February 2017 – Making a Difference

Life planner making a difference

To laugh often and much,

To win the respect of intelligent people, and the affection of children,

To earn the appreciation of honest critics, and endure the betrayal of false friends,

To appreciate beauty,

To find the best in others,

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social situation,

To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

When I started this month’s newsletter I was going to talk about our technical developments where we are making independent financial advice available online at no initial cost and a very low ongoing cost. However the funeral of close member of the family put that on hold and returned me to the eternal question of ‘what is it all for?’

The quote above has been on the front page of my website for over ten years and while in the meantime much has changed on the website this quotation has gained intensity and meaning. When I started helping people with financial advice 27 years ago in January 1990 I became aware that many people do not understand money, they needed help, and this was my chance to make a difference. In this aim I have been successful most of the time. I am lucky to have some wonderful clients and I am always delighted to receive their comments such as the comment that I received from Marie last week:

I just wanted to say a big thank you for your words of encouragement. True friendship multiplies the good in life and you have it in abundance. I’m so lucky to have you as my Financial adviser and friend.

Comments like this are worth far more than money: I haven’t always got it right and sometimes service could have been better (even Marie knows that because she has been kept waiting at times), however balancing giving my time for often ‘too little’ return has meant that sometimes it was impossible to do more. I chose not to focus on higher paying clients because I was reluctant to leave the clients on lower incomes and with low levels of assets to the wolves. My first two clients from January 1990 are still my clients and I am now helping their children. I am currently working on a series of ‘client stories’ to illustrate where I have made difference which will be coming out over the next few months and I hope that you will find it interesting reading.

I am reluctant to finish on a cynical note but on reading the above my business adviser said: “Clients have to be able to take good advice and recognize what is being offered and follow through. Clients often get ripped off to the point to which they deserve!” This is very sad but true – another way of saying: “you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. So well done to you for having followed through on my advice because I know that you are all better off as a result.

I’ll pick up news of the online services next month. In the meantime, if you have any queries please get in touch.

Leave a Comment