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Defying the weather forecasts in Troon

Julie Flynn

Monday

My last meeting is with a new client who owns an interior design business specialising in hospitality. I am impressed to learn that he is behind the design of a pub in one of the nation’s longest-running soaps. It turns out he has been really worried about how he will afford to retire as he has few pension savings. I explain the options open to him. His journey to retirement will not look like that of many of his friends who work for local government. We talk about some of the tax-planning opportunities with regards to his business and his preparation for auto-enrolment. By the time I leave he is feeling a little more relaxed about his future.

Tuesday

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It is another day of meeting with new clients in Glasgow city centre. There has been so much talk about pensions in the media this year that I think people are starting to believe that this is something that they should act on today.

Today’s new clients have found me via the VouchedFor website where they can read reviews of me left by existing clients. First meetings are all about getting to know each other; I will find out if I can help them and they can judge whether they would like me to work for them. It is always nice to see people realise that working with a financial adviser is not something to be scared of, that we really are here just to help.

The final client of the day looks a little surprised at the end of the meeting when I tell him he does not really need a financial adviser at this point. He has made a number of sensible and astute decisions over the years and goes away happy and reassured.

Wednesday

In the morning I meet with existing clients in Kilmarnock. I bring them up-to-date on their investments and we measure how they are progressing towards their goals.

In the afternoon I head over to Galston. My client, while sprightly, is in her 90s. The meeting is to introduce her to a solicitor to discuss putting a Power of Attorney in place. We arrange to meet again next week to visit some of the care homes in Ayrshire and a spot of lunch after.

Thursday

I am working from home today. There is research to analyse for clients’ existing portfolios. Thankfully, Ric, based in the office in England prepares this for me and I review it.

One of the best things about being a financial adviser is the interesting people you get to meet. I have recently met a couple who live in Sierra Leone working for Save the Children. We speak on the phone today and they tell me about how dire the situation is with the Ebola crisis. The conversation is sobering. We are due to meet again in a few weeks when they return to the UK and so I clarify some details with them to continue my research. After speaking with them, one of my main challenges will be finding a pension provider who will deal with non-residents.