By Sam Kelly DipPFS, EFA, BA (Hons)
In December 2018, during a large market fall, and again today, during the current crisis, Chorus received a record number of new enquiries.
Nothing has changed in terms of our marketing, in fact at the moment we are hardly able to do any! We always have a steady stream of new clients, but there is clearly something going on. We’ll need to go back a few years to understand why.
Back in 2015 I lived with the daily frustration that I was working against an industry that had set out to rip off each and every one of its clients. Every single major financial advisory firm in Spain, without exception, was exploiting the trust of their clients, and lining their own pockets.
After sitting with yet another couple who had become victims of this practice and having to explain to them that the large financial services company down the road had trapped them into a massively overpriced investment solution for many years, I decided enough was enough.
This was when I began to blow the whistle on my own industry. I started writing these articles, giving radio interviews, and doing dozens of presentations alongside major institutions, the British consulate and others.
The purpose of this campaign, which has now gone on for 5 years, was to educate our communities in Spain. To help you all avoid getting trapped into toxic, overpriced investments.
And of course, rather than joining me and doing the right thing by their clients, these companies began to fight back. They would write their own articles, this time trying to scare prospective clients into not seeking a second opinion.
They would claim that smaller firms were somehow inferior – despite many surveys actually proving that clients of smaller firms tend to get better service and better investment returns. They would try to claim that somehow the size of their companies or the number of years they had been around made them a better option. That was literally all they had, and at no point did they attempt to improve the quality or transparency of their offering.
The deep pockets these companies have are as a result of years of hidden fees and backhanders. Years of taking between 7-12% undisclosed commission from their clients on the first day of the investment, dooming their clients to years of low returns or even losses.
And I know many thousands of you read my articles, but somehow the message still gets lost. Then suddenly, when the markets have a bad time, I get inundated with enquiries. Clients telling me they signed up with firm A, B or C and they don’t understand why they’re losing so much money.
Then I go through their plans and identify all the issues I warned about for 5 years. Issues that are well hidden in pages of complex paperwork that no clients could possibly understand. After all, these companies have had many decades of experience hiding these critical details from you!
Often these clients say they had even read my articles before they signed up with the other firm but felt more comfortable with a ‘bigger’ or ‘more established’ company. I’ve even been told on several occasions that they were specifically warned not to get a second opinion from Chorus! Clearly these firms knew we would be able to tear apart their recommendation and protect that client from years of problems.
So, here we are now, another big market fall, and once again Chorus clients have been protected from the worst of it, whilst those clients who became victims of other companies are suffering. And so another exodus to Chorus begins… and I’m rolling up my sleeves, and perhaps with this article… taking the gloves off!
Believe me, if you had had to sit in front of literally 100s of clients from other firms, and see their faces when you explained to them what they had been put into, and how it has affected their future, you’d understand why I’m so passionate about this! This is real, and there are many, many thousands of victims in our communities, and the numbers grow every day.
So please, don’t fall for the ‘bigger’ company myth. With financial advisories it is absolutely meaningless. Chorus build high quality investment solutions working with some of the biggest, most established institutions in the world, including Prudential, Royal London, Vanguard, Rathbones, HSBC and many more. Our clients are in very safe and experienced hands.
If you want qualified, expert financial advice with full fee transparency, from a truly independent firm, you will not find a better solution than a Chorus offering. Whether you have an existing plan, or are looking for an alternative quote for a new pension transfer or Spanish bond, for example from Quilter International, Prudential International or Lombard, please email me today on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me direct on +34 664 398 702.