The Scoop

We Won’t Let a Bad Apple Spoil the Bunch

One bad experience can really jeopardise your future choices. Let’s say you go to a restaurant. It took 20 minutes for you to actually be served. Then your food was 30 minutes late and it was cold. But then to top it off – the waiter was extremely rude to you. It’s safe to say you’d never go back again. Understandable! This can be applied to practically anything. Even financial advice.

According to Interactive Investor’s annual retirement survey, over a quarter of those who surveyed (that were retired) either have had or have a financial adviser. And of those who weren’t retired just yet, 23% have had or have a financial adviser. Several respondents claimed they had received bad advice and therefore refrained from using an adviser. One respondent felt the adviser was more concerned with selling them a product than understanding their long term goals, advising accordingly and building a long term relationship. Essentially – certain advisers were giving out advice that was detrimental to people’s investments which effected the growth and potential. That’s not proper financial advice.

In the odd chance you ever come across a bad financial adviser or firm and wish to make a complaint. First you should give them the opportunity to put the matter right by making a complaint. If the response isn’t sufficient enough – make a formal complaint. If then, the issue isn’t solved within eight weeks, or it has been rejected, you can take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS should have been introduced to you along with your rights to complain at the start of your journey with the adviser.

The FOS handles complaints about most bank accounts, investment products, mortgages, loans, some pension products, PPI claims, insurance policies, credit and store cards, HP agreements and financial advice. The FOS’ current compensation limit is £350,000. However, there are some circumstances where the FOS cannot step in and save the day. You can find out more on their website, here:

This whole thing reminds us of the saying “One bad apple can spoil the bunch”. The finite amount of bad financial advisers that’re out there are giving the good ones a bad representation. However, we’re not letting that happen.

A client came to us. Let’s call them Mr R. They had built up a very substantial estate over their working life and they were coming close to retirement. They had previously had financial adviser… well I say financial adviser. Mr R’s previous experience with his last adviser was one to forget. Mr R described his previous adviser putting himself first, disregarding what Mr R truly wanted. And the worst of all, they never mentioned anything to do with inheritance tax (IHT)… when that was Mr R’s main issue. There’s no words to justify the other adviser… how can they be qualified to give advice if they can’t even identify someone’s biggest issue? It’s those kind of advisers that’re giving the good ones a bad reputation. Anyways – let’s get back on track. It took a while for Mr R to even think about looking for another adviser… he almost just let the situation happen in the background and get even worse. Luckily, he eventually came across PenLife. He came to us for an initial meeting and it wasn’t until then that he realised not all financial advisers are the same. There’s some good eggs out there. After careful and ethical analysis of Mr R’s financial and lifestyle goals, we provided them with the security he’d always wanted and helped reduce his IHT liability. He’d gone from never trusting another financial adviser again, to a stress free life with PenLife.

Had a bad experience with a different financial adviser? Do you want an adviser that puts you first? Do you want an adviser that considers your lifestyle and financial goals? PenLife offer a FREE, no jargon initial meeting. Here at PenLife, we significantly reduce the stress and pressure of financial planning for yourself. Our experienced professionals can easily identify your needs and priorities as you go, to ensure you always know where you’re at and what you’re working towards. We adhere to your life goals and circumstances. Working with you to achieve your goals whatever they may be. To enquire, you can call us on 01904661140, or alternatively, you can email us at You can also visit our website here:

As a cherry on top, we’re so sure that we can help you, that we also offer a no-quibble money back guarantee! So if you’re not 100% satisfied with our service after the initial 12 months, we’ll refund all the advice fees you’ve paid us so far (not that anyone has ever taken us up on this offer…). We put this in place to ensure people feel as comfortable as possible when seeking advice from us. That’s also why all of our initial phone calls and meetings are held at our own expense, meaning you won’t pay a penny until you’re confident you’d like to work with us! You can read more about our guarantee here on our website.