Taking Advice


As I take the plunge myself, and become an un-shackled financial planner (I mean starting up in business), I’ve been wondering…What it is about financial advisers that makes us all think we can do better than what the already cluttered market place has to offer?

Just imagine if this was common in all jobs? Teachers leaving their schools to set up new schools, new refuse collection services springing up everywhere as the binmen (forgive me if that’s un p.c.) all leave their yellow trucks.

Don’t tell me it’s about high-barriers-to-entry, ‘cos there are a LOT of cheaper businesses to start up than regulated financial advisers.

Of course, I’ve also been thinking a lot about what my proposition will be.  I’ll tell you.  Because (obviously) I think it’ll be the best out there.

I’ll start with what I don’t want.

I don’t want to advise everybody.  I don’t want a client list as long as a phone book. I don’t want to act for anybody who doesn’t want my advice at that time.  I don’t want my wealthier clients to subsidise the others, ie over-charge Mrs A because Mr B isn’t paying enough.

I want my clients to know in advance what I’m going to do to improve their financial strength, and know what they’re going to pay for that.

I want to advise people who need and welcome impartial guidance.  I want my clients to know that “impartial guidance” has a price attached.

A lot of my existing clients do know that.  I love them for it.  They understand that there’s the risk of a conflict of interest when the adviser stands to gain money from recommending “A” instead of “B”, and commission is settled behind closed doors.

I want a business model that gives prospective clients the confidence that they are paying the same as anybody else for the same advice.  To that end, I will publish my price list..

Here's a little more information about our team:

Q: Qualifications Include

A: My degree in modern languages included a module on economics and personal finance, and that's how I got into financial planning.

Since then, I've become dual qualified as both a Certified Financial Planner and a Chartered Financial Planner, including the specialist qualifications in Tax & Trusts (G10) and Pensions (AF3/G60).

The full list is:

AF3 - Pensions (CII) (I did that to totally update my pension knowledge, as I had done G60 in 1994.)
K10 - Retirement Options (CII)
K20 - Pensions Investment Options (CII)
G20 - Personal Investment Planning (CII)
Chartered Financial Planner (CII)
ER1 - Equity Release (CII)
HR1 - Home Reversion Plans (CII)
G10 - Taxation and Trusts (CII)
CFP - Certified Financial Planner Licence (IFP)
H15 - Supervision and Sales (CII) 

In November 2016 I added the STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practicioners) Certificate for Financial Services.

Q: Do your clients have anything in common with each other?

A: They are all lovely and there are a few similarities in their aims that I've noticed. 

Many of my clients want to do more than just meet their own needs. They also see themselves as custodians of their money for the next generation or for other beneficiaries. 

In other cases, their aim is to manage their wealth efficiently during their lifetime, with the aim of spending it all… but minimising tax on the way there.

Q: What type of work do you enjoy most?

A: I do get a real sense of satisfaction from the work with those clients who engage me to manage the needs of two generations of the same time. That can be 'just' a long-term and balanced investment strategy or it can be trust planning and estate planning to avoid paying too much Inheritance Tax.

Q: Where would you be right now if you weren't at work?

A: In the Lakes

Q: In the film of your life, who would play you?

A: In my head, it's Uma Thurman, but I expect they would approach 'Nursey' from Blackadder II.

Q: Curry or Hot Pot?

A: Agh, too difficult. Curry.

Q: Sherbert or Chocolate?

A: Chocolate

Q: Lawn or Flowers?

A: Lawn

Q: What are you most likely to do whilst being 'on hold'?

A: Infuriate my colleagues by opening conversations then cutting off their reply when my call is answered.