Frequently Asked Questions

These frequently asked questions are the kind of questions we think every potential client should ask any financial planning adviser they are considering using.

Do you belong to a professional body?

Yes – Authorised Financial Advisers belong to Financial Advice New Zealand.

Which companies do you use?

There are almost as many insurance and investment providers as there are car manufacturers and no financial adviser (or garage) can be an expert in all of them. ‘Shopping around’ for the cheapest policy would be great if all insurance companies were all the same – but they’re not. Policies, claims records, reliability, financial strength or the consistency of investment returns vary from company to company. We have agencies with AIAAsteronFidelitynibNZ FundsPartners LifeSovereign, and Synergy. This gives us the freedom to choose the right policy or investment vehicle for the client depending on their circumstances.

How will you be paid and by whom?

There is no charge for a preliminary discussion.

Our personalised plans are designed to give clients the opportunity to get advice at a sensible cost which we discuss with you in advance.

For insurance work, we get paid by the insurance company, unless otherwise agreed. We use the payment from the insurance company to subsidise our savings advice, because it’s the right thing to do.

For all other advice including investment and estate planning, Castle Trust charges an hourly rate.

Castle Trust does not accept commissions in respect of lump sum investment. All investment advice is charged at an hourly rate. Millions of dollars have been lost in recent years by people investing without taking professional advice or by taking advice where the payment of commission or bonuses to advisers may have influenced the advice. For these reasons there is an international trend (which we support) away from commission being paid for investment advice. If the safety of your money is important then be prepared to pay for qualified professional advice.

Please see our fees page for more detail.

​What will the total costs of your service be, both initially, and ongoing?

This depends on the financial planning products used and is always explained to clients before any advisory work is begun.

Do you have a Disclosure Statement?

Yes, our Disclosure Statement is available on request and free of charge.

What would happen if my adviser was unable to continue to look after me?

We place a lot of value on having and keeping the right staff. From time to time, however, it is inevitable that staff will leave or take time off. Accordingly, we make meticulous records of client advice that are kept on a secure, limited-access database. This means we will be able to continue to provide you with the high quality advice you are used to.

How often, and in what way, do you communicate with clients?

We keep in touch – to make sure that investments, insurance policies, trusts etc are kept up to date and amended as your circumstances change. That’s what client support is all about.

However, we recognise that our clients lead busy lives. Accordingly, we fit in around you. Our communication is in person, by email, text, screensharing or phone calls arranged to suit the individual client. We've established systems and use technology so that we can advise clients wherever they are in the country. Very often we advise multigenerational families - the grandparents might be in Nelson and the children in Auckland.  

What ongoing service and review process could I expect as a client?

Financial planning is not a one-off event, because as people and their families change, so do their goals and financial plans. For this reason, we undertake regular reviews with all clients. We provide an annual update and generally try to have an in person meeting at least every three years, or more frequently if needed.

Do you belong to a disputes resolution service?

As part of our regulatory requirements we belong to the Financial Services Complaints resolution scheme (FSCL).

If you have a problem, concern or complaint about any part of our service, please tell us so that our internal complaints scheme can try to fix the problem. If we cannot agree on how to fix the issue, or if you decide not to use the internal complaints scheme, you can contact the FSCL here.

To see what this means for you, book a free 15 minute phone call now