Diary of an adviser: John Markham

Diary of an adviser: John Markham


The week begins with me spending a bit of time with the newest addition to our family, my six-week-old daughter, while my wife runs our eldest to nursery. My wife is back by 9am and I am off to the office for the day. 

I try to keep Mondays for admin and projects; I start catching up on emails and dealing with enquiries from the weekend. Then I spend some time chasing up providers for outstanding information on cases, putting the final touches to this month’s newsletter and looking at a new telephone system that allows call recording with one eye on the future regulation.

Off home for 5pm, to help with dinner, baths and bedtime – often not as simple as it sounds.

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I’m out on my bike at 7am. I ride along the seafront without traffic to contend with (other than the occasional dog), while catching up on some podcasts. 

At the office, I settle in to continue working on a client’s cashflow forecast. He is looking to retire in a couple of years and they have been living a fairly extravagant lifestyle travelling and want this to continue throughout retirement. It is positive news  as it appears that they can – always a nice meeting to have. 


We have recently started working with a new outsourced paraplanning service, Plan Works. Initial impressions are positive. I speak with Nathan from Plan Works, regarding a client we have been referred from a local accountant. The client is looking to retire when his contract ends in a couple of years and is due a substantial bonus. I have put together the cashflows and Nathan has researched his existing schemes. We are also looking at utilising carry forward allowances and managing AA tapering rules in order to try to extract this bonus over the next few tax years more efficiently, if his employer will allow him this flexibility. 

At home I have received a book by Nick Murray called the Excellent Investment Adviser. Hopefully I will find some time to read it next week when we go on holiday for the first time as a family of four.


Thursday starts with a training session at the gym. I get to the office for 9am and prepare for a couple of meetings tomorrow.

   I visit a new prospect later who has been referred by an existing client. He is a business owner who is looking to start extracting some of the company’s wealth to his personal wealth as he looks to wind down over the next few years. We discuss his options and agree a follow-up meeting.


An early start, with a drive to a new client’s home for 8am – another one who has been referred by a local accountant. Thankfully he has some nice coffee on offer. A couple of things are on the agenda: workplace pensions for his companies and investing some surplus personal cash.

From here I head to a review meeting with a client we set up a pension for following a divorce and pension sharing order last year.