Diary of an adviser  

Diary of an Adviser: Craig Harrison

Diary of an Adviser: Craig Harrison

Clients are always at the forefront of this busy financial planner's mind.


Today is a day in the office catching up. A longstanding client gets in touch needing access to cash at short notice. 

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After going through his options, we resolve to use his tax-free cash for this purpose.

Another lady emails out of the blue, having found an old email of mine from two years ago recommending she review her various pension pots and warning of the “new” tapered annual allowance.

After two years it appears the effects of the taper are starting to bite and she is keen to take some advice.

We then had a pleasant catch-up call, during which she advised me that she is doing well and is keen to get on top of her finances – great start.

Following a detailed expectations management conversation about provider turnaround times and the proximity of tax year end, we agreed a fee for the work and by the end of the next day we had received letters of authority for all of her and her partners’ pensions which were passed over to our admin team to request the data.


After updating my continued professional development log in the morning with my reflective statements, our accounts department provided me with a report of all of clients’ accounts showing a shortfall in amount received versus amount expected.

It seems several providers have had problems with paying our fees due to admin issues. Over to said providers with a list of outstanding fees for them to investigate.


Day one out of the office; over to High Wycombe to see a review client.

The client has several bulging folders of paperwork, which fortunately it quickly becomes apparent are not required and I am able to get a handle on the issues, get a couple of LOAs signed, and put his mind at rest. 

The client is happy with his portfolio in the context of recent volatility and upcoming plans to clear the mortgage, then massively increase his pension contributions.


I conduct three reviews, followed by lunch with a long-time client (it is a hard life).

It involves relatively straightforward planning, as their discretionary portfolios have held up quite well, and we discussed tax-efficient investing given they are all subject to the full tapered annual allowance. Venture capital trusts seem the preferred option.


Another day of reviews with two clients. One is concerned about the impact of Brexit and of the potential impact of a Labour government on his finances.

He wanted specifically to know the options available to him regarding ‘offshore’.

Over the next 20 minutes or so we worked on establishing the facts of the current legislative framework; I explained that a ‘pension raid’ was extremely unlikely (although not impossible).