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Our new paraplanner has become indispensable

Richard Libberton

Monday

Our in-house analyst gives an update on the state of the markets with a region-by-region breakdown. We also discuss any major economic data due to be published during the week and recent geopolitical events. I come away from the session with a superb visual aide memoir, which is invaluable for client meetings.

I then meet Claire, my paraplanner who is a recent addition to the team. Claire has proved to be indispensable in a short space of time. We discuss case loads, client meetings and set priorities for the week ahead.

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Later on Monday, I check in with the chief executive to discuss strategy and workloads.

Tuesday

On Tuesdays I work in our East Lothian branch, which has been operating since the 1970s. I appreciate my time here as it gives me an opportunity to walk my children to school before heading into work.

At the office, I have a meeting with a local lady who wishes to discuss retirement from the NHS after 35 years of working. I then see a client who has a Power of Attorney for his father. We discuss how best to shape the investment portfolio to provide the income to fund long-term care.

Wednesday

It is an early start as I attend a pension freedoms event in central Edinburgh. With such a radical change to the pension landscape I like to ensure that I have as much information as possible at my fingertips.

Back at the office, there are a few recommendations to finalise as well as client reviews to check.

Thursday

I have a provider meeting in the morning, where we discuss new options and innovations in the annuity market. I then catch up with Claire who keeps me right with our weekly objectives.

It is the ASAM Investment Committee in the afternoon, where we assess our in-house model portfolios. We also discuss stock selection on our UK equity buy list, cover asset classes and assess any funds presently on our watch list.

Late afternoon, I prepare for a CII Edinburgh Institute continuing professional development event, which we are hosting at our offices. The event goes very well, with a probing session taken by Maggie Craig of the FCA. We also hear from Royal London, Partnership and the Lang Cat.

Friday

Fund manager meeting this morning, with fund managers looking to raise the profile of their funds and capitalise on the pension freedoms.

I then see a longstanding client, who is retiring fully this year. He first came to me seeking a second opinion on advice he was given regarding transferring out of a final salary scheme, which was being wound-up. He has an interesting mix of pensions with protected tax-free cash, guaranteed annuity rates and some small pots from early employment. He also has a diversified portfolio of stocks and collectives that we look after for him. We had established a glide path to retirement some years ago so we discuss the impact of the new pension freedoms and how we need to re-visit the plan. He seems astonished at the scale of the new legislation but leaves a very happy man.