Over the years I was fortunate enough to amass wealth both personally and through my family business, resulting in a collection of accounts, investments and property, although no cohesive strategy. I was concerned that I could not trust anyone to help me to manage my affairs and ensure I wasn’t ‘missing anything’. I was also increasingly alarmed by the impact swings in the stock market were having on some of my investments.
I wanted to work with an adviser who would genuinely have my interests at heart. Someone to work with me, and my family, over many years – not lose interest if I didn’t want to buy the latest product.
My wife and I met with Warren at Lexington. He explained the Lifestyle Financial Planning process and how it could help us to gain clarity; then provide a structure to help us achieve what matters most in our life.
It was a refreshingly different approach and we elected to proceed. Over several meetings, Warren took us through an exercise of ‘how do you want to spend the rest of your life?’.
We captured the issues we felt we had previously missed, either because we were too busy, didn’t believe they would be possible, or had the time to think about.
Warren showed what our current position looked like, using a detailed computer-simulated cashflow forecast. He compared this side-by-side with the expenditure required to achieve all of our goals.
We could see that we had sufficient personal assets to support our future needs, based on very conservative growth rates – which was comforting.
We also saw the negative (inheritance tax) consequences of retaining a large portion of our surplus income and capital within our estate.
From an investment perspective, Warren showed us we were taking too much risk. By moving into lower-risk investments we could avoid the volatile market fluctuations.
After some discussion, we decided to implement our Lifestyle Financial Plan. This involved:
1.Consolidating all assets onto a single platform, to provide full visibility and simplify the administration.
2. De-risking our portfolio, over time, managing the tax consequences.
3. Minimising the tax liability of our estate, using Trusts and gifts. By gifting during our lifetime we could see the benefits of passing wealth to our children and grandchildren.
4. Creating a manual for all of our property holdings (insurance, contracts and land title deeds) to make it easy for our children to manage upon our death.
5. Allocating money to fund our annual travel itinerary which included two to three round the world trips per annum.
The entire process took close to one year to fully implement and the team at Lexington worked closely with our other professional advisers to ensure a cohesive strategy.
We are delighted with the results. Overall we will save more than £900k in inheritance tax. Our investment returns have been far more consistent, removing the stress of high market exposure, allowing us to sleep at night. We have worked with Warren for many years’ now and will continue for many more!