign-off’ option, effectively rubber stamping a decision which you may already have made. As we bear a financial and legal risk for any advice we give, it’s important that we follow the right process. This means that you’re fully protected too and ensures that any decision you make is absolutely the right one for you. There could be other options available to you – our review can help you to find the best one.