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Frequently Asked Questions

We are often asked questions about Financial Planning and KDW. Should your question not be listed, please contact us.

Do I need a Financial Advisor?

Your decision to employ a financial planner will depend on a number of variables including your own level of financial knowledge, your short and long term goals and the current state of your finances.

You may decide to work with a financial planner if:

  • You need financial expertise in an area you aren’t familiar with
  • You do not have the time to undertake your own financial planning
  • You would value a professional opinion
  • If you don’t know where to start planning on improving your financial situation

Some financial products such as equity release recommend you to speak with a financial adviser to see if the that is the best solution for your requirements.
Ultimately a financial planner will work with you to map out how you reach your goals and work with you to keep you on track along your financial planning journey.

What are the benefits of using a Financial Adviser?

  • Help you with tax efficient strategies
  • Promote financial wellbeing
  • Understand risk and the impact on your investments
  • Save you a lot of time as they already have the financial know how to make informed recommendations to you
  • Will set a plan in place for life’s uncertainties 

What is an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA)?

An IFA is whole of market, meaning they are not tied to any bank or lender. This allows them to offer unbiased advice which is tailored to your circumstances and that they believe is the most appropriate solution for you.

At KDW all of our advisers are independent financial advisers.

Does an IFA need to hold any qualifications?

Yes! Since the 2009 financial crisis, the financial advice industry has become increasingly regulated in order to safeguard the industry. All financial advisers must hold a minimum Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) approved to Level 4.

The most common qualifications which you should look out for are Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning (DipPFS), Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) and with regards to mortgage advisers the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP).

Many financial advisers go on to gain further qualifications which allows them to specialise in various sectors such as pensions or equity release.

Each of our adviser’s qualifications are listed in their profile, if you have any questions regarding their qualifications then please do not hesitate to ask them and they will be able to explain in greater detail.

What areas of Financial Advice can an IFA help with?

The areas of advice will vary depending on the financial planning firm. At KDW we offer a one-stop-shop solution and our services include:

  • Pensions
  • Investments
  • Mortgages
  • Assurance
  • Tax Planning
  • Commercial
  • Investment Properties

Why use KDW Financial Planning?

KDW have been providing independent financial advice in St Albans, Hertfordshire, since 1978.

  • FCA registered
  • We have a variety of advisers who are experienced in all areas of financial planning
  • Being independent financial advisers we are not tied to any products
  • All are fees are transparent – there are no hidden fees or costs
  • We offer goal based solutions
  • Driven by our client relationships

We have access to the whole of market, sourcing the best possible solution for our clients. Our advisers hold bi-annual reviews with clients to check the chosen products are still performing in-line with their goals and our areas of advice include pensions, workplace pensions, investments, mortgages, tax planning, life assurance and commercial.

We also have an in-house estate agent who can sell or let your property for a considerably lower rate than the average high street estate agent.

What fees do KDW charge?

We provide you with an initial no obligation consultation. KDW Financial Planning will bear the cost of this initial meeting. This helps us to understand your financial objectives and will confirm how we can support you in working towards these. We will also discuss the cost and levels of our services both initially and throughout our relationship with you.

With regards to investments, you will pay for our services on the basis of an adviser charge. This charge is based on a percentage of the amount you invest or a fixed fee. We will discuss your payment options with you and answer any questions you have. We will not charge you until we have agreed with you how we are to be paid.

With regards to mortgages, you may be charged an administrative fee for submitting your application depending on the complexity of your case. We will also be paid a procuration fee from the lender.

What does your on-going service include?

As your personal and financial circumstances change over time so will the advice and financial products you need. Our on-going service includes:

  • Structured reviews
  • Ongoing assessments of your circumstances and changes to plan that are needed
  • Regular updates and information regarding your financial plans
  • Differing levels of support based on your needs
  • On-going support with correspondence and administration issues

Do I need to sign an agreement?

After your initial consultation, your adviser will guide you through our Client Agreement & Valued Service Proposition and Keyfacts documents. These will need to be agreed and signed before your adviser can undertake any further work.

Can you visit me at home?

We are incredibly flexible when it comes to meetings and are happy to meet with your either at your own home or our office. Evening appointments are available on request.

Find out the key questions you should ask a financial planner when meeting them by reading our short guide ‘Key Questions to ask a Financial Planner’

What our clients say

We used KDW for a joint mortgage, with some difficult criteria, but they still managed to find us options, and get us one! They were professional, and kept us informed all the way throughout the process...great job team and thank you!

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