Diary of an adviser  

Diary of an adviser: Alan Johnston

Diary of an adviser: Alan Johnston

This financial planner has a week full of meetings, but topped off by a birthday celebration and some well-deserved cake 


I have an early meeting with a first-time buyer wanting to investigate the Scottish government’s Lift scheme, (low-cost initiative for first-time buyers).  

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She was delighted when it was confirmed that she had qualified and her dream of having her own home was a step closer.

Later I have a protection meeting with a client with a young son but no protection at all in place for either herself or her mortgage.

Again, a successful meeting that ended up with life and critical illness (CI) cover for the mortgage, written under split trust. It never fails to amaze me how underinsured a large part of the population are and yet, once they understand the financial consequences of having the cover versus the financial consequences of not, they buy into the reasoning.

Monday ends with a remortgage followed by an annual review of a client portfolio, then it is home for some more paperwork. 


Today was another varied day with two mortgage appointments: an annual review, and an initial discussion with a single gentleman who is about to retire and wants to investigate the options available to him from equity release.

Next is a young professional who has his own limited company, but no pension provision. After our first meeting, we agree on the need to set up a pension that his company could pay into for him, and an overview of any required protection. 


This morning is our weekly staff meeting.

Jonathan Winterbottom, our mortgage adviser, and the six administrators, along with the paraplanning team at Tenet head office in Leeds, make it possible for me to do what I do best: see clients. We also agreed that our Christmas party would be at The Braveheart Ball, supporting a charity for children with heart problems.

I have a couple of first-time buyer mortgage appointments in the afternoon and then a normal time finish for me – which is unusual.

But pre-season training for my 11-a-side amateur football team has started again. I am 48 on Friday and still playing – just – so I am what is known as the veteran of the team.


I am out of the office first thing to see clients, who while doing their family tree a few years ago, discovered they were the last heirs of a deceased great aunt.

Just before the Crown was due to get their hands on it, they were able to claim their inheritance – a substantial amount – and we have set up and have been running a portfolio for them. The afternoon included a home visit for an initial discussion with a brother of one of my clients who, having just turned 50, has what I term the ‘the pension panic’ – not a clue what he has and in need of guidance and an overview.