Martin’s Story – Friendship and Financial Advice

friendship and advice

I met Martin in the early 1990s and he was one of my first clients when I became an Independent Financial Advisor.  I was privileged to have Martin as a client and friend for nearly 30 years – but unfortunately, he died of COVID-19 in April 2020, and I still miss him very much.  Martin was one of those people who had so much to give to the world – he was what I’d describe as a beacon and the world is undoubtedly a poorer place without him.

Surprisingly Trusting!

I knew Martin for several years before he came to me for financial advice.  He approached me because the person who’d advised him before had stopped advising him because of misdemeanours which we don’t need to dwell on!  However, what I will say is that the previous “advisor” had also been a friend of Martin’s for many years, and he’d taken advantage of that friendship by supposedly giving him financial advice while Martin mysteriously “lost” tens of thousands of pounds.  So Martin had experienced the worst from his friend who he’d trusted for financial advice, and subsequently he’d lost a lot of money and yet he still came to another friend (me) for advice.  He trusted me and we shared similar values.  

I Advise Friends and Family When They Ask Me To

Over the years, I’ve sometimes heard people say they’d never approach a friend for financial advice because they’d be sure to fall out.  I always reply to that with a big “Nonsense!”  Actually, I’ve made many friends as a result of giving them financial advice – and I’ve never lost one!  During the Life Planning and Financial Planning process, you tend to develop a close bond and those people who’ve come to me as clients have become more than clients.  They’re good friends and as for not providing financial advice to family – that’s even bigger nonsense!  If I know I can help and guide them, why wouldn’t I want to do so?  How would I feel if I found out they’d made an ill-judged decision because I wasn’t there to guide them when I most definitely could have?  In return, surely, they wouldn’t think much of me if they didn’t benefit from my help and expertise! With that said, I’ve always made myself available to friends and family if they ask me, with the understanding that when we socialise – we do exactly that and don’t discuss business.  Financial Planning is for tomorrow – during a business meeting.

Unfortunately, Martin never received a penny back from his so-called friend and he didn’t pursue him for the lost monies either.  Instead, he told me “Life is too short.”  Sadly, that was proven to be the case.

Knowing What’s Important In Life

Martin was successful – despite that friend’s advice but his success was so much more than just financial.  He was successful because he identified what was important in life and devoted himself to lecturing and presenting at conferences. The books that he wrote sit proudly on my shelf in front of me. He made the decision to do what he was good at and what was in his heart’s core.  As for Financial Planning, amongst other things, he left those to people he could trust to do a better job than he could.

Our “brief” meetings often went on for hours on end.  We’d talk about the meaning of life and the world and while I didn’t share his Muslim faith, he gave me enormous insight and understanding.  What a privilege it was to know such a successful man and to be a part of his life for so many years!

Leave a Comment