Have questions? We have the answers. Frequently asked questions about NorthStar.
Why should I use your company for financial advice?
We offer expert financial advice but without the expensive price tag. We are able to do this as we are more efficient than most financial advisers, mainly through the use of technology. This enables us to keep our charges low whilst providing you with expert advice from Chartered Financial Planners.
How long has NorthStar been trading and what are your credentials?
NorthStar was launched in April 2016. We are a new business but we have a lot of experience. We have over 30 years’ experience working in the financial advice sector. We believe we have the best of both; experience but the energy of a new way of delivering financial planning to give you the best possible service and experience.
Why are you any different from other financial planning firms?
A lot of advisers have been doing the same old thing for many years. We are different as we want to deliver a brilliant service, by expert financial planners, at a competitive price. We have embraced the possibilities technology can provide to create a truly modern approach to financial planning.
What is a chartered financial planner?
This is the title awarded to the highest qualified financial advisers. Chartered status enables individuals and firms to demonstrate their professional commitment to raising standards of knowledge, capability and ethical practice. It tells their clients that they can expect the highest quality of service.
Do you hold on to my money?
No, we never hold client money directly. All client money will always be held by an authorised investment company or an authorised insurance company. All investment products and providers we use are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Are you authorised to give advice?
What is a 'fee only' planning firm?
A financial planning firm that is only paid by way of fee. Fees are paid by you as opposed to a commission paid by an insurance company. We charge primarily by way of fee but we can take a commission in certain circumstances if you prefer.
Can you help if I already have a financial adviser/planner?
Absolutely. We would be delighted to talk to you to see if the service and solutions we can offer are more closely aligned to your objectives. Book your free introductory meeting with a NorthStar financial planner today to have an informal chat about how we can help you.
Why are your fees so much lower than many financial planning firms?
We are more efficient than many other firms so our costs are lower. In turn this means we can charge lower fees. This is largely down to our use of technology and new modern approach. You still receive expert advice from Chartered Financial Planners; just without the expensive price tag.
How can I get in touch with NorthStar?
For all enquiries and methods of getting in touch with us, please see our contact us page.
If I want to meet with you face-to-face, can I do this?
Absolutely. We would be delighted to meet with you face-to-face if that is your preference.
I think I don't need much help with my money - why do I need a financial planner?
In our experience, most people can benefit from proper financial planning. A financial planner will help you fully understand your financial position, help you clarify your goals, and put a plan in place to help you achieve your goals. Besides, if we don’t think we can add anything that would help, we will tell you.
Do I need to use all your services or can I just pick and choose the things I want?
We are passionate about delivering what you want. This is all about you so if you want to just use aspects of our service that is more than ok.
Do you provide your advice on an 'independent' or 'restricted'? basis?
We offer completely independent advice. This means we are completely free to recommend the very best products available to every client. Our Chartered Financial Planners and research team scour the whole market to bring our clients the very best solutions to help them achieve their goals.
How do I know how much I will be charged?
We are passionate about making sure you completely understand the amount you are being charged. All charges will be disclosed to you in writing in advance. Please see the individual services pages of the website for more information on charges.
Are your clients happy with the service they get from you?
As part of our commitment to providing the very best service possible to all our clients, we believe that getting feedback is crucial. We conduct regular client satisfaction surveys and always use the feedback we get to improve NorthStar further. You can see a list of client testimonials and star ratings on our website. We publish all the feedback we get so you can be sure of an accurate picture of how our clients view the quality of the services we provide to them.
Do you have a 'typical' type of client?
No, not really. We work with a range of different clients. From those in their early twenties who are looking to plan for their long-term happiness to those in retirement looking for help organising their estate, we work with clients of all ages. We also work with very wealthy clients as well as those of much more modest means. There really is no typical client. We find that many clients that we work with fall into one of a number of categories, each with different needs, but we understand that every client is an individual with unique goals, hopes and ambitions that we help to fulfil.
Are your services only for very wealthy people?
No. Our services have been designed for everyone. We use the latest technology to ensure our costs are lower than many traditional financial planning firms. This means that we can offer services to everyone – not just the ultra-wealthy. Whatever your net wealth, we can help you identify, achieve and maintain your desired lifestyle, simplify your finances and make your investments work harder for you.
Do you advise on tax avoidance schemes that can help me lower my tax bill?
No. We are not in business to help our clients artificially manipulate their tax position. Although we do offer tax planning services, we only ever recommend legitimate ways to mitigate tax – like ISAs, pension planning and and using basic trusts. We never recommend our clients use ‘exotic’ or ‘aggressive’ tax planning schemes that are likely to be against the spirit of the UK taxation legislation. Our job is to help our clients minimise the tax they pay within the tax rules, not bend those rules or get around paying legitimate tax. If you are wanting to artificially lower your tax bills, we suggest you seek alternative financial planners or tax advisers.
Do you advise clients throughout the UK and overseas?
We’re based in Southampton and most of our clients are based in the south of England. Because we use technology like Appear.in, we also have some clients in other parts of the UK. Clients based outside of a reasonable commute to our office will typically have meet with us via the phone or have virtual online meetings. We do not advise clients based outside of the UK.
How do I make a complaint against NorthStar?
At NorthStar, we always strive to offer the highest quality services and we adhere to the highest professional standards at all times. We hope that all clients receive an excellent service but have procedures in place should our standards fall short and a client wishes to make a formal complaint. In such situations, we always take client complaints seriously. We commit to resolving all complaints efficiently and swiftly and adhering to all necessary regulatory procedures and best practice guidelines. For more information and to make a formal compliant, please see our dedicated complaints page.
Can you answer another question that isn't listed here?
Certainly. First, you might want to check out the other FAQ pages to see if your question has been answered already. If not, please contact us or use the ‘live chat’ at the bottom right of every page. We’d love to answer any questions you have about NorthStar and how we can help you achieve your financial goals.