View more on these topics

Nick Bamford: Taking pleasure in stepping back from advice

A colleague and I had just finished presenting the outcome of a financial planning exercise to a lovely couple spending a good deal of time and money exploring the world post-redundancy/retirement.

We had spent the best part of an hour looking at their net worth position, their income and expenditure, and how the relationship between those items might pan out in the future through multiple cashflow forecasts.

We had explained and debated the various assumptions that had been used, and considered what might happen if those assumptions were different in practice in the future. We discussed their life goals and what they wanted.

The most interesting part of the meeting was the consideration of a number of “what if?” scenarios.

What if they actually spent more on holidays and world travel? What if they were to downsize their home in the future and release some of the equity? We considered the batting order in terms of taking future income: where it should come from, what the income tax position was, and what the ultimate inheritance tax position might be on the second of them to die. Might they be able to afford to help their children, and one day their granddaughter, on to the property ladder?

I say “a colleague and I” but really I mean said colleague Andy Bodman, as it was him doing all the work.

I may have been the lead financial planner for these clients for the past couple of years, but not today. I sat at their kitchen table, cup of tea in hand, observing the interaction between them and Andy.

One of the great delights in managing a team of people is helping them with their development.

Andy has gone through the process of completing his diploma-level qualification and moving on towards chartered status. He has also been signed off as a competent adviser. Most importantly, he has been imbued with the culture of the firm.

He knows the only things that matter as far as the business is concerned are suitability of the advice we are delivering, and transparency as far as cost and risk are concerned. He has no personal business target. He does not need to have one since we have a collective financial target as a firm, which we are all jointly responsible for.

The meeting came to a conclusion with the clients delighted. They were reassured about their finances and had received answers to their questions in an understandable manner. And then I heard something that some years ago might have upset me greatly but now has the opposite effect. The client leaned towards me and said: “It seems we don’t need you anymore, Nick. We have Andy instead.”

I couldn’t help but smile. Developing a young person into a highly competent adviser who clients can trust is something of a triumph. There are two more like him back at the office and we are starting the journey now for the fourth.

I delight in the fact that I am not needed anymore.

Nick Bamford is executive director at Informed Choice


Aviva to fine tune platform drawdown features over summer

Aviva says it is focused on the completion of drawdown and investment features on its platform over the summer. Head of platform propositions Mike Hogg shed light on how developments at the platform are progressing in an interview with Money Marketing. He says the provider has been working on the improvement of drawdown functionality, investment […]


FCA investigates introducers over £258m pension transfers

The FCA has confirmed it is currently investigating four unauthorised firms and four unauthorised individuals in relation to financial introducers for pension products. A Freedom of Information request from March released this week asked the FCA to provide details of its current investigations and their wider affects. The watchdog says the total value of pension […]


PFS: IFAs consider abandoning DB transfer advice after FOS hike

Advisers are considering scrapping advice on defined benefit pension  transfers due to changes to the Financial Ombudsman Service compensation limit, the Personal Finance Society says. The FCA has increased the ombudsman’s award limit from £150,000 to £350,000 on April 1. PFS said that since the hike, financial advisers has contacted the professional body, saying they […]


Introducing SUSTAINABILITY, a bi-annual publication dedicated to our activities in our sustainable fund range. Sustainable investing is based on a simple premise. That is, owners and managers of capital, whether that is equity or debt, can positively influence society by prioritising investment in those companies that are helping move to a cleaner, healthier, more inclusive […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Rowan Paterson 26th June 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Spot on Nick!

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm