we get involved
You are likely to need financial advice for yourself and your family as well as for your business. Unusually for a firm of chartered accountants and business advisers, we have a fully staffed financial services department providing a complete range of independent financial advice. We can give a breadth of perspective and expertise which few other independent financial advisers can hope to match.
for you and your family
Financial planning is about much more than choosing investments or arranging a pension policy. We look at your whole financial circumstances, not just your savings and investments. Where appropriate, we look at you, your family, your lifestyle and your business. Your first priority may be to ensure that you have financial security throughout your life and into a comfortable retirement. Beyond that you may wish to keep wealth in the family and to minimise your tax obligations. Estate planning may entail more than just avoiding inheritance tax. It may require sophisticated planning, generally involving trusts, to ensure some control over the family wealth.
As a firm of chartered accountants, our culture has always been an advisory one, not a selling one. Of course you may need pensions, life assurance, or other protection – but only if proper financial planning shows the need for it.
Your financial plan may also need to consider tax-efficient ways of drawing monies from your business. It should also plan for an eventual exit from the business. Proper planning may call not only for personal life assurance but also for keyman insurance to protect the business. In many cases, your personal pension planning is intimately tied in with corporate tax planning. As a firm of chartered accountants and business advisers, with a real expertise in tax planning and in corporate finance, we are able to offer genuinely holistic financial planning.
Managing client investment portfolios is a core part of our practice. We manage portfolios from around £75,000 up to many in the £ millions. Each portfolio is individually designed and, on an ongoing basis, individually reviewed. There is no such thing as a standard Cassons portfolio. We take full account of each client’s investment objectives, their attitude to risk, their income and capital requirements, their timescales, and their tax circumstances. We do not offer discretionary management. We prefer to offer advisory management, meaning that you are always fully involved in every investment decision.
Saving for your retirement ought to be a major part of everyone’s long term financial planning.
It is no longer a matter (if it ever was) of choosing a pension policy and forgetting about it. The choice of competing policies and conflicting claims of superiority can be bewildering. There is a growing appreciation that pension policies are only as good as the performance of the investments held within them; and, increasingly, pension companies are offering pension policies linked to external investment funds. Managing pension policies is now very much a matter of managing an investment portfolio. That is why Cassons have pension specialists, to guide you in choosing policies, in managing the investments within them, and in making the right choices when you reach retirement.
There are many reasons why you may need life assurance, such as: mortgage or loan protection; business protection (keyman); provision for dependants; and inheritance tax planning.
There are many types of life assurance, including: term assurance; endowment assurance and whole of life assurance. Each of these has variations on a theme, such as decreasing term or low cost whole of life.
And it is essential that you understand all of the pros and cons.
Within our team we have life assurance specialists, to guide you in selecting the appropriate level of cover, to recommend suitable policies, and to advise you on the many tax, commercial and other financial planning issues that arise when considering life assurance.
If illness or injury prevents you from working, how will you manage financially? A few days’ incapacity may not matter, or even a few weeks’. But long term incapacity could be a financial, as well as a personal, disaster. That is the role of income protection insurance (also known, confusingly, as permanent health insurance). Cassons can arrange an insurance policy that, if you are incapacitated for more then say 3 or 6 months, will pay approximately 60% of your former level of income for as long as is necessary (up to a chosen age such as 60, when your income may have ceased anyway).
This is a specialist market. It is important to ensure that the policy will pay out in all appropriate circumstances, that cover can rise as your income rises, and that you are not faced with exorbitant increases in premiums. Cassons have the specialist knowledge to arrange such policies for you.
Critical illness protection
Suppose you suffer a life-threatening, or other serious, illness – and survive. That’s the good news; you have survived. What if you are now disabled and need to spend significant money adapting your home to your new needs? Or perhaps you are well enough to return to work, but do not wish to have to work so hard. Critical illness insurance can provide a lump sum if you survive many “dread diseases” such as heart attack, cancer, stroke, paralysis, kidney failure, major organ transplant, bypass surgery, or countless others.
Some insurance companies may have different definitions of the illnesses they will cover. You need a specialist adviser like Cassons to ensure you get the best possible cover at the most favourable price
If you are buying a house, you can just go to your local bank or building society and you may be able to get a mortgage loan. But how do you deal with the bewildering choice of mortgage offers?
What type is best for you? There are a number of repayment options, including: repayment; interest only;endowment; pension; and ISA. Also there is a choice of interest rate structures, such as variable, fixed, or capped. In addition you need to work out the discounts that may be offered – along with any compulsory “extras”.
We are experts in arranging mortgages and finding the best solutions for our clients' circumstances, so let us guide you through the mortgage jungle! In some cases, we can also advise you how to structure your finances so that you get tax relief on your borrowing.
for you and your business
Providing pension schemes and other benefits for your staff can be seen as a useful tool in helping you both to attract and to retain your staff. It also helps you to have a motivated and healthy workforce. We can help you to devise a scheme that will be of most benefit to you and your staff, by identifying the best providers for each service while taking advantage of any tax savings.
You should also be aware that from April 2012 a National Pensions Savings Scheme, also called Personal Accounts will be introduced. This will require automatic enrolment for all eligible employees into work-based pension schemes, with compulsory minimum employee and employer contributions. We can help you set up your system immediately in a way so as to minimise the impact of your employer contributions.
Specific areas in which we can help with employee benefits are:
- Staff pension schemes
- Death in service insurance
- Private health insurance
- Private dental insurance
- Gym membership
Advice surgeries - We can run these for your staff and give advice on any financial matters.
We can also bring in guest speakers, for example solicitors, to explain why it is essential to have a will.
In terms of the smooth operation of your business we will also arrange business protection, also known as keyman insurance.