…also known as Fictitiously Asked Questions
To help you decide whether our service is for you, we have put together a few answers to the most common questions we get asked. This is not an exhaustive list, and we suspect you may want to know more or have questions specific to your business and the type of work you do. If that’s the case, please contact us, so that we can answer your actual questions, not made up ones.
Why should I outsource?
We’re glad you asked. The very fact you found our website and perhaps looked at a few different paraplanning services out there (if you haven’t, you definitely should) tells us that you may be thinking about getting things done a bit quicker, better controlling your running costs and perhaps even spending more time doing what you enjoy (which we hope is advising clients) and less time doing what you don’t (which we suspect is doing research and writing reports). If this sounds about right, we recommend you check out our take on when you should and shouldn’t consider outsourcing.
Who is your typical client?
We don’t have one. The firms we support are different and we provide a slightly different service to each of them. It seems to be what they need and it makes us happy to know we’re delivering just that.
As a small business, we enjoy working with other small firms who value our flexible approach and straightforward processes. Our clients also tend to share our passion for outstanding customer service and forward-thinking financial planning.
We are all about developing long-standing relationships with our firms, just like they invest in long-term relationships with their clients. Most of our firms use us for all their paraplanning and report writing needs, preferring to use the time our service frees up to grow their client base and their business.
I already have a paraplanner. Can I still use your services?
Absolutely. We are happy to work with and alongside your existing paraplanner. If you already employ a paraplanner but are considering outsourcing, it is likely that your paraplanner is either not sufficiently experienced to deal with more complex cases, or there is simply too much work coming in for them to deal with it quickly and efficiently. In either case, we would be delighted to provide additional support.
We can help you get through any backlog and then provide ongoing support for any overflow cases. Firms often choose to send us more complex cases while their in-house paraplanner deals with day-to-day reports and other paraplanning duties.
Do you take ad-hoc work?
The short answer: No.
The slightly longer answer: Our aim is to produce work that looks, sounds and feels as if it was prepared and written by you. It takes time (both yours and ours) to develop an effective working relationship that allows us to deliver high quality, personalised research and reports to you quickly and efficiently. We don’t feel we could do this to the same standard if we picked up one-off pieces of work for a large number of advisers. Instead, we focus on working closely with a select number of firms who share our passion for financial planning, and understand that long-term relationships build the strongest businesses.
What is your turnaround time?
Everyone’s favourite question. Officially, we aim to deliver work within five to ten working days. This s is subject to us having all information we need to complete a piece of work. Once you have sent us a case, we will review the information provided and let you know if we can crack on, in which case we will provide an expected turnaround. If anything is missing, the clock doesn’t start ticking until we have the outstanding bits.
In reality, you will have some cases which need to be dealt with quicker than others. There will be deadlines, expiry dates, tax-year ends and clients going on holiday. Life happens. We get it. Therefore, we prefer to proactively manage deadlines and priorities so that those cases that need to be turned around faster are picked up before those that can wait a little longer. This is another reason why we only work with a small number of firms as this allows us to be flexible with our timescales and manage our delivery times to suit you and your clients.
Do you cover all areas of financial planning?
We do. However, we generally do not deal with employee benefits and group schemes.
We are happy to assist with defined benefit transfer advice and have done a lot of work in this area.
We also have tons of experience with structured products and tax efficient investments (EIS, VCT, business relief schemes), as well as various estate planning solutions.
We primarily work with financial planners who outsource their investment management or run their own in-house model portfolios, but we are happy to assist with fund research and selection where required.
This sounds amazing, but it’s not free, is it?
We have a menu of fixed fees which are primarily linked to our report writing service and depend on the complexity of the subject matter and the average time needed. Additional paraplanning and/or admin work are then charged on an hourly basis and billed to the minute. This is our Navigatus Core service and it comes with a monthly retainer which allows us to reserve capacity for you and your firm, and be on hand if you have any technical queries. We will confirm the estimated cost of each case before we commence work for you. This model suits most firms.
We also offer a bespoke pricing option (imaginatively called Navigatus Bespoke). We set a monthly retainer based on an estimated number of support hours you think you may need each month and any work carried out is based on the agreed hourly rates (billed to the minute). We review the retainer periodically to make sure it remains at the right level. This model suits those firms who want a more holistic support or who know they will need a broadly similar level of support each month and would like a fixed and predictable price for it.
Please contact us if you have more questions about our fees.