Diary of adviser: Susan Hill

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Monday: I left my house at 6am to travel to London for the Personal Finance Society Annual Symposium. I rarely miss this event, as I really enjoy catching up with colleagues and hearing the latest technical news.

The event was good – but where were the female advisers on the panel discussions?

Attending the awards dinner, I was sitting on the table with the Chartered Financial Planner of the year, so we shared in his celebrations. I took a taxi to the Royal Air Force Club at midnight.


A slightly late start at 8am. I had a rushed breakfast and returned to my St Albans office, arriving at 10am. I prepared for my client meeting at 3pm. The client has a £2.39m CETV, so there were many options we needed to discuss. I stayed until 7pm to catch up with my emails from Monday and to write up my meeting notes. I have started using an outsourced paraplanning service, so I am getting myself into the habit of writing everything up as part of the fact-find. My husband retired from the Royal Air Force a few years ago, so he is in charge of dinner – I wonder what it will be?


I spent the morning doing casework; I am currently working on four pension cases, resulting from pension freedom. I will probably annuitise two; one will take the PCLS no income; the fourth has yet to decide. For the last, I recommended that if we could tidy up her finances, reduce her outgoings and invest her cash Isas more effectively, she may not need to crystallise her pension for a few more years. She divorced a few years ago and has never handled the finances. Sometimes my work is financial education.

In mid-afternoon I had an initial meeting with a prospective new client and left the office at 6pm. I wonder what is for dinner tonight?


The morning was spent working on my pension cases and talking to annuity providers. In the afternoon I had a client meeting. My client had queries about the changes to the annual allowance which affect him. We discussed pension input periods and using his employer’s ‘savings’ scheme to maximise his pension savings this tax year. I am so glad I studied RO8 (I passed) as there has been so much change to pensions it would be easy to miss something important.

Friday: I had an early start, as I needed to go through emails that had built up. I have started to turn them off during the day, otherwise I become overwhelmed with emails and never get through my casework.