A Fellow of the Personal Finance Society, Mark is one of very few financial advisers in the country to hold the titles of CII Chartered Financial Planner and SOLLA Accredited Later Life Adviser.
Mark has also attained the new Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) examination for financial services. Mark specialises in investments, care fees planning and inheritance tax planning advice. He also advises on the wide subject of “at retirement” options to help clients maximise their pension funds at and in their retirement.
Based in Lytham, Mark has clients throughout the North West. He manages in excess of £60m in client assets. A passion for high quality face-to-face advice and a business grown by reputation are Mark’s priorities.
In his own words: “As we journey through life, our general needs change and our financial priorities alter over time. Security and peace of mind, both for ourselves and those we care for tend to become higher priorities. Practically this may influence planning for retirement, both physically and financially, securing independence into later life, and ensuring that as well as looking after ourselves we can also leave something behind to those we love.”
My role is to help you plan for each of these stages. This may include: maximising investment opportunities, combining growth potential with effective security and taxation planning strategies; specific pension and annuity planning; supporting individuals and their loved ones/carers with information on care fees planning and the state/private funding mix; planning to minimise inheritance tax liabilities.
I review individual details in face-to-face meetings with clients and/or their requested representatives. We need to talk about hopes and fears for the future, formulate those feelings into practical outcomes, and prioritise them. As a Chartered Financial Planner the concept of holistic financial advice is essential to me. I meet the majority of my clients twice a year to review their planning and appraise the position to date.
Solicitors and Accountants also value the benefits of expert financial advice to complement their skills and I work closely with these professionals in the region to assist their clients. Often reviewing funds held with the Court of Protection for those in care, or unable to manage their own affairs, Mark is used to dealing with higher value investment planning and more complex matters.
When not working, Mark enjoys spending time with his young family, and cycling.
Accredited Later Life Adviser – Society of Later Life Advisers
Mark is one of small number of advisers in the UK to have become accredited by SOLLA. SOLLA aim to assist consumers and their families in finding trusted accredited financial advisers who, understand financial needs in Later Life. The Society is dedicated to linking those who need advice to accredited Later Life Advisers who can advise on:
- Equity Release
- Long term and respite care funding options
- Investments and savings
- Inheritance Tax planning (IHT)
Later Life Advisers specialise in the financial needs of older people. Professional qualifications whilst essential are unlikely to give the full picture of an adviser expertise. Those advisers who have taken the further steps to become independently accredited can offer the added reassurance that they offer the practical help and guidance needed to make the right decisions at the right time. Why would anyone choose an adviser with anything less.
The Later Life Adviser Accreditation Scheme has been developed by the standard-setting body the Financial Services Skills Council (FSSC) in collaboration with the specialist financial services consultancy SVARfair.
Chartered Financial Planner – Chartered Insurance Institute
Introduced in 2006, the coveted individual ‘Chartered Financial Planner’ title is the premier title for financial advice professionals. Mark was one of the first advisers in the UK to attain this status. The Chartered status title is available to members who meet the following criteria:
Chartered Financial Planner
Hold the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning;
Have five year’s relevant industry experience (not necessarily post-qualification);
Adhere to the CII’s Code of Ethics and Conduct;
Demonstrate three year’s existing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and commit to maintaining this activity.
STEP (The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners )
Mark is one of a small number of Financial Advisers in the UK to have attained the new Society of Trusts and
Estate Practioners (STEP) Certificate for Financial Services.
Mark is an affiliated member of STEP, which helps to increase his knowledge and offers assistance to clients, where financial and legal advice come together.
Typically, these are in the areas of Trusts, Courts of Protection Investment, Equity Release and Care Fees Planning.
The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) is the leading worldwide professional body for practitioners in the fields of trusts, estates and related issues. STEP members help families secure their financial future and protect the interests of vulnerable relatives. STEP promotes the highest professional standards through education and training, leading to widely respected professional qualifications.
“After winning the National Lottery, I was looking for an established financial adviser with expertise in higher value wealth management.
My legal advisers introduced me to Mark O’Neill due to the reputation that he and True Bearing have for professionalism and plain-speaking advice.
Mark works with integrity and is very passionate about understanding my specific needs. Unlike other firms I have dealt with, I feel that I have benefited from the independence of his advice and the bespoke service where he regularly reviews my planning.
My priorities were to grow my investments, obtain income and mitigate the effect of Inheritance Tax. Mark has achieved these aims and I would highly recommend him and his company.”
“We were recommended to Mark by our Accountants in 2015 to review the assets and structure of our pension funds.
After subsequent meetings where Mark had listened to our needs and concerns, he was able to recommend a more suitable solution we have been extremely pleased with that has exceeded our expectations.
Mark has also been able to convey his impressive technical knowledge of pensions and investments into simple, clear terms where we have completely understood his recommendations.
It is a pleasure to work with Mark whom has also been able to liaise with our legal and accountancy advisers to make life easier for us. We also look forward to the regular review meetings where we meet to discuss our needs and examine the portfolio. His assistants are also extremely courteous and helpful.
Mark demonstrates all we could expect in a professional Financial Adviser and we can strongly endorse the advice and service that he and his company provide.”
Mr & Mrs P Kiernan, Kiernan Construction
“Mark spent time to fully understand my situation and requirements before proposing a portfolio of investments of type and spread that fully matched what I was looking for.”
Mr W – Westhoughton
“I am a new client of True Bearing and I have nothing but praise concerning the way that I have been treated, specifically by Mark O’Neill who appears to have all the right qualities in relation to knowledge and experience. My requests for annuity information and latterly investment advice have been both speedy and relevant. I would not have any qualms in recommending True Bearing to anyone.”
Mr H – Bury
“I found Mark O’Neill on the “Unbiased” website about five years ago. Because of many years of voluntary work overseas, my pension prospects were not very good, nor was my understanding of matters financial. Mark explained matters to me in language that I was able to understand easily. This created a feeling of trust in the ideas that he put forth for my consideration. That trust was not misplaced. Later, I received several inheritances and this gave Mark more scope to invest for me and remove concerns about my future standard of living. Mark also advised a friend about mortgages and, recently, my sister has become his client too. Mark always gives great attention to detail and ensures that I have understood everything. His caring manner is reassuring, and his financial acumen is extremely impressive.”
Miss S – Skelmersdale
“I transferred to Mark O’Neill at True Bearing because I was not getting regular reviews of my portfolio from my previous financial adviser. Now I get a half yearly review that is very comprehensive and meet with Mark whenever the need arises whether as part of the review or to discuss any current trends or recommendations. I am more than happy with the service provided. Mark helped me to transfer my pension fund to MetLife. This was a quite complicated procedure but, with his help, any problems that arose were dealt with by him efficiently.”
Mr B., Retired Accountant – Keighley
“I recommend Mark O’Neill to any old person who is unable to manage their financial affairs themselves, or who is unwilling to do so.
Also, he is able to explain what he does so that they can understand the processes as far as they can, that is.
I think that whoever employs his services will be satisfied.”
Lady P.B. Chesterman – Lancaster
"I was recommended to Mark O'Neill by my accountant over six years ago as an established and highly qualified independent financial adviser. During this time Mark has grown my investments and helped to save my estate inheritance tax with his specialist planning.
I have particularly benefited from the regular review meetings that Mark provides with intelligent, yet down to earth insight on financial matters. His knowledge, integrity and professionalism are exemplary which I trust implicitly.
I cannot recommend Mark and True Bearing highly enough to anyone wishing to review or invest substantial wealth for peace of mind."
Mrs Hilary Johns – Lytham
“Mark has been advising me over the last year. He is very approachable and I look forward to our meetings, knowing that there will be clear explanations and down to earth advice delivered in a friendly yet professional way. Integrity, sound knowledge, and a high level of competence underpin all his work and I am entirely confident to recommend Mark’s services and those of True Bearing.”
Dr H Preston
“Mark was recommended to me by a local Solicitor. His expertise has been invaluable in arranging to fund the cost of care. His service and office support have been first class.”
Mrs G - Retired, - Lytham
“Since being introduced to Mark O’Neill regarding our financial investments, we have found him to be knowledgeable, attentive and professional in all areas. Unlike other companies that are not independent who could only offer limited options, True Bearing resources have enabled us to find suitable investments to see us through our retirement.”
KN & DB Seddon – Blackpool
“As an Attorney, I trusted Mark to guide me through the maze of benefits and legislation. He produced a report with advice on an Immediate Care Plan that now pays a regular income for life towards the cost of care.
Mrs J Baxter, Retired, Blackpool
“I have been working with Mark during 2011 to stabilise my personal financial planning and to satisfy my short and long-term savings requirements. Always punctual and extremely well prepared, he demonstrates absolute integrity in establishing potential solutions which meets the Customer’s needs in accordance with the exact circumstances and risk-taking philosophies. I have complete confidence in his advice to date, all of which I intend to implement, and look forward to developing the portfolio with Mark over the years to come.”
Archie Neill BSc, Hawk TX Programme – UK Campaign Lead - Warton, Preston
“I have known Mark O’Neill for many years now, both personally and as a client. I approached him originally due to his excellent reputation as a financial adviser. Since then, Mark has helped me to organise my retirement and investment planning with considerable expertise and knowledge. I have been particularly impressed with the regular reviews that Mark provides me with and the excellent service of his office team. I have also benefited from recommendations that Mark has made to other legal and financial professionals to protect my interests. Mark delivers first class service and cares about my interests. I have since recommended him to others and would not hesitate to do so further.”
Mr A Lancaster, Golf Professional - Lytham St Annes
“I have known Mark for a number of years. He was first introduced to me by a mutual friend when he joined Lytham Round Table. Initially, we enjoyed each other’s company as fellow members and Mark made a valuable contribution towards the club’s charitable activities that benefit the immediate local community. Recently I had need of some financial advice on my private pension and so immediately thought of Mark who I knew to have gained an excellent reputation as an independent financial adviser. I was very impressed with the way he dealt with my needs both efficiently and promptly. His advice has proved to be both accurate and highly rewarding which has left me very impressed with his service. Since then I have recommended Mark to some of my work colleagues who have been equally impressed. He has a meticulous attention to detail and has a very personable and discrete approach. Above all, he is both honest and open about the pros and cons of any financial plan which gives me confidence in choosing the right one to suit me. In conclusion, I cannot recommend Mark highly enough”.
William Bode, Jeweller - Lytham St Annes
“Mark has acted for a number of my clients over recent years and I have been extremely impressed by his attention to detail and professionalism. He has always had my clients best interests at heart and along with the remainder of his team is able to provide such advice independently which is, in my opinion, of fundamental importance. In addition, he has also acted most efficiently for my family over many years which demonstrates better than anything else the trust I have built up in Mark and his team. I would not hesitate to recommend Mark to you.”
Matt Scott, Solicitor, Coupe Bradbury – Kirkham
“Having dealt with you on a professional and personal basis i.e. my own affairs, I have found you to be very helpful and always there to advise, listen and react quickly.Your reviews which you hold with your clients are excellent as you always make it easy to understand and you will always answer questions. As an investor, I have full confidence in you and True Bearing.”
Jim Baker, Business Development Manager, Jones Harris Chartered Accountants - Lytham St Annes
“I can’t remember now how many years you have been our Financial Adviser, but I can only say that Olga and I have always been satisfied with your advice and the results, whereas our previous advisers, “no names no packdrill” made stupid moves and cost us a lot.”
R & O Brewer – Lytham
“Mark has been our adviser for a number of years now and in that time I have felt secure in the financial decisions we have made based on Mark’s input and advice. Mark and True Bearing overall have an excellent and professional approach to customer care and will always be fully prepared with the latest information linked to your own circumstances. The regular update meetings are a welcome feature of the service. As a result, I feel like my money is being put to good use across the range of products for the short, medium and long-term. If anyone is looking for a Financial Adviser, I always recommend Mark.”
Mrs A Moore - Trainer and Coach, Better NW Preston
“Mark has provided me with advice on retirement planning for many years. His pro-active approach has helped to grow and preserve my funds using innovative products and tax planning. I have valued Mark’s regular monitoring of my circumstances particularly through the challenging investment conditions of late.I have already recommended Mark to several contacts and would not hesitate to do so in the future.”
Mr R. – Managing Director – Blackpool
“Based on a recommendation I contacted Mark for financial advice on Pension Planning. Not only did Mark provide invaluable advice but he went to great lengths to ensure that he found the right product to suit my individual needs, and was very caring and supportive throughout. His team were always on hand and nothing I asked of them was too much trouble. Together they make a winning combination. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Mark to you in the future.”
Yvonne Slater, Legal Secretary – Lytham
“I was delighted with the service which I received from Mark O’Neill of True Bearing Limited. His advice was timely, accurate and reassuring. I would be more than happy to have further dealings with Mr O’Neill and with True Bearing Limited.”
Mr B - Great Eccleston