Below are answers to the questions we receive most often. If you have a specific question we've missed, or just would like to chat, please get in touch.
Life + Financial Advice: We work at the intersection of life and finance. Our holistic approach enhances both your Return on Investment & Return on Life. Our clients value this as they do not wish to be the ‘richest person in the graveyard’. We want you to use your money for its highest use of value today, the next day and for your long-term security. Ultimately, we believe Return on Life, how you use your money for greatest subjective impact, is more important than singular Return on Investment. So, we built a CLEARER programme to help with both.
Behavioural Finance Consultancy: Study after study after study has proven that humans are the biggest risk to their own wealth. We help you identify your innate biases around money, analyse how they have affected your finances & life in the past, and help you avoid big mistakes in the future.
Independence: We work for you. We don’t sell any of our own products or funds, or have any conflicts of interest. We do promise to act with integrity and empathy and build & maintain your trust - helped in no small part by using evidence-based reasons to invest and protect your wealth.
Many studies have shown that humans are our own worst enemy when it comes to behaving our way to wealth. Harder than making wealth for many is preserving it for oneself and one's family through generations. Let's look at two example archetypes at different extremes of the behavioural finance spectrum. They demonstrate why understanding your own behavioural biases is so important:
A) You have a need to protect yourself so much that you are actually sacrificing your entire life for a sense of security that you’ll never feel. An example of this is the multi-millionaire scrooge, saved all his life, has enough money, but doesn’t feel comfortable spending. If one doesn’t feel secure and free, when financially they are, that is failure.
B) You need to enjoy life so much now causes you to sacrifice your future, but you're never aware of the damage being done because you’re too busy spending. The consequence of which is that you’ll have a miserable life in the future, whenever you might think you want to retire, or not.
We help you to Understand your innate biases and understand how your life is affected by them in the short, medium and long-term. We help you make better informed decisions, acting as a crucially objective sounding board:
Behave your way to wealth, don’t misbehave your way to poverty.
We are also asked, “why wouldn't I go to a financial adviser or wealth manager for finance advice, and a life coach for life advice?
Most IFAs, wealth managers and financial planners typically do the same thing, despite having different titles. You can even have an insurance salesman, for example, calling him or herself a financial planner or wealth manager. No wonder people are confused.
Whatever the title, 99% of ‘advisers’ act as if every person's goal is solely to maximise their investment returns money for when they retire, and for when they die. The reality is that almost no human thinks about their money in that context. It is about what they're money can do for them. Most advisers assume security is the number one priority for everyone. But our clients realise there can be a trade-off between security and freedom.
Ultimately clients need and want two things - return on investment (for security, choice, freedom) and return on life (meaning, purpose, impact).
See our investment policy statement.
Year two of our Service will continue with the CLEARER framework acting as a guide. Before the first annual plan review meeting we will be touching base to make sure you have all your 'to do's' from year one done such that in the coming year you are primed for further success, whilst updating us of any important changes before we meet, to enable us to prepare well in advance of meeting.
We will typically touch base twice a year* - the first touch base call will be to make sure you get all of the tasks linked to your yearly financial targets, and your goals and aspirations, done. The second one is to tee up / reconfirm everything you need to get done for the coming year.
Throughout we are working behind the scenes including but not limited to everything in our CLEARER engagement service (and engagement profiler - more details available on request).
*review & reinforce annual meetings are face to face and you can come into the office, or, as a lot of value comes from delegation and freeing up your time, via video conference, which is becoming more popular. The touch base calls, these are conducted via telephone or video conference.
There is a natural propensity to think long term with a lot of things around investing and financial planning, but life presents a lot of opportunities and challenges that require short-term decisions as well. That’s why the touch base calls are so important.
CLEARER is heavy lifting in the beginning. It will feel like we are doing a lot at the start, and we are. Moving forward, in years two to five and beyond, we continually look after your investments with care and diligence.
We are analysing any new evidence to improve our investment philosophy, we are doing everything we can to ensure your success, including but not limited to:
A) Annually rebalancing your portfolio - a system to help us buy low and sell high
B) Reviewing your risk profile (capacity, tolerance, and required risk levels) to ensure you stay within the right investment risk profile and suitable for your objectives and goals.
C) Ensuring your portfolios remain tax efficient
Most firms charge only for this service with no advice in the three other areas of wealth planning (risk, tax, and estate planning).
At any point, life can throw a curveball and all hell might break loose and we are doing a lot of heavy lifting once again. Read on for examples of what that looks like...
Market crashes - They are inevitable. When they come, talking you off the ledge & staying invested can be worth as much as 2 to 6% annualised extra return on your investments (lots of studies have proven that humans are the biggest risk to wealth, not markets). Further, being greedy when others are fearful is logical and simple, but not easy.
Health issues - If something happens to you, having us in place to take away the financial stress is an unfortunate but tangible value-add, allowing you to forget about finances, and concentrate on getting better.
Tax changes & tax loss harvesting - most people aren’t interested enough to stay on top of tax, but we are continually looking for ways to legally reduce your tax bill, utilise your allowance & adapt to legislative changes (which are annual).
Estate planning - Doing estate planning once does not mean its done for life. Often parents are named as trustees, but what happens when that is not suitable because the parent needs a trustee for themselves? Reviews & updates matter.
Death of a loved one - The sad reality is that grief can do strange things to people. A rational, intelligent person, overcome with grief, can make clouded and poor financial decisions that can destroy wealth. Having a trusted adviser in place at such a time, who understands the estate plan, financial plan, investment plan, what gifts have been made, and so forth, helps a family to protect and pass down wealth as intended. This can be the difference between long-term (intergenerational) success and failure.
In summary, life is always in flux, and that includes the markets, taxes, risk, goals, priorities, transitions, estate planning and so on. Ultimately clients need and want two things - return on investment (for security, choice, freedom) and return on life (meaning, purpose, impact). CLEARER is designed to help you achieve this by providing:
That's why we are retained and have clients for life.
WILCOCKS & WILCOCKS — WEALTH & LIFE MANAGEMENT
"To help our clients attain, retain and ultimately bequeath Real Wealth"
"Real Wealth & Life Planning becomes the pre-eminent method for delivering financial advice globally"