Diary of an Adviser: Karen Cooper

Diary of an Adviser: Karen Cooper


Our office has been based in Dartmouth for over 35 years and we have a well-known and trusted brand – and the short commute to work is a bonus. I start the week with the usual catch-up and coffee with the rest of my team to plan the week ahead and prepare for client appointments and reviews. At lunchtime we are presenting to staff at a local professional firm to provide guidance on their new auto-enrolment scheme, but mainly to provide help and education on “boring pensions” and the importance of saving for retirement and the UK savings gap. Their workforce is young, but the response we get from the team is excellent. I meet a client while walking back up the hill – he is going to pop into the office next week to review his income protection – this is why I love living and working in a small town.


I have a fabulous start to the day with a dog walk around a breathtaking cliff path – cold but sunny – I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful place by the sea. On my return I have a meeting at the office with longstanding clients to top up their Isas, then there's research to do for a new client – a referral from an existing client.

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Another longstanding client pops in to see me with his wife; very sad to see how her dementia has taken hold but what a loving husband she has to look after her. He is asking to finalise some paperwork with the legal adviser and the court of protection so we get a joint appointment booked with the private client lawyer that I work with for my clients.

I am then off to the gym for a workout and swim – the mantra for 2017 is to be calm, happy and healthy. So far so good.


I work from home on a Wednesday and start the day with a dog walk on Blackpool Sands, followed by a coffee at the beach café in the sun, before returning home to start work. Working from home gives me uninterrupted time to catch up on any research for clients, but also the time to sort out business planning; business submissions to paraplanner and compliance. We have recently had a complete rebrand and new website and are currently updating our new client proposition. The day, as always, runs away with me and I finally finish and prepare dinner – no commute today.


After another early morning dog walk around the cliffs, I head to the office to meet a new client who has recently moved to the area from London to discuss their financial goals and planning needs, having researched me via our newly rebranded website. By sending an online 'attitude to risk questionnaire' to the client ahead of the meeting, I have been able to prepare ahead for our discussion. The meeting goes well and I agree to visit the client at her home next week – not only to review her financial plan but also to admire her new home by the sea. It is important to me to build long-term relationships with my clients. 


I cannot believe it is Friday already. Today I have a meeting to complete the paperwork for an equity release application. I am currently working towards Later Life Advice accreditation and studying too for the CII CF8 exam; must fit in some time for revision today.

Telephone conference with our social media and website guru to put the next plans in place following our recent rebrand, and editing work on our quarterly client newsletter which will be emailed to clients next week.