balance and support

You might think that’s a strange title for someone involved in the financial world! However, this week, that’s what Alan wanted to talk about. As you know, Alan offers financial planning that encompasses life planning. Within that there’s always financial advice but for him, it’s not about the money he makes. It’s about making a real difference to people’s lives. When finance is a worry, it is very stressful and many people come to Alan with money worries as well as those clients that come to him with money they want to invest. For Alan, it’s about changing people’s lives – whether it’s investing or getting them out of a financial pickle!


So this week, Alan wanted to tell me about some of his clients. Alan wants his clients to lead a good life through his guidance, and that means he does too because he’s safe in the knowledge that he’s helped them along their way! He likes his clients to trust in what he does for them and always goes the extra mile to do the right thing.


Over the years, he’s had so many appreciative clients and helped hundreds and hundreds of people make the most of their finances. He could talk about all of the types of different situations he’s come across for hours but he’s picked a few, without revealing too much personal information because obviously, every case is confidential.


When a Money Management System Makes All The Difference


The first client he told me about was an extremely pleasant retired gentleman in the medical world, someone who’d gained an MBE. He was a very impressive and learned man and Alan liked him and his wife very much. Contrary to what you’d imagine, this gentleman had no idea how to manage his money and came to Alan because he wanted to know what he could do with his money, to make it work for him. So Alan set him up with a money management system. After a few months, he came back to Alan thanking him and said he wished he’d done it earlier, money was starting to accumulate! He’d never had that happen for him before and it was all thanks to the system Alan had put into place. The truth is, Alan made no money out of this client but he was delighted that thanks to that system and their subsequent meetings, his client and his wife enjoyed a good life.


When Other IFA’s Don’t Do Their Job Properly!

There was another couple, Martin and Sheila, unfortunately Martin has since passed away but they were long-term clients (in fact, Alan still acts for Sheila). Alan met them in 1992, when he first became an IFA. Their story was one he has heard over and over through the years. They’d been ripped off by another IFA and made some very poor investments where they’d lost significant amounts of money. It took Alan ten months but he managed to get all of their money back by using his expertise. Today, Sheila has around £50,000 investable cash which for most wealth managers isn’t very much and those wealth managers wouldn’t work with her because they wouldn’t see any personal gain. That’s just not Alan. Sheila trusts Alan to do the right thing and make investments on her behalf and he does so, he’s happy to help.


When Clients Come Up Against Debt

Alan went on to tell me about another client, actually Sheila’s son. Unfortunately, he was left a widower after his wife passed away. He also had his two sons who were not yet independent. He discovered his wife had accumulated large amounts of debt as well as money secured against their home. With no spare money, this was a challenging case for Alan but he helped him to get out of debt and into the black. The whole process took time but Alan is delighted to say that the man has also built up some investments, albeit in a small way. The way that Alan looks at it is that sometimes, people need help both on a financial and personal level. He is happy to do what he can to smooth the way towards a better future.


When There Are Issues With Final Salary Schemes


Alan also has various clients that have experienced issues with their final salary schemes. One lady came to see him a few years ago because she’d been persuaded by a financial adviser that visited her workplace to come out of her final salary scheme and put her money into offshore unregulated investments. You know what Alan thought don’t you – that was unbelievably poor advice and there were serious consequences. The lady almost lost all of her final salary. Alan managed to get some of the money back and he’s still chasing the rest. The point is that he wanted to help, he can’t bear seeing the results of poor advice and today, that lady is in a better position with hope to further improve it too. She’s written Alan some wonderful references and often sends friend and family to Alan. Now, she just leaves Alan to it and trusts him to do what he feels is best!


When The Pandemic Affects Your Income


Finally, Alan received a lovely telephone call last week from a gentleman in his fifties who’s self-employed and his business has been greatly affected by the pandemic. He hasn’t worked since March and he’s experienced creditors knocking at his door late into the night! He’d tried five different IFAs asking for help but no-one would touch his case. They said he was too small, there was nothing in it for them – it was all about the money. Not for Alan! Working with him, Alan discovered that this man had a pension fund so he went through the procedure to access it and now, he’s thankfully paid off his creditors – with money left over too. Alan told me that when he first got in contact with him, he was a nervous wreck and very on edge. Last week, he was a different person, Alan could hear the change in his voice and that was so satisfying for him. Honestly – there’s no money in it for Alan long-term, and he hasn’t built up the wealth of Alan’s business but Alan loves that feel-good feeling of helping others.


That has always been Alan’s approach ever since he became an IFA in 1992. Alan said to me that other IFAs must think he’s mad but he doesn’t mind that, he’s happy doing what he does. It’s a family trait too; Alan’s son is a trainee financial planner and feels exactly the same way that Alan does. In fact he’s more involved in doing good than Alan (so Alan says but I find that hard to believe)! Alan’s son told his father last week that doing good has always worked for Alan over the years. He’s made a good living he may not be rich in wealth but he’s rich in people who appreciate him for what he’s done. Isn’t that more than money? Alan certainly thinks so!

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