Since 1989 I have run my own businesses and in 2002, I sold my first company. I received a reasonable amount of capital for this and engaged an IFA’s to manage my investments. Unfortunately, over the next few years this relationship did not develop well. The IFA made a good deal of money out of my portfolio, but my investments did not increase as had been anticipated. Added to this my portfolio had been put together with little regard for the tax concessions that were available. So, for example no part of my investments were set up to generate capital gains to take advantage of the allowances available. In 2007 I joined another technology start-up and realised I needed to get my investments into order. I considered looking after my own portfolio. I am a qualified accountant and so am familiar with finance matters. However, I lack detailed expertise in tax and estate planning and managing a pot of capital. I was recommended to Combined Financial Strategy (CFS) by my personal accountant. He used CFS himself and was very happy with the relationship. CFS presented to me and my wife and we decided to ask them to manage our investments. My wife and I decided that we wanted a relatively low risk investment approach, but we did want to take advantage of the different tax breaks available. This was very important to us as we did not want our portfolio eaten away by a combination of inflation and tax payments. CFS set up a new portfolio for us that took advantage of the bulk of tax breaks available in the UK. This included making the maximum use of the annual allowance for our pension contribution and some backdating of our pension payments; using the full ISA allowance for both of us; focusing a significant element of the investments to generate capital gains rather than income; setting up an offshore bond with the tax breaks that this provided and advising on how much income we should draw down from a Limited Company that I had set up for carrying out consultancy work. Each year the portfolio has been adjusted to realise the appropriate level of income to take advantage of the tax allowances and any changes in tax regulations. In 2011 I sold a second business and generated an additional capital sum from this. Not long after this a relative died and I received an inheritance under a trust. CFS advised us on inheritance tax planning and for these sums and our estate and helped us set up a new trust to manage part of our investments. In terms of the fee structure I agreed a fixed annual fee at the outset of our relationship. Compared to some of the charging structures from the large IFA’s the sum was very modest. The annual fee has been money well spent. I have the peace of mind that an expert is looking after our investments and have saved the annual fee many times over from the detailed tax and estate planning that has been provided.
Combined Financial Strategies
– JT, London