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Diary of adviser: Darren Cooke

Darren Cooke

Darren Cooke


In the afternoon I have a new client meeting in the office from an unusual source – he is my postman and approached me for pension advice after spotting the company name on the letters he delivers. It is a prompt finish to get my daughter to her swimming lesson.


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A full day in the office preparing for client meetings later in the week and putting the finishing touches to the risk-based portfolios I am rolling out to clients. After much debate and thought we adopted Dynamic Planner as our risk profiling tool so I use their asset allocation models as the basis for the portfolios. Once they are all completed I will submit them to Nataxis GAM for their independent assessment.


After dropping my boys off at school it is out to a client to present a group pension solution to the two main directors. They do not stage until spring 2017 but want to get a scheme up and running now in readiness. I was referred to them by an existing client who went to work there last year. They are happy with the proposal and paperwork is completed.

Next is a coffee with a provider to catch up with what is new as well as a few questions I have on their products and funds. Then it is back to the office to conclude the prep for Friday’s meetings. Emails that require a response get in the way and I end up taking a file home and working late after putting the children to bed. I do not like doing it but sometimes we have to.


I am out early to a Vanguard seminar. There are three excellent presentations with the one on behavioural finance standing out as the best I have seen on the subject. This is the first time I have been to a Vanguard event and it will not be the last.

I am then off to a lunch organised by a pension provider. We have to work for our food as they want plenty of feedback on their products, service and the competition. There are other IFAs there too; I am a one-adviser business, so it is good to speak to other advisers and share ideas.


Again I drop the boys at school and straight out to see the clients I prepared for earlier in the week. I set up the group pension earlier in the year after being referred by the accountant and now the two directors have asked for personal advice. Today I am presenting my recommendations and reviewing the cash flow plans we have put together. All goes well and again I come away with applications completed.