Diary of an adviser  

Diary of a Planner: Blake Ellis

Diary of a Planner: Blake Ellis

Cash flow planning and numerous Zoom meetings form the basis of this planner’s week.


There’s no better way to start the week than with a Zoom meeting.

The morning consists of a discussion with an IFA, focused on drawing up investment criteria for their centralised investment propositions.  

Video conferencing has set a new precedent and although I do enjoy face-to-face meetings, I can’t deny how much more efficient and cheaper this is.

Where would we have been without this technology even 10 years ago?

The rest of the afternoon is spent putting pen to paper and providing a shortlist based on our discussion. This is an ad hoc project and will be revisited in parts later on in the week.


Today’s challenge – cash flow planning. I have probably broken our software more times than I can remember, all in the name of building sound and complex financial plans for clients.

In this scenario I carried out a number of ‘what if’ scenarios, determining various strategies the clients could use for their retirement.

The good news is the client can retire and achieve their goals seven years earlier than previously anticipated.

The afternoon consists of me booking and subsequently watching a webinar around venture capital trusts.

Various providers are employing different strategies of late and it’s important to know the intricacies of how these will impact clients. The added bonus is, of course, that it qualifies for CPD. 


Today I conclude my cash flow planning exercise from earlier on in the week with an income drawdown suitability report, outlining the advice in writing.

I then discuss the pros and cons of the strategy with the adviser, along with various cash flow plans.

The adviser later confirms they are pleased with how detailed the reports are and, of course, the news they are able to tell their client. 


More research to begin the morning: a client has accumulated a number of investment bonds over the course of his life and now, in the later stages, understands the need to reduce the value of his estate.

So, time to carry out some inheritance tax calculations, see where some effective bond surrenders can take place and prepare a report on where this capital should be invested.

I also speak with a prospective client and take them through necessary processes to initiate our working relationship.


I have a busy day ahead with annual review reports.

I am really pleased with the level of detail in reviews recently, as I feel this process has been one of the hardest to complete consistently, but now I feel all areas are covered.

Next, I catch up with an old contact working in the small self-administered scheme space.

An IFA client had indicated that they are looking into specific features and benefits that will help support their specific client bank, who tend to be company directors.