FAQs

WHAT IS YOUR MINIMUM INVESTMENT SIZE?

Unlike many wealth managers we have a low minimum investment size, so that we can offer this service to a broader number of clients. Please do get in touch with us to find out how we can help.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FINANCIAL PLANNING, WEALTH MANAGEMENT AND A FAMILY OFFICE?

At a basic level, all three do the same things: invest your money, offer financial advice and save you tax.

The difference usually comes down to your level of investment and the quality of the portfolio you get.

While anyone can visit a financial planner, they often don’t have an in-depth knowledge of investment. Think of them as the all-rounder GPs rather than the niche surgeons of the finance world.

Wealth managers typically become an option when you’ve got over £500,000 to play with. With a large number of clients on their books though, they often can’t give you access to smaller, higher-quality funds with (hopefully) better returns.

Family offices are typically set up to service the specific requirements of single wealthy families with over £100m of assets to invest, and manage bespoke, high-quality investment portfolios.

We were created as a family office nearly 20 years ago, but now offer those same services to other private clients, too. We also have lower minimum investment levels than most wealth managers.

With the help of our specialist investors based in markets around the world, we’ll create a portfolio that works hard for you.

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN AN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT COMPANY?

Size of wealth management firm is an important factor when looking for investment advisory services, it is often misinterpreted by clients.

The truth is that wealth management firms are often disadvantaged by being too large, as it restricts the quality of investment that they can make.

Boutique investment management companies have significant advantages, investing in smaller, more niche funds than their bigger competitors and offering clients closer contact with senior members of the wealth management firm.

Unfortunately though, these smaller boutique investment management companies make tasty morsels for the industry giants, who are swallowing them up at speed. And once a small company is part of a larger wealth management firm, these boutique funds and non-large cap companies are often off the menu.

At Featherstone, we are and plan to remain privately-owned. Our aim is to stay small enough that you get all the benefits and service of a boutique investment management company, but big enough to offer industry-leading research, intelligence and financial power.

WHAT WEALTH MANAGEMENT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE?

We offer a full one stop shop for wealth management services, providing investment management services, personal tax advice, investment advisory services and financial advisory services. Our investment consultants and pension consultants will combine to provide you with holistic wealth management advice.

WHAT ARE MULTI-MANAGER FUNDS?

Rather than entrusting all of your capital to one generalist investment manager (often only based in London), our analysts hand-pick a group of exceptional fund managers from across the globe to create a portfolio for you. These are known as Multi Manager Funds.

Each investment management company specialises in a specific asset, geography, industry or theme, so you benefit from the best possible investment strategy.

As part of our investment management service as well as carrying out initial due diligence, our analysts continue to curate the portfolio, introducing new talent and replacing under-performers.

WHERE ARE FEATHERSTONE BASED?

We are based in two barns in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the 9000 acre Yattendon Estate, owned by Lord Illiff in West Berkshire.

We are positioned conveniently close to the counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Wiltshire and Buckinghamshire.

We are close to Oxford, Newbury, Reading, Basingstoke, Andover, Hungerford, Pangbourne, Marlborough, Henley, Cookham, Marlow, Beaconsfield, Guildford, Alresford, Winchester, Stockbridge and only 40 mins west of London.

DO YOU OFFER SCHOOL FEES ADVICE?

Yes. School fees have risen significantly above the rate of inflation over the last couple of decades, and as fee-paying parents ourselves, we understand it’s an important issue.

We would strongly urge anyone embarking on this daunting journey to seek personal financial planning advice from one of our investment consultants, as there are various tax efficient ways within the remit of financial advisory services and personal financial planning to pay these bills, without picking up the phone to Granny and Grandpa.

WHAT DOES ESTATE PLANNING INVOLVE?

Estate planning is essential if you want to make sure your assets are passed on efficiently when you eventually…pass on.

It’s generally split into three areas.

  • Tax mitigation

At 40% on everything over the first £325,000, inheritance tax is a big money-maker for the exchequer. There are ways to minimise the bill, but it takes a bit of organisation. That’s where we come in.

  • Transfer of ownership

If you run a family business that you’d like to pass down, we’ll help you formalise that transfer and decide who to entrust the company and its assets to.

  • Protection

From family issues to unexpected external factors such as the divorce of a child, all sorts of things can derail estate planning. Transferring your assets in trust offers protection from the worst of the in-laws, out-laws and changes in tax laws.

And if you need any advice on updating your will, we work in partnership with our preferred solicitors who’ll be happy to advise.

WHAT INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE?

Our financial advisors and our investment consultants will provide investment advisory services and investment advice solutions using multi manager funds which we believe to be an optimal private wealth management solution. This multi manager fund approach combined with financial advice, pension advice, inheritance tax planning, financial planning, retirement planning will be produce a family office wealth management style solution.

WHERE DO YOUR CLIENTS LIVE?

Due to our proximity to Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire, the majority of our clients will live in these counties as well as south west London.

We are close to the towns of Oxford, Newbury, Reading, Andover, Hungerford, Basingstoke, Marlborough, Pangbourne, Henley, Marlow, Cookham and Beaconsfield.

HOW DOES TAX PLANNING HELP WITH MY OVERALL INVESTMENT STRATEGY?

Tax planning is a huge part of any investment strategy, but it shouldn’t be your starting point.

Some financial advisors offer a baffling array of tax planning options, but for most investors, sorting out the tax is the easy bit.

By creating an intelligent, personalised portfolio, we’ll automatically make your investments more tax efficient. And if there are extra efficiencies we can find at the end, we’ll talk you though those, too.

WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER WHEN RETIREMENT PLANNING IN MY 40S?

It’s easy to fall into the habit of paying into a pension without really knowing – or caring – where your money’s being invested. And with pension rules constantly changing, it’s hard to keep track of what’s what.

This is where pension consultants can really help. With a little attention and some smarter investing, you could make your money go much further. And it might even reduce your payments now.

From self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) to private schemes and ISAs, we’ll help you refine your retirement investment portfolio to see the best return when it’s time to quit the day job.

DO YOU OFFER FINANCIAL PLANNING ALONGSIDE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT?

Yes. Financial planning, investments and tax should always be considered together. Depending on your situation, we’ll offer as much or as little as you need of each.

WHAT KIND OF WEALTH MANAGEMENT FIRM ARE YOU?

We are quite unique as a wealth management firm as we are privately owned and have no ambition to become the largest wealth management firm in the world. We are a family office wealth management company which are typically off limits to private clients who are restricted normally to mass -market private wealth management firms.

DO YOU OFFER INVESTMENT PORTFOLIOS FOR BEGINNERS?

Yes, of course. Contacting a large wealth management firm to get wealth management advice, personal tax advice or personal financial planning advice for the first time can be a daunting task, so our aim is to make getting started as straightforward and as friendly as possible.

Our investment consultants, pension consultants and wealth management advisors believe investing should be more inclusive, which is why our minimum investment level is lower than that of most wealth management companies.

Our investment consultants and pension consultants and wealth management advisors will talk you through the process, will offer you sound financial advisory services including personal financial planning, personal tax advice, wealth management advice and they will be on hand to help every step of the way and try to avoid baffling you with industry jargon.

DO YOUR INVESTMENT CONSULTANTS TRAVEL TO CLIENTS?

Our investment consultants, financial planners and pension consultants are very happy to come and see you, we are very close to the counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Gloucestershire and Hampshire so this is no problem at all.

We have clients all over the place and our investment consultants are often in the following areas Hungerford, Reading, Oxford, Newbury, Stockbridge, Basingstoke, Winchester, Pangbourne, Andover, Marlborough, Cookham, Henley, Marlow, Guildford, Beaconsfield, Alresford, and of course London.

WHEN’S THE RIGHT TIME TO SEEK PERSONAL TAX ADVICE?

If you have any savings, you should take advice on personal tax advice or personal financial planning with one of our investment consultants, pension consultants or wealth management advisors

As an industry, our reputation has no doubt been damaged by some wealth management advisors offering spurious advice, and we appreciate this makes some people wary.

Rest assured though that there are still a great many trustworthy wealth management advisors who can help you navigate the financial advisory services, investment advisory services and investment management services sector which really needs expert guidance.

As well as investment management strategy, our investment consultants and pension consultants can help with investment advisory services, personal tax advice and personal financial planning.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP INVESTMENT THEMES FOR 2019?

Featherstone are thematic investment managers based in Berkshire on the borders with Oxfordshire and Hampshire.

Our top investment themes in 2019 are:

Living Longer – With the exception of the US, where rising obesity rates have arrested the improvement in life expectancy, developed and emerging economies are witnessing increases in life expectancy. Awareness of technology advances and medical discoveries aided by the availability of cheap genome sequencing is making bespoke preventative medicine a reality to gradually replace treatment-based generic drugs. Awareness of the broader issues of care and insurance is valuable. This is an important investment theme in 2019

Materials – Today’s industries require greater use of lightweight materials and compounds. An important investment theme in 2019 is awareness of natural resources needed for battery technology and storage plus industrial applications such as fibre lasers is essential.

Robotics – Including automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning is another important investment theme in 2019. While there are similarities with components of the Materials theme, the scale of demand and development of robotics in global industries identifies it as a separate theme that we need to accommodate.

Smaller Companies – History has demonstrated that the strongest and most consistent returns have come from investing in smaller companies and gaining exposure to their growth. As investors not constrained by size (not too big), we have a natural preference for smaller companies in our thematic approach but there are also pockets of the world where we find the availability of smaller companies to be particularly attractive. Like our ‘Reform’ theme, this can be mistaken for a pure geographic allocation. In Japan, the UK and the US, there is a rewarding landscape of smaller companies that are not labour or capital intensive, often disruptive to mature businesses, that warrants a key theme identification. An important investment theme in 2019

Security – Is another important investment theme in 2019. Most people are aware of the need to ward off cyber attackers including the ring-fencing of personal data. In addition, there is a much wider context to Security that involves food and drinking water testing to physical protection. Feeling safe and secure is a fundamental requirement now and going forward.

Reform – Unlike those above, this is not an obvious theme and can be mistaken for pure geographic exposures but it is important to recognise the benefits that accrue to domestic companies when their previously moribund economies are galvanised through political leadership. When those economies are the number three and seven ranked economies by size, i.e. Japan and India, the rewards to investors can be substantial.Environment

Environment – The move to clean energy and climate control, awareness of environmental challenges and the pressures on governments to clean up their acts makes this a sustainable theme going forward. The environment is an important investment theme in 2019 and beyond.

Nutrition – Growing demand as incomes rise and diets change amid greater awareness of personal health responsibility creates increasing challenges and opportunities for the food chain.

Absolute Return – The need to build infrastructure in both developed and emerging economies is both an engine of economic activity and a necessity following years of under– investment post the great financial crisis. Whether it be schools, toll roads, railways or phone towers, the need for more is persistent.

Consumer Aspiration – In many emerging or emerged countries there is a desire to acquire the trappings of higher incomes. The beneficiaries are not confined to local markets but are beneficial to global and local companies who understand the consumption demands of the newly affluent.

Disruptive Influence – Many of the above contain a common theme – technology, which pervades most industries. The need to be aware of the disruptive impact of technology is key. The impact of online shopping on traditional retail is ongoing and crushing high street operators. Technology may be transforming the car industry but there is clearly potential for disruptors like Tesla to be disrupted themselves. An interesting investment theme for 2019

 Sustainability –  and ESG (Environment, Social & Governance) have gained much air time as investmnet themes for 2019 and column inches in the financial media recently. It is good that this trend has gathered a momentum that is likely to persist. As thematic investors, we have always adopted an awareness of sustainability issues starting before they became a trend. While we, as a fund of funds manager, do not have direct control over individual security selection, we invest with conviction investors who share the same ESG mantra as ourselves.

DO YOU DO INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT IN BERKSHIRE?

Yes, we are an investment management company based in Berkshire, between Reading, Oxford and Newbury, although we have clients in Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and London and can offer investment management advice nationwide. We offer personal pension advice through our pension consultants and personal pension advisors, wealth management, boutique investment management, family office wealth management and general financial advice.

DO YOU OFFER WEALTH MANAGEMENT IN BERKSHIRE?

Yes, we offer wealth management in Berkshire, close to Reading, Oxford and Newbury, our clients are spread throughout Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and London and we offer wealth management, personal pension advice through our pension consultants and personal pension advisors, boutique investment management, and family office wealth management.

WHAT IS FAMILY OFFICE WEALTH MANAGEMENT?

Family office wealth management is when a wealthy family set up their own investment vehicle, often as they are underwhelmed by the service they get from conventional mass-market wealth managers, investment managers, boutique investment managers, financial advisors.

In Berkshire, we are one of the few family office wealth management companies offering investment management, wealth management, personal pension advice, boutique investment management in Berkshire, to clients in Hampshire, Oxfordshire close to Reading, Newbury and Oxford.

ARE YOU PENSION CONSULTANTS?

Alongside wealth management and investment management advice our pension consultants can offer personal pension advice through our family office wealth management and boutique investment management style. Our Pension consultants and personal pension advisors operate throughout London, Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire and we have meetings often in Reading, Oxford and Newbury where our office is.

WHAT IS BOUTIQUE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT?

Boutique investment management offers an alternative to the nationwide mass-market wealth managers, financial advisors and investment managers. Being smaller in size gives boutique investment managers and family office wealth managers a critical advantage over the large mass-market wealth managers and investment managers.

In Berkshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire Featherstone offer clients a rare opportunity to invest with a genuine family office operating as a boutique investment manager.