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Diary of an Adviser: Claire Walsh

Claire Walsh

Monday

Tuesday

I try to exercise every morning before work, and I had a weights class this morning before cycling to the office in the sunshine. I start each day by catching up on emails and prioritising my own work before catching up with my administrator. This feels particularly vital with the tax year end looming. Lots of contributions have been applied over the last few days and we are now only awaiting two clients making contributions – phew. It does mean lots of administration though. Today, I am also visiting a local law firm where I present to them on the budget and tax changes. It goes very well and there are lots of questions, so hopefully this will strengthen our relationship and encourage further referrals.

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Wednesday

I kick off with yoga at sunrise, and then I view a couple of flats (I am house hunting at the moment) before heading to the office. This afternoon I am going on BBC Radio 4’s Money Box Live, talking about inheritances, so I brush up on the relevant legislation, in particular anticipating questions about the property nil rate band.

As Unbiased head of advice my role is promote the benefits of financial advice in the media by way of demonstrating good practice and encouraging people to seek advice. I am joined for the train trip and Money Box Live by a wills and probate solicitor friend of mine. The show goes well with an interesting variety of questions, although none about the property nil rate band.

Thursday

I cycle to tennis on Thursday morning. I was a complete beginner at the sport last year, and I am having weekly lessons in the hope that I will be good enough to play other people soon. At the office, I have a clear diary to check that everything is on track for tax year end and process work. I get a new client enquiry and book them in for end of April as I want to keep plenty of time free to see existing clients for reviews. I find juggling the different aspects of my role and time management the most challenging, so now I am pushing back and leaving plenty of space in my diary.

Friday

It is pilates this morning. There is another IFA in my class and we go for a coffee and catch-up afterwards. I love speaking to other advisers and comparing notes – there are so many different approaches and things to learn. I went for a second view of a flat and confirmed I will be renting it. I am excited to have found a new home, but I am a little nervous as I have not lived on my own before. In the office I am pleased to find that all 2015/16 contributions are in. Now we just need to ensure that all of the administration/compliance is completed. I concentrate on reviewing a new client who has quite complicated circumstances and is coming in for their review next week. In addition to looking at policy information I build cashflow plans in Voyant and model different scenarios. The clients want to know when they can afford to retire, and whether they can afford to gift money to their grandchildren now and, if so, how much. I love a meaty case with lots of possibilities that allows me to really use my expertise and add value.