Diary of an adviser  

Diary of an Adviser: Darren Burnett

Diary of an Adviser: Darren Burnett

Helping out a new colleague and sorting out a client's 11 pension pots breaks up the week for this adviser

Monday

I review my diary and prepare for all my client meetings this week. New colleague Paul has just started with us, so I make time to chat with him about how he is getting on and arrange any additional help he needs for this week. Mainly he needs help with setting up access to providers, which ends up taking a lot longer than I had planned for. 

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Then off to see my first client of the day, with whom I have been working for many years, followed by a client who is just starting her financial journey. Very different meetings, but that’s what I love about the job.

Tuesday

I review the markets and start checking some of my client portfolios as I am expecting certain clients to give me a call due to market volatility. Lots to do, as I am meeting Prudential later to discuss funds. I like to meet lots of providers and keep up to date on what is out there. 

There are two client reviews tomorrow, so I check the review documents ahead of those meetings. Then I take phone calls from two clients who are looking to increase payments to their portfolios. I meet Paul to discuss his first cases and review the solutions. 

Wednesday

I have a famous author visiting me today looking to invest some of his royalties. Have instructions from my wife to find out when his third book is being published (she read the first two within 10 days!). 

I visit our accountant for the year-end accounts review – it’s not just financial advisers who have a lot of paperwork! I ask him how much I could spend on a staff party and whether a company car is a tax-efficient investment. Luckily, he has a sense of humour, and it looks like I am keeping my car. 

I meet a lovely young couple to talk about their pensions and insurances. We always ask clients to bring in all of their paperwork for any existing policies and plans. Have a look, and they have set themselves up with really unsuitable, expensive cover. We discuss the options and they are delighted with the outcome.

Thursday

I have had three new enquiries and yesterday’s clients need their files completing. One client has 11 different pensions in force and has dropped off a large box file for me to review. It has been staring at me for a couple of days, so I decide to go through it. It is so satisfying to take a financial spaghetti junction and make sense of it all. 

Then off to meet a client who fell seriously ill and ended up having to move from his family home into rented accommodation. He recently turned 55, so we are able to review early retirement options for him. Great news as one of his policies provides a really high tax-free lump sum worth nearly half his fund value and the rest are providing a comfortable income. Life has picked up for him and he has had an offer on a house accepted. This is what makes the job so worthwhile.