For those of you that do not know me personally, you might not realise that I have a strong passion for education and learning. I may no longer be what you’d call a “spring chicken” but that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to broaden my mind!
My own journey through education was an exciting one. I knew I loved knowledge from an early age, wanting to know how the world works even when I was at junior school. I ended up studying at four universities over a period of 10 years and I have more academic qualifications than most. I became a teacher, teaching a variety of subjects; general studies, physics, maths, metalwork, woodwork, music and more. When I left teaching, I turned my focus to becoming an IFA – that was over 20 years ago. I’m probably the most qualified IFA in the UK (I was forced to put that in!) and a member of numerous fellowships.
Education for My Clients
We all learn, every day, unknowingly or knowingly. Knowledge is incredible and that’s one of the reasons why I constantly update my website with free information. In fact, my website is an incredible educational resource when it comes to finance. If I was to add up the amount of money I’ve spent on populating the pages with educational material, it would probably amount to thousands of pounds! If you haven’t taken a look yet, I urge you to do so. There are over 50 educational videos, around 25 blogs (and growing), 70 or so downloadable guides and I’ve recently expanded into the world of podcasts too which you’ll find in all the right places, iTunes, Deezer etc. Last week I launched a YouTube channel too, I’d love you to subscribe to it here.
All that information mentioned above is free! It really is worthwhile reading too and I hope that I’ve made it clear and understandable. While I’m passionate about my own learning, I’m also just as keen to get my clients (and anyone else interested) educated on the world of finance. Some people switch off when they hear the topic but I’ve structured my learning material to be easy to digest and most importantly, not bombard the reader with a load of incomprehensible language that’s reserved for IFAs!
Why Do I Do it for FREE?
Lots of people have asked me over the years, why I offer all that material for free. While I knew it would cost money to publish all the educational material on my website, it’s easy to answer that! Mainly, I really want people to understand the world of finance; financial planning, pensions, estates, investments and ROI etc.… Here’s a link that will help you get to grips on the topic of financial planning, for example. Now, I don’t monetise my website either, so I’m not looking for brands to advertise or pay me sums of money to endorse their product or service. While other IFAs might find that odd, I’m just not that kind of guy. However, I am also a charitable person so if you do hop onto my website to access the material available, perhaps you’d like to donate to the Just Giving link at the top of the home page.
Getting Finance Understood
As just mentioned, it all comes down to understanding money. For me, it’s easy, I’ve been doing it for so many years now. However, people not involved in the financial world just don’t understand investment and they rightly worry about losing money. The information on my website includes videos and guides that clearly explains how to invest wisely and correctly. Along with following my own good advice on what investments are wise, there is NO risk of losing money. That might be quite a sweeping statement, but it’s true. There may be short term volatility at the beginning of an investment but all of my clients in the last 15 years have never complained about their ROI and that’s pretty good going! I could even stretch that to 20 years – all of my clients have gained and many have a comfy retirement, living off the income from their investments that I’ve made on their behalf. Here’s a good link on how to invest your money properly.
In saying that, I never just take out an investment for my clients without feeling absolutely confident that they understand what I’m doing for them. That goes back to sound information and another reason why I keep publishing useful material, through the written word, audio and video. I want all my clients to understand what I’m advising them – without blinding them with figures and graphs. Whenever I advise a client, I back up my conversations by pointing them to my own videos, podcasts and guides so there’s authority there. I often point them to a specific link and encourage them to listen or read it (or view it!). Then, I hope they want to learn more and they hop onto something else that I’ve published. It’s always for clients’ benefit and it gives that extra reassurance too, that they’re doing the right thing. One of the big topics that often comes up is wills – if you want to know more about how to plan out your will, listen to my podcast here.
There’s no Such Thing as a Silly Question
I also encourage my clients to ask as many questions as they want, one of my favourite sayings is there’s no such thing as a silly question. If you don’t know something, then how can it be silly to ask? If a client says to me, you know what you’re doing, I’ll leave it to you, I get uncomfortable because I want my clients to understand everything thoroughly and I’m always available at the end of the phone or by email to ask a question!
So, in conclusion – if you want to know anything about finance, I’m sure you’ll find it on my website and it’s great to keep the mind ticking over with new information too. However, remember, I am happy to explain anything over the phone, or on Zoom. You’ll find I’m really passionate about what I do – I can actually feel the adrenaline right now as I write about how learning and education gives me a real buzz. Let’s all get our minds buzzing with excitement about the world of finance and what will work for your money!