Ever considered the benefits financial planning and wealth management could bring to you and your family? Or the risks created by not having a plan?
Financial planning specialist Simon Thompson, of Welby Associates Wealth Management, has explained the benefits of financial planning and how professional financial advice can have a positive impact on your lifestyle.
He began with an overview of financial planning and by outlining how Welby Associates can help clients.
“It’s our job to help people live the best life they can with the money they’ve got.
“It isn’t a focus on money and it isn’t a focus on products, those things are secondary. Our job is to help people live a life that fulfils them and means something to them with the money that’s available to them to do that.”
How did Simon’s career lead to becoming an expert in financial planning and wealth management?
“I’ve been in the industry for ten years.
“I’m not one of those people who knew that the age of seven that I wanted to be a financial planner. I left school at 18 and had a place at university to study psychology in Aberdeen.
“I decided not to follow through on that as I thought ‘this is going to be four years and a waste of money’. So I went to work in a shop.
“At about 23/24 I got to the point where I had to make a change as there’s a cap on what you can earn in retail. I wasn’t being challenged and wasn’t being stretched.
“One of our friends was financial advisor with one of the banks in Belfast, his job seemed interesting and pretty fulfilling.
“Being relatively OCD on detail I did an analysis of barriers to entry and potential rewards and timeline and qualifications. I settled on retraining as a financial planner.”
Today, and Simon spends his working hours building his client base and looking for ways to add value for those those customers.
He outlined that his company’s job is to “help people define and create a life of significance and build the financial architecture that sits underneath that”.
“The product bit that most people associate with financial advice and financial planning? They are simply funders of that plan and a support system for this vision.”
Some of the questions Simon will ask about a person’s plan for their life will include asking what income will be needed, what timeline applies and what taxation will be involved.
“What can we do to try to facilitate this overarching life of meaning?
“It’s creating connection between a life that means something, the income, taxes and products that you have then putting in place the best stuff to fund that.
“Most people will associate us with pensions and investments and mortgages and all the rest of it, but that is the tail end of the process.”
What, then, are the possible consequences of not having a financial plan in place?
“There are a lot of people who, because they don’t have a financial plan, don’t know what ‘their number’ is: the amount of money, the amount of income, the amount of stuff that people need to be able to live a life of financial freedom.
“Freedom is defined by them because that’s different for everyone.
“It’s my belief that if you don’t know what that number is you then could end up not doing enough or doing far too much and missing out on some significant memories, experiences and opportunities.”
Simon had some challenging questions for business owners.
“For the business owner specifically one of things I have noticed, and I have noticed it in my own life, is that we get to this point where our business and our actual life are not congruent so the business vision does not support the lifestyle drive.
“You have people who give their life in service of the business but to such an extend that the business will never serve the life they want to live, as their life has been become defined by a business and isn’t defined by anything greater.
“Are you fulfilled by what you are doing? Does your business still light your fire? Does your business tick all the boxes? Are your services priced effectively to support the level of lifestyle you want? Is your staffing in place and is everything delegated sufficiently to allow you to be released to live the other things of meaning?
“That’s the quality of life stuff that really matters.”
To discover more financial planning expertise from Simon Thompson explore our full interview.
Welby Associates Wealth Management – www.welbyassociates.co.uk