The end of one year and the start of a new one is often the time when people begin to look ahead.
January is one of the peak times for our chartered financial planners starting to work with new clients.
Our first conversation is about ascertaining what the client wants.
We need to understand the stage of life they are at. Are they approaching retirement or do they still have children at school or university? Do they own a business or are they employees? Has the mortgage been paid off? Do they have savings or have recently inherited?
We like to know what makes people tick away from work too. Do they have hobbies or enjoy dining out or taking holidays? Or do they have more of a cautious mindset to spending?
It is our job to ask the right questions to be able to advise the client in the most appropriate and personalised way and start to build an effective investment plan.
We would expect to gain a good insight at our no-obligation first meeting, which is always free, from which we can respond with a bespoke proposal we believe is right for the client.
Once someone becomes a client, we will agree their priorities and start to create a plan with the objective of providing long-term financial security.
We will look at your various policies, pensions, investments and accounts and, using industry-leading software, provide a detailed analysis of the current position and what needs to be done to achieve those future goals.
Markets are forever changing. Part of our responsibility to you is to keep abreast of fluctuations in terms of financial models, products, risks and cost of funds.
The one thing that is certain is that the financial services industry has changed a lot – and for the better – since I first started out 30 years ago.
Putting in place a long-term financial plan, that is carefully considered but maintains an element of flexibility, is the essential starting point.
The fun bit of our job is not so much watching our clients save money, but helping them to achieve and enjoy the retirement they envisage when the time comes.
For more information or to arrange a free initial consultation visit www.phillipbatesfs.co.uk or call 0151 353 1066.