The week starts early with a spin class at the gym.
A very close school friend had a massive stroke last year, at 44. She’s recovered well, but it inspired me to make exercise a priority and I’m now really feeling the benefits.
In the office, I plan the week and review the upcoming month, checking progress on a variety of projects and working with my PA to see what needs to be chased. This is an important part of my week that allows me to prioritise and focus on what’s coming up.
In the evening I get talking with a lady whose mother is using the excess income exception to gift funds out of her estate. As we chat, I discover a potential problem in her strategy, so I suggest a more formal meeting later in the week to go over the rules.
A difficult day today. I have a meeting with a friend who was recently diagnosed as terminally ill and wants me to review her finances to ensure her family has the best possible provision after she’s gone.
We start the process of putting lasting powers of attorney in place and go through her pensions and investments. It is terribly sad to see what they are going through, but I am pleased to be able to help with some of the practicalities at least and ease some of the stress on the family.
It is back to the gym, before I head to a networking appointment.
I give a short presentation on trusts, which I am told afterwards was not only informative, but also surprisingly interesting. I firmly believe a big part of my job is to demystify finances.
In my first job as a City equity analyst, I had to present an investment recommendation in three sentences, and I’ve always tried to remember that need for clarity and simplicity.
Later, a meeting to look at consolidating multiple pension pots and dealing with a reduced annual allowance reveals that a potential client has significant gaps in their protection, along with huge over insurance in other areas. We agree to look at balancing out their cover within the same budget.
Today, I’m following up on Monday’s conversation. In a meeting with the lady and her mother I discover that, although the family are using the excess income exemption, their current method is likely to fall foul of other inheritance tax rules.
I suggest some simple tweaks that can rectify the situation. They are overjoyed – after paying a huge amount of tax on the father’s death, they understandably want to avoid unnecessary tax on the mother’s. We agree to look at some other options for the rest of her investment portfolio.
I finish the day watching my son play cricket. Having flexibility over my time, coupled with the knowledge that I’m helping people, reminds me why I love my job.
I start the day chasing up paperwork, followed by a client review meeting. Performance has been good, in both absolute and relative terms, and the client’s recent promotion means we can start the next step in our agreed long-term plan – putting pensions in place for their young children.
It’s never too early to start putting in place solid financial plans.
Finally, the week ends with a yoga class, followed by a glass of wine and an episode of the TV sitcom Friday Night Dinner, which makes me laugh so much I’m convinced it must count as exercise too.
Tamsin Bromley Rahlke is the principal of Bromley Rahlke Financial