By Exec Edge Editorial Staff
Whether you’re saving for retirement or simply want to increase your net worth, investing can be an astute way to create long-term wealth. While investors can always manage their own investments — or opt for robo-advisers to do most of the heavy lifting — many prefer a hands-off approach and hire a financial advisor.
St. James’s Place offers expert advice and investment management to help its clients better manage their money, delivered by its network of over 4,600 advisors across the UK.
With so many investment options out there, what makes St. James Place different? Let’s look at how SJP handles investor portfolios.
Is SJP a Good Place To Invest?
Critics give a resounding yes.
St. James’s Place has a solid track record that makes it a viable option for investors. While investments are risky by nature, it’s possible to mitigate that risk by going with an established investment management firm like SJP.
SJP ranks well in terms of asset safeguards, diversification, quality of service, balanced investment approach, and value for money.
While investments are never a sure thing, investors often worry about the reliability of the banks and firms where they invest their money. The good news is that in the unlikely event that SJP experiences financial difficulty or becomes insolvent, there are solid protections in place.
SJP has several asset safeguards in place, including asset-backed investments in which SJP ensures it holds enough assets to back up your investments. This way, the business has enough funds if you choose to withdraw your money.
SJP features unit trust protections. In the unlikely event that SJP liquidates, the trust structure will protect your assets. If you have a unit trust, you’re covered by the direction of the fund trustees, as well as the Financial Services and Markets Act. You’re also able to pursue redress with arbitration.
Another thing to consider is regulatory protection. SJP follows regulations from the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulation Authority, and the Central Bank of Ireland. Because of these regulations, SJP has a “solvency margin,” which is a buffer it keeps to meet its liabilities.
There’s also industry compensation. This doesn’t apply to all investments, but certain SJP investment products qualify for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. If SJP ever becomes insolvent, the scheme will ensure you’re compensated for those lost funds — provided you have the right investment type. If you invest with SJP, review the fine print to see if your investment product qualifies for this type of compensation.
Diversified Products, Funds, and Managers
SJP’s job is to help its clients grow their wealth and generate income through expert advice, investment solutions, and regular reviews. But it’s also a good place to invest, thanks to its diversified approach to products, funds, and even its fund managers.
Your investments can be spread across different asset types, including offshore investments in foreign countries, unit trusts, investment bonds, and individual savings accounts.
SJP uses fund managers with different investment styles to reduce risk. This helps the firm maintain your investment strategy according to your investment goals, all while mitigating as much risk as possible.
Quality of Service
SJP is known for its investor-first approach. In fact, the firm tracks over 30 customer service metrics on call handling, money processing, withdrawals, complaints, and more. Over the past 12 months, 90% of SJP’s service metrics were performing well.
SJP is also known for its high-quality team of investment experts, which sets it apart from other investment options. A robo-adviser is a passive investment option. SJP offers active investment management, which can help clients take advantage of more timely opportunities to potentially grow their money in the long term. Since a professional manages everything for you, you get the benefit of experience and active management — without lifting a finger yourself.
Disciplined Approach to Investing
SJP takes its responsibilities to its clients seriously. In 2021 alone, the firm had 471 internal research and monitoring meetings, which shows its dedication to performance, accuracy, and risk management. SJP believes that long-term holdings can help create the most wealth for its clients, as well as its disciplined approach to investing.
SJP follows these seven core investment beliefs to make better investment decisions for its clients:
- Great client outcomes
- Asset allocations that best meet the fund’s objective
- Diversification of assets between fund managers to smooth out long-term performance
- Active management and informed decisions
- Understanding risks
- Disciplined research
- Responsibly investing in environmental, social, and governance
Are St. James’s Place expensive?
SJP’s charges are similar to competing options in the U.K., Europe, and the U.S. Sure, there are cheaper offerings, but they don’t include advice, which is SJP’s biggest selling point.
In terms of pricing, SJP clients pay for both advice and the products for which they sign up. For investment bonds and pensions, clients pay an advice fee that’s 4.5% of the initial investment plus a 0.5% annual charge for ongoing advice, and an initial product charge of 1.5% of your total investment plus an annual product management charge of 1%. However, SJP waives the 1% fee for the first six years of each investment, and charges for select funds, depending on how you invest.
For individual savings accounts and unit trusts, clients pay an advice fee that’s 4.5% of the initial investment, plus a 0.5% annual charge for ongoing advice, an initial product charge of 0.5%, and an investment management fee, depending on the funds you select.
SJP is rated as a good value for the money by 80% of customers, and the firm has a surprisingly low long-term attrition rate, too.
St. James’s Place: A Value-Laden Option for Long-Term Growth
When it comes to investing, you have a lot of options to choose from. Robo-advisers are an increasingly popular option today, but if you want the benefits of active investment management — without managing it all yourself — opting for a professional firm like SJP could be worth the money.
SJP safeguards your assets, diversifies its products, funds, and managers, offers high-quality service, takes a disciplined approach to investing, and offers good value for the money.