Have questions? We have the answers. Frequently asked questions about our investment services.
What are your investment management fees?
We have a commitment to be totally transparent when it comes to all our charges. We also like to keep things simple. We charge 0.8% per annum to management all investments held in the NorthStar portfolio range. This equates to a charge of £400 per year (£33.33 per month) to manage a £50,000 investment, for example. This is charged on a monthly basis with most clients paying this directly out of their investment. If we manage your investments elsewhere, we charge 1% per annum. Where we recommend you invest in a simple investment product with a limited fund range, we charge 0.5% per annum.
If we recommend you transfer your existing investments, we charge a one-off 2% for the initial investment advice. For example, if you invest £50,000, we will charge you £1,000 for the advice on this. To find out more about our investment management charges and what you get for your money, please see our charges page.
Can you review my existing investments?
Certainty. We are able to review your existing investments and see if they are still suitable for you. Typical investments we review include ISA, Unit Trusts, Pensions and Investment Bonds. Once we understand your personal circumstances and objectives, we’ll assess your risk profile and design a portfolio that can meet your objectives. Once we’ve done all the analysis, we will present this to you in a report, showing you exactly what you have and any recommendations to get your investments working harder for you.
What is your approach to investing my money?
We have created a unique investment approach. Rather than bet and speculate, we adopt a methodical investment strategy that is cost effective, academically proven and fully transparent. At the heart of our approach is a risk profiling assessment to ensure you take on just the right amount of risk with each of your investments. We also look carefully at your aims and objectives for each investment to ensure you meet your targets. If appropriate, we then invest your money in one the NorthStar portfolios . Each one is carefully researched using cutting-edge technology and reviewed regularly. We carefully combine a variety of different asset classes to provide great returns and mitigate some of the volatility. We then regularly monitor your portfolio to ensure it delivers what you need and rebalance your assets to make sure the portfolio remains in great shape. You can read more about our approach to investment management.
How often do you review my investments?
We review all of our portfolios every six months, providing you with a thorough investment review. At these reviews we will often recommend rebalancing your portfolio so that the asset allocation does not become misaligned with your objectives. We may also recommend new investment funds if our analysis suggests there are now better alternatives available. This will keep your portfolio in the best shape to deliver the returns you need. In addition to these annual reviews, we provide regular investment performance updates to all clients and you can check on the performance of your portfolio day-to-day by using our client portal which you can access on almost any device 24/7.
Can I check on the progress of my investments?
Yes. We believe you should be able to check how your investments are doing whenever you like. You can monitor your investments any time by using our client portal. This is available via the web or through an app available for iPhone, iPad, Android or Blackberry This will give you an up-to-date valuation of all your investments as well as providing a breakdown of what you are investing in. If you need any more detailed information on your investments, we can provide this to you via email or chat through your investment and their performance via email, live web cat or over the phone or via a virtual online meeting.
Can I easily start, increase or reduce my regular investments?
Yes. With any investment, you are completely free to start, stop, increase or reduce your regular contributions at any time. Just let us know what you want to do and we’ll make it happen. You might want to talk through your options with one of our financial planners before deciding on changing your investment contributions to make sure you make the best decision for your current circumstances.
Do you have a minimum investment amount I need to have?
If you are making a single investment, the minimum amount is usually £10,000. We can often invest smaller amounts so please contact us if you think your investment may be below this level. If you would like to make a regular investment (annually, monthly, quarterly, etc.), we don’t have a minimum level – you can invest anything from £1. You can even do this yourself, any time, anywhere with ImpuleSave® – a great feature available as part of our client portal.
Can I pay a small one-off payment into my investment policy?
Yes. We utilise a new feature call ImpulseSave. This allows certain types of investments such as an ISA to be topped up by a small amount whenever you choose. This is all done from the client portal, so you can do this any time or place you want without having to contact us or arrange anything. Simply set-up the client portal with your credit or debit card details then any time you want to invest a little more, just select the relevant option and within a few clicks you are done. This can be a great was to stay on-track to achieve your goals by putting a little extra away every now and again.
Can you manage my existing investments?
We can manage any type of investment. If you have an existing plan that you do not want to be invested in a NorthStar portfolios or we advise it is not in your best interest to transfer (if there are big exist penalties on your current investment for example), we can still mange your investment where it is. We will come up with a investment strategy and provide ongoing advice and monitoring in the same way as we do with the NorthStar portfolios. You will also be able to see you investment in the client portal.
Do you invest your own money in the same way as you invest your clients' money?
Absolutely. We wouldn’t dream of investing our money in another other way than we recommend for our clients. We have complete confidence in our investment philosophy and know that our process will deliver exceptional long-term returns. The directors and financial planner at NorthStar have their pensions and other investments invested in the same NorthStar portfolios we offer to our clients.
If I invest through NorthStar, am I tied into a contract for a long time?
No. We don’t believe in tying anyone in to long-term commitments so we do not operate any tie-in periods. You are free to move you money to another financial adviser or another investment provider at any time. Just let us know, and we can help facilitate this for you.
Why is it better for you to manage my investments than to do it myself?
You are of course free to manage your own investment if you wish. Some of our clients have a great knowledge of investing and are confident to mange their own money. We may help them with financial planning but they choose to invest their money themselves. However, for the majority of our clients, they see the value in our investment management services. For a low fee of 0.8% per annum, they know that they will be getting an investment portfolio that has been expertly crafted and is tailored to their specific needs. The investment management team at NorthStar have numerous professional investment qualifications and many years of successful investment experience. The team are able to dedicate their time to research funds and wider investment strategies to make sure our investment recommendations deliver the results you need. Clients investing with NorthStar also benefit from regular rebalancing and investment reviews to ensure their investments continue to deliver for them. Ultimately, you have the choice about whether to manage your own investments or have them managed by the experts.
What are the total charges to manage my investments?
We believe in being totally clear and transparent about all our charges. When it comes to investment charges, there are three main costs. Fund charges, platform charges and advice charges. We always use the most accurate measure of fund costs (the ‘ongoing charges figures or OCF’) to ensure our clients know exactly what they are paying for their investments. The NorthStar portfolios range from 0.36% to 0.66% (as at December 2018). The primary investment platforms we use, typically charge a maximum of 0.4% per annum (to facilitate these investment funds). We charge 0.8% per annum to provide you with ongoing investment advice and portfolio reviews. This means that the total all-in charges range from around 1.56% to 1.86% per year depending on the NorthStar portfolio you are invested in. This the total cost. There are no hidden charges, no fund switch fees and no exit penalties.
Am I guaranteed not to lose money if I invest through you?
No. All investments carry the risk that they will fall in value. Our investment process and portfolios are designed for longer term investment (generally 5 years or more). Over this time frame, our portfolios are likely to deliver strong performance, but there may be times when investments fall. It is only by taking on some risk, that higher long-term returns can be made. However, our unique investment process means that you can take on the lowest level of risk to meet your investment objective and always have a portfolio that is right for you needs. Each NorthStar portfolio carries a different level of investment risk which is why we conduct a thorough risk assessment of every client before advising on the most suitable portfolio.
What has the performance of your investment portfolios been?
The performance of the NorthStar portfolios has been very strong over recent years and we are pleased with the returns they have provided for our investors. You can see the long-term performance of each NorthStar portfolio on our website along with a number of other investment measures such as the risk, maximum annual gain and loss, etc. Should you want any other performance figures or investment information on any NorthStar portfolio please contact us and we can provide this to you.
Are my investments protected?
Yes, most investments are protected by the Financial Service Protection Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS acts as a safety net for clients of financial services providers. For investments, such as pensions, the maximum compensation is 90% of the claim with no upper limit. For more information see the FSCS website.
What do you benchmark your portfolio performance against?
Each NorthStar portfolio has its own benchmark. This is a measure by which we judge long-term performance. The aim of every portfolio is to provide returns in excess of the relevant benchmark over a rolling 5-year period. Please refer to the specific portfolio for detailed information on benchmarking. We always display the performance of the benchmark against each portfolio so you can see if these objectives are being achieved.
Is there a minimum amount I need to have invested in cash to use the Dynamic Cash Management service?
No. There is no specified minimum level to use the Dynamic Cash Management service. However, the services is typically suitable for those with at least £50,000 available to deposit. This is due to the minimum charge of £350 per annum for this service.
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.