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Diary of adviser: Gary Watt

Diary of adviser: Gary Watt

Monday: My week starts with the school run: my wee girl has just started primary school and she relishes going to school each day. This will not last, so I am riding this pony for as long as possible. She is my favourite person in the world and is an absolute hoot

On our way we discuss the world’s big issues, which today included: ‘Why are clouds grey?’ and ‘Why do snails have shells?’.

Our bi-weekly office team meeting is held today and this is a great opportunity for everyone to get together and share best practice ideas. Contributions from all colleagues are welcomed and encouraged, and everyone enjoys these meetings. Well, that is what they tell me.

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Today is a busy day in the office, with two annual review meetings with longstanding clients. The preparation has been done and a summary of all their pensions and invested assets provided for them. 

Our client feedback is that they really value being able to see everything summarised on a single page, as opposed to being given reams of paper. It is hard to disagree, really.

The meetings go well and I repeat my oft-quoted mantra: while values are looking good just now, the markets could be due a correction. Also, do not get too carried away and, most importantly, do not panic when the fall does happen. I really am a cheery soul.



Another busy day with another longstanding client’s annual review. At the meeting, he surprises me with news that he has received a significant six-figure inheritance, so we spend some time discussing our strategy for a proposed new lump sum investment. It entails making use of Isa and personal pension allowances within a well-diversified multi-asset portfolio.

At Just Financial we embrace both active fund management and index trackers within model and discretionary managed portfolios, and this is reflected in our investment recommendations.

Evening sees me attending a wine tasting hosted by a locally based Sipp provider. I do not remember getting home, so presumably the evening was a success.



Thursday starts with two Nurofen and a client meeting to discuss the client’s possible impending partial or full retirement.

After I calculate how much tax she would pay, she is dissuaded of her original plan to cash in a personal pension in one go. Instead, we arrange for her to receive maximum tax-free cash and move to flexi-access drawdown. This means her taking zero income until she decides whether she is going to fully or partially retire.

Evening is my weekly five-a-side football, in which ten 30 or 40 somethings attempt to prove that age is no barrier when it comes to skillful football. The case remains unproven.



Another existing client review. I am very fortunate in that most of my clients are ones I have known for years. It is a real privilege and an honour looking after their investments and I genuinely enjoy spending time in their company. It often does not feel like work; not everyone can say that about their job.