Most investment advice available in the market is not independent. New rules were introduced in recent years by the Central Bank to help consumers make better informed decisions. While most intermediaries have at some point claimed to provide independent advice, the rules now prevent firms from describing themselves as independent unless they “do not accept and retain any fee, commission, other reward or remuneration where advice is provided in respect of regulated activities provided by the intermediary”.
As most firms earn commissions, there are few firms who can now use the word independent.
Acuvest provides independent advice
At Acuvest, we don’t have that issue. We are sitting squarely in your corner when it comes to improving your financial life, like having your own chief investment officer. In our world, investment fund providers are simply a means to help you build wealth, they are not a source of income for us.
Our remuneration comes solely from our clients in the form of fees, agreed in advance of any work completed. We have provided advice now for over 20 years to companies, pension scheme trustees and individuals with savings and investment needs. Over this time, our clients have identified a few benefits that they value most in having an independent adviser.
Objective and unbiased advice
One of the primary advantages of working with an independent financial and investment adviser is their ability to provide objective and unbiased advice. Unlike advisors who work for financial institutions or investment firms, independent advisers have no obligations to promote certain products, or to meet sales targets. We are also not interested or conflicted by a provider offering higher levels of commission to advisers in order to attract funds. We work solely in your best interest, aligning our recommendations only with your financial goals and risk tolerance.
A good example of this is the fact that before the recent increase in interest rates, many of our clients were holding cash deposits and national savings certificates in lieu of negatively yielding bonds and cash funds within their low risk / defensive assets. From our perspective it was an obvious way for clients to avoid, or minimise negative interest rates and fees. Bank deposits and national savings products are not investment products, so they are not typically used by clients of advisers that are paid on a commission basis.
Another example is a new client who had previously invested in an attractive looking renewable energy investment, as it appeared to offer good returns, and they wanted to invest sustainably. This product also just happened to offer generous terms to the adviser. Unfortunately the investment turned out very poorly, with the advisers and promoters the only people to do well from it. Our approach to sustainable investments is to first look for good investments, and then filter out those that do not match our client’s sustainability objectives. In this situation, the client would actually have been better off by retrofitting their home. This would have improved their lives, while investing sustainably. Unfortunately, advisers that are reliant on commission do not get paid to advise clients to invest in home improvements.
A good adviser should provide ongoing monitoring of your investments, regularly reviewing your portfolio performance and recommending any adjustments. This includes regular rebalancing of your portfolio that is necessary to ensure it remains aligned with your goals. Keeping track of market trends, economic indicators and regulatory changes, and adapting your investment plan accordingly also help to maximise your investment returns while minimising potential risks.
This is a critical benefit. Our fees are agreed in advance with our clients, so they know exactly how much they are paying us. We also use our institutional experience and scale to review and negotiate the fees they will pay to their underlying fund managers. This is in the knowledge that every basis point or euro saved in fees and charges incurred increases the net investment returns earned by our clients on their hard-earned savings and investments.
We know that managing your own finances and investments can be a hassle, time-consuming, and at times stressful. However, by working with an independent advisor, you share the responsibility and that in turn gives you more clarity and confidence in your financial future.
There are lots of advisors in Ireland, but as we have explained in this article, relatively few that can now say they are independent. Take the first step towards truly independent financial advice today. If you’re ready to experience the difference that unbiased, client-centred advice can make, we invite you to reach out to our team at Acuvest at email@example.com.