Our conversations centred around what I wanted to achieve, and it then became about working out how I’d get that. My goal was financial freedom. I didn’t have that when we first met, but I’m glad to say, I do now.
I first started working with Paul about eight and a half years ago. Our work back then wasn’t so much focused on the financials as it was about planning for the future – working out my life plan.
At first, it was more of an emotional rather than a financial discussion. Our conversations centred around what I wanted to achieve, and it then became about working out how I’d get that.
My goal was financial freedom. I didn’t have that when we first met, but I’m glad to say, I do now. I went to Paul without a lot of money to invest but I knew that I wanted to sell a business at some point in the future – that was the dream.
People assume that if they go to a financial adviser they need to have all their ducks in a row. What working with Paul has taught me is that it’s never too early to start the conversation and work out what your desired outcomes are. You might not have completely figured out what your end goals are yet, but while you’re having those discussions and thinking about it, you can still be getting your money to work for you.
When I first approached Paul, I just knew I wanted to protect my family’s financial future. That’s why I approached him – not because I had money and didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. I’ve introduced Paul to loads of people in different financial positions and they’ve got just as much from working with him as I have.
I don’t see Paul as a financial adviser. That implies someone who is there giving me advice on individual investments. It’s been the creation of a financial partnership. That’s how I’ve always seen my relationship with Paul. Our discussions will be around things like what age I want to retire at, what kind of lifestyle I want and how we go about achieving those things. He’ll show me efficiencies, how I get to my outcomes in the easiest, quickest way. He’s taught me that every minute your money is working in some smart way for you, is another minute you are closer to your end goals.
Working with Paul has allowed me to focus on my strengths. I like starting and running businesses – that’s what I want to focus my time on. Since we started working together, I’ve opened up four or five new businesses and sold businesses. I’ve been able to pass on the money I’ve made through business sales to Paul and know it’s in good hands. And my reward has been financial security for my family. We’ve bought a great home and we have a holiday budget that allows us to live well. It’s all been built into the plan because that’s what we said was important to us. We’ve made some great investments.
Paul’s allowed me the headspace to get on with what I’m good at. I believe in the philosophy that you should always employ people who are better skilled than you to work for you. I apply the same philosophy to my financial planning. You wouldn’t try to do your legal work yourself, so why would you try and do the financials yourself if someone else is better at it?
You don’t always want to be interrupted to know what’s going on with your money – you just want to know it’s going well. And Paul gets that engagement level just right. We have a regular cadence of conversation on the financials and I know that if I needed it to be more then it could.
For me, the thing I’d say to anyone considering financial planning is never to think it’s too early to seek advice. There’s a level of happiness in setting goals and a level of contentment in achieving them.
I feel so lucky to have Paul by my side. Having someone there who talks you out of panicking when you see terrifying headlines in the press about markets dropping 30%, seeing other people make rash decisions when challenging times came along, but knowing that my finances are being managed by professionals. And it’s showed; the outcomes have been better than expected. Not all times are good, but if you’ve got the right people looking after you in the right areas of your life, it shows.