Who is Sterling & Law?
Sterling & Law was established in 1997. Our client-first philosophy places you at the heart of everything we do. Sterling & Law’s relationship with you is built on understanding your needs, goals and aspirations and what really matters to you.
We will work with you to prioritise your financial objectives, with an agreed plan to help you reach your goals.
What we offer
- An efficient, first-class, professional service while retaining the personal touch.
- The benefit of our years of experience and study.
- A plan tailored to your specific requirements, reviewed and adjusted over time.
- The assurance of our confidentiality and trustworthiness.
“Investing is a journey. We can help you get a return"
With a multitude of products available, choosing the right investment may seem like an impossible task. We can help.
We all have aspirations for our financial future. The main factors in making investment decisions are:
- Income and capital requirements.
- Tax position.
- Attitude to risk.
The key question is, how can you achieve them?
Investing long term with Sterling & Law could be the answer. We work with you to create a strategy that complements your financial goals but takes account of your attitude to risk. When circumstances change – either in the financial world or your own – our flexible approach ensures that your strategy changes too.
Our fully qualified investment experts will assess your current circumstances, tax position, goals and aspirations together with your attitude to investment risk. Once this is fully understood, they will construct a suitable investment portfolio for you using our first-class research resources.
In short, whether you are planning for early retirement or your children’s future education, we have the answers to help you get there.
“Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst"
Good financial planning always starts with protection
Family protection is the very foundation of financial planning, and for most people it is, or should be, their first priority.
- Life insurance – to protect your family or dependants on your death.
- Mortgage protection – to pay off your mortgage on your death or getting a critical illness.
- Critical illness protection – to pay you a lump sum on diagnosis of a critical illness.
- Income protection – to pay you an income if you are unable to work due to illness or accident.
There is a clear need for the breadwinners of a family to be covered against various ‘catastrophic’ circumstances that could reduce or eliminate the family’s ability to continue in the lifestyle it is accustomed to.
Finding the right debt and mortgage protection, life assurance, income protection, or critical illness cover is not easy and even harder is ensuring that the benefits end up with the people they were designed to protect and not HMRC.
As independent financial advisers, we are able to guide you through the entire protection market, making sure you receive the best value plans available to meet your requirements. We will also discuss the use of trusts to ensure that the people you care about most benefit from the proceeds.
3 Corporate & Business
“Are you too busy taking care of business to take care of your business?"
Sterling & Law does not believe in typical clients, or for that matter, typical 'off the shelf' solutions. We ask questions and listen to your answers.
There are numerous financial options and potential solutions available in an increasingly complex financial marketplace. Sterling & Law’s aim is to shoulder the burden of making complex financial decisions, leaving you time to run your business.
- Are you aware of your auto enrolment obligations as an employer?
- What changes will you have to make to comply with auto enrolment conditions?
Have you reviewed your current auto enrolment provider?
- Who will run your business if your health fails?
- Who is managing your investments while you run your business?
- Are you taking advantage of available tax breaks?
Are you making the most of your pension allowances?
- Do your inheritance tax plans take your business interests into account?
- Is your business covered against the loss of a key employee?
- Are your shares in your business adequately protected?
- Will you be able to retire from your business?
We put forward bespoke recommendations only when we fully understand your financial circumstances, requirements, goals and aspirations. As independent financial advisers, Sterling & Law scans the entire marketplace for the best solution to your needs. Subsequently, once a recommendation has been made, you can rest assured that it has been hand-picked without bias, by experts.
If you are involved in the management of a company, you will already be aware of the significant responsibilities involved and the demands this places on your time.
We can provide advice, guidance and assistance in the areas relating to finance, human resources and employee benefits. This will enable you to make better informed and more effective decisions, freeing up time for you to spend more effectively elsewhere.
These are just some of the issues we can help you resolve:
- Would you like to set up a new employee benefits strategy?
- Would you like to review and analyse your existing benefits to reduce costs or administration, or simply to restructure?
- Would you like to compare your bank to other banking institutions?
- Do you require lending or investment capital?
“You don't have to be old to be discussing pensions”
We can provide advice on a wide range of retirement planning options, whether you are still building your pension savings or have reached – or are approaching – retirement
Whatever your circumstances, whether you are employed or self-employed, independent financial advice from Sterling & Law will help you determine the right retirement planning for you.
- Are you in the early stages of building a pension fund?
- Do you need investment advice for the pension fund you are building?
- Do you have any old pensions that could do with a review?
- Are you at or nearing retirement and concerned about your options?
Do you need advice about the pension annual allowance, tapered annual allowance or the lifetime allowance.
Our team of advisers can provide guidance on a wide range of retirement planning options, no matter which particular stage you may have reached.
The accumulation phase
We will review your existing arrangements and help you to better understand your options.
We can provide impartial advice on:
- Current and preserved occupational pension schemes, including final salary (defined benefit) schemes, executive pension plans (EPPs) and small self-administered schemes (SSASs).
- Personal pension plans, including self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs).
- Suitable retirement savings strategies.
Once you reach or are approaching retirement, how you use your funds is quite often the largest single financial planning decision you will make. There is a wide range of options available and we will tailor suitable solutions to meet your particular plans for retirement.
These may include:
- Conventional annuities.
- With-profits annuities.
- Income drawdown.
- Flexi access drawdown
- Phased retirement.
5 Financial Planning
“You win not by chance, but by preparation"
At Sterling & Law, we believe that financial planning is a process which, if strictly followed, greatly improves the chances of achieving your goals and financial independence
Financial planning aims to give you objective assistance in organising your finances to more readily achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.
It will result in the production of a plan devised specifically for you, focusing on strategy and goals.
After assessing your needs by completing a fact-finding questionnaire, your adviser will produce a needs analysis, a summary of areas of potential exposure and a list of recommendations, all with the sole aim of helping you accomplish your financial and lifestyle goals. We will:
- Discuss your aims and go through our services with you.
- Gather data and set goals.
- Prepare and discuss your financial plan with you.
- Help you with the implementation of the plan.
- Review your plan at an agreed frequency.
Six -stage action plan
Initial meeting: assessing your current situation
The first step for us will be to gather information about your current position. This will enable us to start preparing a financial plan tailored to your particular requirements and situation. The starting point is to create a profile of you, covering your personal circumstances, current financial situation, and how you have arrived there. It is essential that we get as clear a picture of your current position as possible – the more detail, the better. We will consider your family, your work or business, your tax position, commitments, current holdings and your investments so we can appraise their appropriateness in relation to your financial plan.
Setting out your personal goals
We will spend some time talking with you to identify your goals over the short, medium and long term. After that, we will establish details about your specific circumstances and build up a comprehensive picture of your situation. We will clarify where you would like to be financially, your objectives, concerns and aspirations, as well as your attitude to investment and other risks. This is especially important, as it will be critical to your portfolio construction. We take investment risk extremely seriously, as we know we are dealing with your financial future. Therefore, we ensure that we truly understand your willingness and ability to tolerate risk through the use of our risk profiler.
Preparing your plan: analysis
This leads on to the formation of an action plan on how you can best reach your stated goals. Our report will explain the approach we have taken. We will analyse your current position and consider your objectives to determine the ‘gap’ between the reality of your financial situation and your goal. The analysis and planning stage involves the creation of a plan that communicates the most efficient route from the former to the latter. The plan will analyse your financial arrangements and make recommendations as to how your existing finances can be utilised. This will cover your assets, investments, liabilities and income. The way in which you spend your money is also a vital aspect of the analysis. Therefore a review of your expenditure, in both the short and long term, will help to establish how robust the overall financial plan is.
Presenting your plan
The plan will identify the cost of achieving your objectives, analyse your financial independence and prepare for any disasters that may arise. Your plan will also include any family considerations and can cover the effective and efficient distribution of assets on death, in accordance with your wishes.
The fifth stage of the process is to implement your plan. This may involve setting up a product and completing forms, or simply being given confirmation of what action you may need to take to start achieving your financial goals.
Potentially the most important stage is to regularly review the plan and make modifications where required. It is vital to ensure that your financial plan is on track. Goalposts may move and, if they do, modifications may be required. Your adviser will discuss with you the choice of review strategies that are available. The overall aim of the financial planning process is to help you reach your financial goals and to develop or maintain your desired lifestyle in the most efficient way possible. Financial planning gives consideration to strategies for the creation, distribution or protection of wealth specifically to meet your financial objectives.
6 Tax Planning
“The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time there is a budget"
A consultation with Sterling & Law together with the accountants and tax advisers we work with could help you mitigate your tax liability.
Research has shown that as many as 30 million people are paying too much tax. More than £5bn, or around 5% of HMRC’s expected income, could have been saved if people had arranged their affairs more efficiently.
Almost £1bn should never have been paid in the first place. A further £1bn could have been avoided if people had taken the trouble to make minor changes to their savings and investment habits.
We can offer advice on matters ranging from simple tax-free savings for children to tax strategies when you make your will. The tax-efficient strategies we offer include:
- Tax-efficient savings for children.
- Personal pensions and self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs).
- Estate planning and the creation of trusts.
- Individual savings accounts (ISAs).
- Venture Capital trusts and EIS schemes