Frequently Asked Questions
Are you a fiduciary?
Yes, as an SEC registered RIA (Registered Investment Adviser) we are fiduciaries and therefore legally required to put our clients’ interests ahead of our own, but more than that we have worked to instill a fiduciary culture within our firm. We are fiduciaries not just because it is our legal responsibility but because it is the right thing to do.
I've never worked with a financial planner, why would I need one?
We help British expats make informed decisions about their global finances, as opposed to guessing and hoping for the best. We help them get in and remain in tax compliance. We help them avoid the many expat landmines and take advantage of the opportunities. Most of all we help people create sustainable retirement income.
I already have a US Financial Advisor, can you work together with them?
Maybe. We primarily work with clients as their only financial planner because this is the most effective way to work, but we do offer a service we call “Dovetailing” whereby we will work alongside a US adviser with PFW acting as as a client’s secondary adviser. Please see the “Dovetailing” Case Study for more details. We also offer our ‘Advice’ service with lower minimum requirements.
Can you help with my taxes or will you work with my tax advisor?
We currently do not prepare tax returns or give tax advice, but we are happy to work with your tax advisor and/or we can introduce you to US/UK cross-border tax advisers. Additionally, we have a partnership with Optimise Accountants who can offer tax preparation and tax planning to PFW clients.
Can you help me figure out my UK state pension?
Yes, we help clients figure out their UK state pension. If you are not a client, then please refer to the wealth of free information on our website to help you figure it out.
Can you manage both US and UK assets? Do you have the ability to invest in both GBP and USD?
Yes and yes. We can help you with your US and UK accounts to manage your Global Balance Sheet in service of your wider retirement plan.
I’m not sure if I’ll retire in the US or the UK (or spend time in both!). Can you help build a plan that prepares for a cross-border retirement?
Yes we can – we do this for lots of clients.
I'm not sure I meet the minimum net worth of $1 million to become a client. How is this calculated?
Calculating your net worth involves assessing various aspects of your financial situation. It typically includes the total value of your retirement accounts, such as 401(k), IRA, and/or UK pensions, your investable assets such as stocks, bonds, funds, and savings, as well as the equity value of any properties you own. We require clients to have a minimum net worth of $1 million and minimum investable assets of $250,000 for our Advice offering.
I’m not sure when I’ll retire. Is it too early to begin financial planning?
No, it is never really too early. The earlier you start, likely the more options you will have. Don’t leave it too late – at least 5 years before is best – as you will probably start to lose options along with time.
I have a number of UK pensions. Can you help organise and incorporate these into my financial plan?
Yes we can – we do this for nearly all our clients.
I am planning to move countries soon. How can I plan ahead to best prepare my finances in advance of our move?
There are a number of actions and strategies you can undertake, some of which are critically important. It is based on your individual circumstances and you should speak to an adviser.
What fees would I pay as a client?
We charge an advisory fee of 1.25% p.a. for our ongoing advice and services. This fee is deducted from your account(s). Sometimes we charge an initial fee for opening certain accounts and/or undertaking in-depth financial planning. There may be additional fees charged by your trustee and/or custodian.
How often would I meet with my advisor?
Depending on the service level you will have one or two formal, agenda-led meetings each year including a Forward Planning meeting and an Investment Review. Outside of these meetings you have unlimited access to your planning team as needed.