Expat testimonials on Gareth Horsfall of the Spectrum IFA Group
Jayne S. Testimonial 1
Type of investor: Cautious
Requirements: Portfolio Management
Employer: United Nations retiree, Rome When started working together: 2006
“When I was introduced to Gareth, I had never used a Financial Adviser, despite having been approached by others. They didn’t inspire me at all, whereas I immediately felt at ease with Gareth, sensing I could trust him and his judgment. I didn’t really know how I wanted to invest my savings, and over the course of several meetings, Gareth prompted me into considering what sort of risks I wanted (or didn’t want!) to take. He never minded when I couldn’t remember what he had said at previous meetings, he patiently replied to my often repeated questions, finding simplified ways to explain financial matters that I found difficult to understand. Gareth is always available to meet, even at short notice, and doesn’t even mind filing my investment papers for me!
Having diversified my investments, they haven’t all always gone up, up, up. In fact, one went badly down, but due to Gareth’s prompt action in changing the investment, I have recovered the loss and am now gaining steadily on the new investment.
I have complete faith in Gareth’s abilities and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to others who might be thinking about making/starting an investment or planning for the future.”
Brigitte L. Testimonial 2
Type of investor: Balanced
Requirements: Retirement Planning
Employer: Consultant (Ex-NGO, Rome) When started working together: 2007
“I am benefiting from Gareth's valuable expert advice since March 2007. It is making a positive impact on the management of my financial portfolio, as a newly established independent consultant, with a view to ensuring a private pension plan. I am pleased to recommend his services to any expat out there, who like me, can get easily lost in the turmoil’s of the financial world. Gareth is pro-active in providing advice and inspires confidence”
Mr Richard R. Testimonial 3
Type of investor: Balanced / Aggressive Requirements: Portfolio Management
Employer: International Policing, France When started working together: 2005
“I have had the pleasure to call Gareth my financial advisor since 2005. Since our very first meeting Gareth has provided solid advice and a level of service that is a rarity these days. He is very approachable, nothing is ever too much trouble, and no question is ever too stupid for him. His enthusiasm for the domain of finance and wealth management coupled with in depth knowledge and his commitment to stay ahead of the game through continuing education and research sets him apart from others. It is clear that Gareth is in this game for the long term and that is a real bonus for his clients. It is a bonus because it means that Gareth has his clients best interests at heart, and, as in my case, he recommends the most appropriate strategies, products, services and investments that really meet the needs of his clients even when such advice might mean a loss or reduction in commissions or similar remuneration for himself.”
Mr Luigi G. Testimonial 4
Type of investor: Cautious
Requirements: Retirement Planning
Employer: NGO, Rome When started working together: 2009
“Gareth is knowledgeable about his subject, and able to communicate his knowledge, and his enthusiasm, in an effective way. He is courteous, patient and flexible in his dealings with clients. He is results-oriented and hard-working. It's been a pleasure working with him.”
Nickie and Michael B. Testimonial 5
Type of investor: Cautious Requirements: Initial and ongoing financial and investment advice
Employer: none - Retired When started working together: June 2012
WHY WE ARE NOW IN REGOLA!
Why? Because we were caught by the Agenzia Entrate, that's why. We don't know whether they were just fishing, or had accessed the UK Inland Revenue's data base about us, as they can do under EU Law. Either way, the letter enquiring about our UK letting properties arrived all the same. As Non-Residents at that time we had assumed that our UK holdings were nothing to do with them. WRONG. We should have submitted an Italian Tax Return including this information, and this ommission cost us dearly. The fine for non-declaration was equal to the amount of tax we found out we owed - a large 5 figure sum. We also discovered that it is the Tax Authorities who decide the issue of Residency, not the individual, and we had been declared residents behind our backs.
When I bemoaned our fate to our Milanese friend, she asked about our other assets - the usual Shares, Bank and Building Society Accounts - she was horrified. "Don't you have any Life Insurance?" Of course we have Life Assurance, but as we struggled with the terminology (never mind the 2 languages!) we began to realize that, in Italy, Life Insurance is not to be confused with Life Assurance as we know it in the UK. Life Assurance is something that every Italian has, which helps them avoid (NOT evade) paying tax; it is completely legal, but, it seemed one accessed it via the Banking system. Not wholly trusting of Banks these days perhaps, and we needed to be absolutely certain we understood what would happen to our carefully husbanded security if we invested in one of these policies.
Fortunately, a month later we attended one of Gareth's seminars, and had a light bulb moment. Life Assurance, in Italy, is a Tax Wrapper. One puts one's money into a policy which legally protects the investments from the Italian state from over-taxing your hard earned cash. One can move the investments around inside the wrapper, for the best return, but only pay a reduced level of tax when money is taken out. Forget everything you ever knew about provision for your old age in the UK. The rules are completely different here on the Continent. Consult the professional, he is worth his weight in gold.
Hope you won't get caught? We were. Don't want to pay, so pack up and go back home? Fine. But remember that the Agenzia now have computers and they will follow you wherever you go for their pound of flesh. We are all tax payers in our home countries and, therefore, sitting ducks here. Get reliable advice whilst you can still afford the fine. Talk to Gareth.
Sarah: Testimonial 6
Type of investor: Balanced Requirements: Retirement Planning
Employer: Consultant, Rome. When started working together: 2006
"I started working with Gareth a number of years ago at a time when I realized that it was about time to make plans for retirement. I immediately felt at ease with Gareth, he is basically a nice person, he does not talk down, he understood what my future financial needs were and he does not try to sell something, he in fact helped me to realistically calculate what I needed to save and how much I would need to have accumulated when I eventually retired.
We have now progressed into planning for my retirement in much more detail. I informed Gareth of a number of other investments I had made when younger, but with various moves and changes of addresses I no longer had any idea whether they existed or what their value might be. With Gareth's help we spent an afternoon making calls, sorting through papers and actively sorting through my finances in greater detail to try to gather everything in one place and ensure it was also compliant for Italy.
It has now been a number of years since we first started working together and I have always found him to be punctual and efficient in his working practices. He has definitely grown in his role as a financial adviser for me and I have recommended him to other people over the years who are extremely happy with his work.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Gareth to anyone living in Italy and hope to be working with him for many years to come. After all he is now responsible for my early retirement !!
Richard: Testimonial 7
Type of investor: Cautious/Balanced Requirements: Retirement Planning
Employer: Retiree UN, Rome When we started working together: 2006
Having had poor experiences with several financial advisers during my first 14 years living in Italy, it was a great relief to meet Gareth Horsfall in 2006.
Gareth reviewed my savings schemes and explained to me how I had been losing out by not frequently monitoring my managed funds and not switching among elements as the markets constantly changed. In short, my savings were suffering from neglect. Gareth proposed some simple adjustments which significantly improved performance. Close monitoring of saving and investment shemes is not something I knew much about or devoted sufficient time or attention to, so I was very grateful to have someone with Gareth's expertise rescue me from my personal financial bedlam. During the last seven years Gareth has kept me on the "straight and narrow" as I coasted towards retirement, adjusting investments as necessary and, only when I asked, proposing new investment schemes to suit my needs (cautious, but with some return above inflation). I have grown to trust Gareth and greatly respect his knowledge and expertise. He explains things in a very clear and straightforward way, setting forth options and answering queries with patience. This is great for me as a non-expert in deciding how to manage my savings in a productive and tax-efficient way, while trying to minimise risk.
I have no hesitation in recommending Gareth to my friends as one of those rare breed of financial advisers who gives sound advice when asked and who does not try to push particular options for his own benefit.
Italy Service Gareth’s Story: A story of Profit and Loss FAQ
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Post: Viale Trastevere, 227 B/2a, 00153 Roma, Italia
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