This year I started working with a financial planner. To be honest, I had been one of those that didn't really understand why financial planners needed a financial planner, but having dived into the experience, I get it, and it makes me really proud of how far financial planning has come.
I do also realise that this blog is a bit like Sean Connery's brother's daughter; a little niche; but stick around if it's your thing.
We (my girlfriend and I) sought out advice as we were at a bit of a crossroads. A combination of some personal tragedy, trying to run three businesses, a house move, a girlfriend not sure about her career and plans for a bigger family.
There was tons going on and we needed to see the wood from the trees. I've been working with a personal coach for a while now, and that's been a huge help, but when it comes to finances, it's a bit of a cobbler's shoes situation with me: love sorting others finances out, but mine come last. No real strategic plan, just ad hoc stuff all over the shop as muddled as Boris' barnet.
The cut of Nikki’s jib
She runs our Scotland roundtables alongside her brilliant sister Jenny, and I've always liked the cut of her jib. When she presented at the NextGen conference a couple of years back, her 10 min talk was amazing. It was so enthusiastic, so energetic, so optimistic and most of all, so much fun.
I knew she was the one that I wanted to work with. Someone who isn't close to me, who I don't REALLY know, but can ask me some great questions and have an objective view.
Ultimately, I think I decided on Nikki because I see a lot of those things I mentioned in myself (jeez how do you write that sentence without sounding like a tool? Ah well; I've done it!). I felt like I would be comfortable working with someone who had similar traits. I'm someone who craves technical detail like a hole in the head.
The first meeting was a little weird - being on the receiving end of the questions felt very strange at first, but it soon flowed. I was really specific in the brief that I'm comfortable with looking after the investment side of things myself, and needed purely planning and any blind spots gap filled.
It was my girlfriend's first experience of financial planning and the changes as a result for us have been wonderful.
At a high level the following has happened:
- She's quit her high stress job as a solicitor to focus on her art career full time
- It's given me the confidence to re-jig my work life balance and know things will be ok
- We have regular savings set up (don't underestimate how simple yet valuable this is for clients!)
- It's given me the kick up the arse to consolidate my girlfriend’s pensions for her
We've struggled for a child for a little while, and I think it's no coincidence that since my girlfriend quit her job with long hours and stress, we're currently in the middle of a successful pregnancy with a little one due late March (fingers crossed).
That might not have happened without the confidence that Nikki gave us in providing us with a clear and detailed financial plan.
As I said at the start, I'm immensely proud of how far financial planning has come. I'm 35, and in my relatively short career, the pace of change in financial planning is only increasing. The quality is outstanding, the differences planners are making is amazing, and it's a great place to be.
Thank you to Nikki and the Wellington Wealth team and we look forward to seeing the new offices in December.