As this is our first blog, we thought it would be useful to explain a little bit about us. So here you go…
WHO do we help? Our clients are from diverse backgrounds. This is what I love about
our profession – meeting different people with unique stories and differing requirements from a trusted adviser. We do not focus on specific groups of people. We are all inclusive and if we can add value, then we are here to help. We might arrange something simple like life insurance for new parents, to more complex subjects like retirement planning and pension fund accrual.
WHO are we? – I’m Oliver McDonald and my business partners are Nick Hale and Ian Abbott. You
can find out more under the ‘Who we are’ tab on our website.
Unusually, I am a financial adviser that actually wanted this as a career. It came about whilst working
in the French alps in my late teens and deciding I needed a career. At that time, I became friends with the hotel accountant who pushed me towards financial advice. Many exams, many job applications, a few years at large banks and many years in a financial advice practice I am where I am now. A trusted industry known individual with 15 years of solid experience.
WHAT – We provide financial planning advice. Financial planning involves a lot of moving parts and
might include advice around several areas such as pensions advice, investments outside of pensions,
individual insurance, inheritance tax planning, business insurance and corporate pensions. The key is
we focus on your financial goals and create a personalised plan to achieve those goals.
WHEN – Now! We are open! Generally, 9-5 Monday to Friday. Although, I’m writing this blog at
6:52am on a Wednesday and often work a little in the evenings and weekends…. for now. We have no problem in arranging meetings to suit you and your busy schedules.
WHERE – We have offices in Hove, East Sussex and I work from home a lot. However, with the
wonders of technology, we’re able to help clients all over the UK and not just the South-East. We’ve already had enquiries from Wales, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, London, Ireland and Egypt! (We only advise UK residents though).
HOW – Face-to-face, Zoom, telephone…whichever our clients prefer. How we set up is a long story,
but we decided to go the difficult route of direct authorisation by the FCA, which involves a gigantic
amount of paperwork, time and money. This gives us the flexibility to run our business how we
want, ensuring our clients receive the best quality independent advice. We always suggest a non-committal / free of charge initial meeting. This is to establish how and if we can help. We’ll then take it from there.
- We passionately believe that improved financial health can improve mental and physical
health. Many households across the UK have money worries, with financial education only
hitting the school curriculum in recent years. Although not everyone will need our advice
services, we believe it’s our duty to provide financial education to as many people as
possible, including our clients. That’s why you’ll see our social media pages full of useful
financial education and why we work with employers to provide guidance and advice to
- Early in my career, I realised quickly that financial advice is really, really simple but it’s been
over-complicated by regulation, industry changes, mountains of jargon and advisors providing out-dated advice. I offer an innovative and tailored approach for the advice I provide. I’ve been told countless times throughout my career that I’m a breath of fresh air, as I explain complex subjects simply and cut-out the jargon. On several occasions I’m the second or third IFA they’ve seen after leaving previous meetings more confused than when they walked in (these people then became my clients). Enough blowing my own trumpet…
I realised I had a knack for something that isn’t actually a talent at all – I can speak with human
beings like they’re actual humans and I am still fascinated by the world of finance.
There is also a small problem in our industry – the average age of a financial adviser in the UK is 58.
These advisers will be retiring in the next 5-10 years leaving a gaping hole and huge opportunity for
‘younger’ IFA’s to create the future.
There is a movement in the UK with decent financial planners providing proper independent
financial planning advice. Decent IFA’s around the country are committed to providing financial
education alongside this advice. Because it’s our duty.
That is ‘WHY’