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Diary of an adviser: Dominic Thomas

Dominic Thomas

Seeing as it’s the start of the rutting season, we try to avoid the deer. After dropping the dog at home I head to the office and get myself ready for a meeting with our first-choice platform provider, which involves a lengthy discussion about compliance issues and processes in moving platforms.

I then head for a progress meeting with a long-standing client. We are working on clearing the mortgage on his holiday home, but he and his wife are keen to make some significant architectural changes, so we need to update cashflow analysis to figure out what is possible and what the impact would be of delaying the debt repayment. It all looks good.

I return to the office for lunch and thankfully BT engineers have turned up to reinstate our infinity, package which they inexplicably turned off before my summer break. Debbie, my PA, advises that my other appointment of the day has been rescheduled, so I begin to review files for the rest of the week’s meetings and respond to a few client emails. I lose my patience with one platform provider as I am unable to implement an agreed rebalance on an Isa portfolio.

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Tuesday

After a close encounter with a stag, in the park, I arrive at the office to work on tidying my online CPD records with IFP – there are some missing certificates and their system cannot handle files of more than 2MB. The navigation is frustrating – I have counted 141 hours in the cycle, which does not include any unstructured stuff, like reading compliance and techy things. I chase up a few CPD certs that I cannot find, with some success.

I gather the troops for our weekly team meeting, then have lunch with my wife. It is my PI renewal time and I have all the quotes in. I fail to understand how different brokers come up with vastly different prices when supposedly going to the same market. My costs have risen 10 per cent after negotiation (one was asking almost 30 per cent more).

After that, I ask a social media expert about a recent trolling experience, then check out the ThreeSixty document about capital adequacy rules. I can’t help but bemoan the unfairness generated towards firms like mine that actually employ staff and have a solid service proposition.

Wednesday

I have a morning meeting with a professional couple who I have advised since they began their medical careers. They are thinking of moving up the property ladder, requiring a bigger mortgage but concerned about juggling family life, careers and school fees. I had prepared a cashflow model, which we discuss, and reveal the pressure points, which opens up the conversation further.

Afterwards, I post a couple of blog entries online, then give Arthur, my paraplanner, some input on a pension analysis.

At the end of the day my eldest daughter lets me know that she has arrived safely at her university, where she is starting her second year, and Debbie provides me with the completed work for next week’s client meetings.