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to WelcoMe the Autumn edition of the

caRrinGtoN CluB

WelcoMe “The budget is not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of our values and aspirations" Jacob Lew

And what a year this has been! We started it full of excitement – a big year for us, celebrating 10 years of Carrington, a new name: CARRINGTON WEALTH MANAGEMENT and a beautiful new office. We had big plans and high expectations for 2020. But in March we were all thrown an unexpected curve ball (the one we mentioned planning for in the previous Club!) and our plans had to change rather quickly. Although the effects of the pandemic have been devastating and have affected us all differently, we wanted to focus on the positive that has come out of it and the selflessness highlighted by it. As a team we have had to adapt to a new way of working and it has been important during this time to support each other and take care of our all-round wellbeing.

We feel this edition is a continuation along that theme. Within these pages we will look at what financial wellbeing means, and you will find our TOP TIPS for achieving it. Celebrating our 10 Years, we chat about what Carrington means to us, how we got here and where we’re going. Take your time meeting some of our amazing clients who have shared a snapshot of how they are involved in their communities and what it means to them. And then we’d like to introduce you to James Caplan of First Financial, a specialist mortgage adviser, who we have partnered with to assist with all your mortgage needs. James also shares with us how he has looked after his own wellbeing, the wellbeing of his team and how he volunteers with an organisation very close to his heart to give back to others. Thank you so much to everyone who contributed their time and stories to help us bring you another bumper issue. We hope you enjoy it.

Mike & Al

Zoom Meeting

Ali Moorhouse

Carolyn Stewart

Cecily Chapman

Eric Woodward

Moshsin Bukhari

Marissa Harpa

Nicola Craxton

Mike Hodges

Sophia Adams

Thomas Fairbank

Tom Scott

Rachel Hogg

Alistair Candlish

QA &

10 Years of Carrington

Mike Hodges & Alistair Candlish Carrington directors Mike Hodges and Alistair Candlish share their thoughts about Carrington hitting the ten year mark this year, how they came to work together (mainly involving golf and Al stealing desk space) and how things have changed within the company over the years. They also share their thoughts on the team, the Carrington culture, what they enjoy most about what they do, and say a few words about winning the Money Marketing Advice Firm of the Year award.

HOW DID YOU MEET? Al: Heathrow Airport. It was... I’m going to have a stab at… because we are quite old now… 20 odd years ago and we were with a group of friends from Denham Golf Club going on a golf tour to Portugal. Mike: It was my first Portugal tour and yes that’s where we met and so the connection has always been the golf club and golf generally and we’ve been mates ever since we met.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START WORKING TOGETHER? Al: Well, Mike would talk to me on our trips away about what he was doing. Every now and again he’d ask me to look at what he’d written or ask me what I thought about a certain topic, so I was aware of what he was up to over a number of years.

Mike: It came about over a period of time. I had an office near Charterhouse Street at the time and I remember Al saying to me “Right, I am going to get out of Hedge Funds and I’m interested in getting into your area of business and I’ve got an opportunity to buy something”. That was around 2006/07, we went through the opportunity that he had together, and it just didn’t look right so Al turned that down and then we had a bit of a chat about Carrington. But it wasn’t until a few years later that Al said: “Right, I am actually NOW leaving the Hedge Fund industry and I want to pursue a career in the wealth management sector.” Al: The period post when we first met, we had parallel careers. Mike looking after private clients, while my world was managing institutional money for big corporations. So we had a mutual interest in the world of investing. I had a particular interest in jumping from the institutional side to looking

after private clients and it just so happened it was at about the same time when Mike was taking off. Eric (Eric Woodward, Investment Director) had joined, and they’d put together a five-year plan for the business – and it just happened at the right time. So yes, Mike had a spare desk in the office, I sat with the team and learned a bit more about what he was doing. I took my exams and passed (and I think Mike bought me a bottle of champagne). It was good timing in that I was looking to get into something where Mike was already established with experience. Mike: I actually set Carrington up in 1996. But really, I regard Carrington as starting “properly” in 2010 when I sold my interests in the accountancy business I owned and decided to go down the wealth management route. I totally remodelled the business, closer to a business that I think Al found attractive - effectively I was saying, “Right, I’m not going to look after everybody, I’m not going to do all things for all people. We are going to look after less people and provide a really great service.” I had a vision of what I wanted to achieve, and I had a process of how I wanted to do it and what we were offering. The business had been doing that reasonably successfully for 2 or 3 years, but it was in sort of “take-off” mode really and the timing was really good for both of us.

Funnily, I had vowed to myself never to run a business with anybody else, ever again in my life! Al: Just shows how nice I am. Mike: You can just delete that, delete that comment {Anne} – don’t type it up. We both know that’s not true. But I do think that you are absolutely affected by experiences you have in life and that was my experience of running a business with somebody. But the reality was, what I had missed and what I didn’t have, was the experience of running a business with somebody who had the same aims and motivation that I had. So the key has been, and the great thing really has been, that the two of us are on the same page. We have the same values, and we have the same plan, and our goals are very aligned. So I think that pretty quickly we both got comfortable with the idea and decided actually we would make it more formal and that was in about 2014. The business was going places but having Al on board definitely gave us the turbocharge that we needed.

SO, WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO? Mike: We’re helping people achieve their goals and that’s very rewarding and enjoyable. It’s providing the safe hands when they deal with us, the knowledge that we are adding value to their lives. It’s the same with our staff - it’s great to see them progress, to guide them and

We are going to look after less people and provide a really great service.

be part of the process, that’s very satisfying. Ultimately you want to be successful, you want those around you to be successful and you want a successful business. Al: It’s about the people. Although it’s a lot of fun building a business, making sure your team and the clients are along for the ride; feeling that they are being looked after and safe in the knowledge that they know where they’re going; that’s why we get up every morning. I guess the order is: clients, staff, successful business but there can be an overlap. Mike: You get the first two right, everything else takes care of itself and ultimately, we enjoy the personal contact we have with people. For me, that’s the most pleasurable part. The client work you do, meeting different people, dealing with different personalities and stories, that’s very enjoyable because everybody is completely different. Being able to do that for a living is really a great thing to do. Al: We’re not stuck in front of a screen only looking at spreadsheets all day. We’re doing some interesting things with great people and we’re here to guide them and to tell them that they can do the stuff they want to do (or at least plan to do it) and enjoy it. A lot of these clients become good friends over time, it’s terrific.

WHAT DO YOU EACH BELIEVE THAT YOU BRING TO CARRINGTON? Mike: For me it’s ideas. I think I’ve always had a strong vision of how I believe some things should look, but we’re always looking at ways to improve and areas in which to be innovative. So definitely ideas, definitely a vision. We also bring our personalities, and that’s important in the area that we work in. Al: I think for me it’s my drive to always do my best, at whatever I’m tackling. It’s about delivering the best service, finding the best solutions and getting the best out of the team around me… and of course being the best on the golf course! I also came to Carrington with years of financial knowledge, which I’ve been able to share with the team, and continue to do so as part of the Investment Committee. I think I’m very open, you know, approachable as a person and I think this has helped us create an environment where everyone feels part of something, that their ideas and suggestions matter and where we can all share what we enjoy doing. It’s not just the two of us, it’s the whole team. Mike: I mean, it’s the culture, isn’t it Al? I think we talk about that a lot. I think that what we’ve hopefully been able to do is create a culture within the

10 Years of Carrington

A lot of these clients become good friends over time, it’s terrific.

business that permeates throughout the people who work with us. That then permeates into what they do for the clients. So, I think by bringing all our qualities, I suppose values, and by being good listeners (that really helps in our business!) and trying to make things as much fun as we can, we’ve created a supportive but light-hearted working environment. Ultimately, it’s about treating people how we would expect to be treated ourselves.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IS OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS? Mike: Continuing to be able to grow the business, to keep moving forward. We are always looking at new ways to do things, to build on what we’ve already done, introduce new ideas and deal with stuff differently. Listen to our clients and the team. So, I think it’s been the ability to change. To keep the service very hands-on as we’ve got bigger, and still give clients the feeling that we are a small business looking after them. Even though we’ve obviously grown over the last 10 years. There are some milestones which we’ve hit which have been great, but I think if you asked either of us about them, we’ve usually, the day after, started thinking about how we get the next one. So you forget quite quickly. Perhaps we should dwell on

some of them and enjoy them a bit more, but we don’t, we tend to move on quite quickly. Al: I agree. I think that keeping the company growing and remaining innovative has been a brilliant achievement. In terms of what we’ve been doing with our investment portfolios - introducing the low cost ETF [exchange traded fund] portfolios a couple of years ago and then more recently launching our own ESG Portfolio, when hardly anyone else was doing that kind of thing yet. It’s put us out there, ahead of the pack. I think Mo’s [Mohsin Bukhari, Head of Investments] Trailblazer Award last year says it all. We’re not sitting back and waiting for it to come to us, we’re making waves and I’m very proud of that! Mike: And it has not changed in 10 years, it has not changed at all. We spend more time now, even more than we used to, thinking about how do we add value to our clients? How can we make their experience better? What more can we do?

HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR VIEW ON WEALTH MANAGEMENT BETWEEN THEN AND NOW? Mike: I think it’s changed a lot. We do a lot more “stuff” now than we used to. So the investment piece has become

less important and other elements, such as really listening to our clients needs and the planning around that, have become much more important. 10 years ago we wouldn’t have talked to somebody about what their goals and objectives were, about linking them to their plan. We weren’t talking in those terms. It was still “right, we’ll give you some financial advice and we’re going to do some investments for you”. And now it’s become far more holistic. So, in my opinion, I believe that it has changed massively in the last 10 years and definitely in 20 years, the change is off the scale. Al: I agree. But of course it doesn’t mean that we don’t spend time focusing on investments. This is still a very important part of our service but unlike most advice firms, we do this in-house, all run by our investment team. We don’t give it to someone else to manage because we still want to control the process so that we can be accountable. The difference now is that the investments are there to support and help the client towards achieving their goals. As Mike said, it’s far more of a holistic process now.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST CHALLENGE? Al: Keeping everyone aligned with our thoughts about how we should look after clients? The biggest challenges in any business are usually around people. Mike: The main one we always come up against is continuing to do what we do at the same level as we grow the business I suppose. Our other challenge is how we attract new clients. We work on a referral basis as we always said we wanted to build the company, working with like-minded people, who we’d go for a beer with. When we re-do our growth plans, we look at that plan and think about how we’re going to bring in new clients to support the investment we’re making in the team and the business. So I think continuing the client flow is always a challenge, however, bringing new clients in and introducing them to what we do, is great fun. When you have a good interaction with a new client and they come on-board and they are really happy, that’s a brilliant feeling. Al: In terms of recent challenges, we have to mention the pandemic has thrown up some up in the last six months (and I think it will continue to do so for some time!). We suddenly found ourselves in a situation, not like anything we’d been in before and we were trying to navigate it for ourselves, while guiding our clients as best we could and trying to support our team as well. I think we all did an amazing job at adapting to the

10 Years of Carrington situation, being there for each other and our clients. We are all really excited about getting back into our new office – and of course we can’t wait to show it off to our clients – but the priority right now is about putting everyone’s health first.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO START THE BUSINESS AND DO YOU HAVE THE SAME MOTIVATORS NOW? Mike: Okay, I can answer that one. I can take you back and that’s pretty easy. Al: It’s going to be a short answer along the lines of “He didn’t want to work for anyone else and no one else wanted to employ him”.

around the life planning and client engagement and I was keen to be involved and use my people skills to help others. And nothing has changed, I’m still as motivated now as I was 8 years ago when I joined Carrington. I’m just really, really enjoying the challenge.

HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR CLIENTS HAVE CHANGED OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS? Mike: I don’t think they’ve fundamentally changed. We probably understand our clients a lot better than we used to. We do a lot more work around questioning them. We definitely deal with them in a different way now, don’t we Al? The focus is a bit different, but ...

Mike: And I think, pretty much, you’ve hit the nail on the head Al, absolutely spot on. That is probably it. I was 27-28 and I thought “right I think I can do it on my own, thanks. I don’t really want to work for somebody else, I’m going to set up an investment business” and that was that. For me the motivators are absolutely the same, but I’m far more motivated now than 10 years ago, definitely.

Al: Yes, I think it’s more us and how we deal with them that has changed. Taking a more holistic approach and really listening to what they say and want. Getting a better understanding of them – their needs, their goals, strengths and weaknesses.

Al: And I would say that my motivation came from the realisation that I’d enjoyed my time in the investment world, but I could see the changes happening in the advice area

Al: It’s great. I think it shows a change in the industry too. Financial services used to be full of men, but it’s good to see a shift, we are dealing with more women and families, it’s

Mike: We’ve obviously grown too, so we have more clients now, there is more of a natural spread.

intergenerational. And it’s great, the energy that the younger advisors [Ali and Cecily] bring definitely change the dynamic so we’re seeing a younger set of clients coming on board too and that’s exciting.

HAVE ANY OF YOUR CLIENTS INFLUENCED THE BUSINESS, AND YOU PERSONALLY? Mike: I’ve got loads of examples, as long as my arm, of people who have influenced the business. Al: I would say that the thread here is that clients have become friends and have been willing to talk about the business. Sometimes we’ve asked them directly and they’ve been really, really happy to have been asked and pleased to give advice. Some are just happy to talk about their experiences and how it might be similar to what we’re going through. Mike: I think the last 10 years has been littered with examples of clients giving feedback on something and saying, “Have you guys thought about doing something like this”? Or “Why don’t you present it in this sort of format”? And we will go, “Okay, that’s a good idea, let’s do it”, and we embrace it. We definitely don’t have all the answers. I think the clients are massively influential on the business. It is a business for clients so it’s probably natural that they play a big part in how we do things. I think both of us also believe in knowing your limits and listening to other people who know more than you on a topic. I think, probably one of our strengths is we don’t think we know it all and we are very happy to listen and then we’re very happy to try. We know what we’re good at, and we know what we’re not very good at, and we’re quite comfortable with that. Al: The team are also influential. That’s part of what we’re trying to achieve through the culture. We encourage them to think for themselves and feel confident that they can have ideas, knowing that we will listen and be receptive to them.

TALKING ABOUT YOUR TEAM, TELL US MORE ABOUT THEM Al: They’re enthusiastic, they have energy, they are very talented. Mike: They’re young… I think that’s good for us. There is a pretty big age gap

we continue to grow and develop our team, with our clients right at the centre.

10 Years of Carrington between us and most of the team. It’s a good thing. Al: I certainly think they’re talented and they respond to the environment that has been created, which is “we trust you, go and model it the way you would like to model it. Go and do the things you would like to do, and we’ll support you where we can”. It’s a very open team and they’ve all embraced the culture. They’re just very good at what they do a) they really care b) they just get it – they understand. We’re all on the same page and all have the same goals. Mike: They are a very diverse team too and the diversity helps enormously. Al: Different opinions, different approaches. And they have shown their mettle during the pandemic, they’ve pulled together, we’re very proud of them... they are good, they are really good.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR RECENT ADVICE FIRM OF THE YEAR AWARD? Mike: First of all I think it’s pretty amazing to have won it because you could never envisage yourself winning something like that as a business. We’re really proud and I think it shows that we’re doing the right things. It was definitely a jaw-dropping moment, I mean everyone wants to win, don’t

we? If you go into something you want to win it, don’t you? But you don’t expect it to happen. And to get comments such as “well-rounded firm, putting client centricity at the heart of everything they do” and getting commended for our culture, staff development and diversity and inclusion is just brilliant. So it was fantastic. Al: This one was particularly great as we’ve had a number of near-misses over the last four or five years and some of the near misses have been when we’ve been put up alongside bit corporates and we’ve clearly felt that we’re probably in the wrong category. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still proud to be there, but what we do is so different it just didn’t feel right to be pitted against them? But it’s because we’ve had a few near misses, that this one really feels extra special and it’s probably the one that we’re most proud of because it’s recognising us as financial advisors. Mike: Absolutely. It’s also well recognised within our industry, it’s the best of the best, so we are getting a bit of recognition that means something. I think it’s rubber-stamping what we do and the way we do things. To have independent people, our peers, think that what we’re doing is exceptional, feels great. So the recognition is brilliant, fantastic, and gives us confidence that we’re on the right track.

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU, OVER THE COMING YEARS? Mike: We’ve just done a plan on this whole area actually, it’s important to plan…as we tell our clients all the time!! If you know where you’re going and you have a target, you can then work backwords to see how you are going to reach that target and it becomes an easier exercise. So, first thing is, make sure we have the client at the centre of the business. Make sure we keep the culture. Make sure the staff all feel that they are totally engaged in that and onboard in the way we want to do it. At the moment we’re confident that we’ve created a platform that will allow us to grow. We’ve made a new hire this year, we’ve invested in a new office and will create a new environment for growth within that office. We have built a really good team and will continue to hire really good people. Al: I agree we’ve got a great plan, a great culture and we continue to grow and develop our team, with our clients right at the centre of everything. Clients will continue to get the levels of service that we are very proud of giving them, but we will continue to support our team in their growth and goals and bring in more talent, which will just add even more value to the service that they receive. And we’ll always be looking for ways to improve our service and add value, that will continue.

WHAT LEGACY WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEAVE? Mike: I am not too fussed with what my legacy actually is because I don’t care about that, I never think like that. For me the important thing would be that clients will have benefitted from dealing with us and feel proud to have been associated with us and will look at themselves and go “I’m really pleased that we used those guys. They were good people to deal with. They’ve got me, they’ve looked after my interests to the best of their ability and we were able to do things that perhaps we didn’t think we could’ve done before we met them." Al: Yes, absolutely! I agree, if you want to talk about legacy – for me - that would be the most import thing. That your clients feel that way; or that you have done a few things to really help them and make a small difference in their life. And, if there were lots of them that were able to say that, then I would be really happy!

We don’t think we know it all and we are very happy to listen.

10 Years of Carrington

Well-being /wєl'bi ŋ/

noun: wellbeing The state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.

Wellbeing seems to be the latest catchphrase and with the changes and uncertainty in our lives over the recent months, this may not be a bad thing, but what does it actually mean? As the definition suggests, wellbeing is a state of happiness. It’s a measure of how good and able we feel to cope with what life throws at us daily. But with increasingly stressful lives, navigating new ways of living and working, additional demands on our time and attention, we are spending less time focussing on what is important to us – our mental and physical health. With mental health issues on the rise – 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health issues each year and 1 in 6 experiencing a common mental health problem in any given week in the UK – finding the balance between mind, body and soul is more important than ever before. With the list of factors that influence our happiness being as long as your arm, and some of them out of our control (genetics, personality type), we thought we’d explore a few of the ones that may have been tested during the pandemic and offer up some personal advice and suggestions to help elevate your happiness levels! Wellbeing is personal and subjective, so everyone’s measures will be different. So first out the blocks, stop comparing yourself to others!

Regular Exercise


Now we’re not saying that you need to participate in huge physical challenges such as climbing mountains or cycling the Tour de France course. Even a short burst of 10 minutes of brisk walking can aid our mental alertness, energy and positive mood. But to make a real difference to your mental and physical wellbeing, doing 30 minutes of exercise or more five days a week is key. Exercise will reduce stress, raise your self-esteem, improve concentration and, of course, undertaking it with others will give you a sense of belonging to a “community”. Our top tip for exercise is definitely to find something you find fun – if you don’t enjoy it you won’t do it, or it won’t give you that “buzz” if you do – so even if it’s dancing to Dire Straits in your kitchen or walking briskly with a neighbour and your dog, commit to making time for it regularly.



Sense of Purpose & Meaning

Thank goodness we’ve had work to focus on whilst being stuck at home. It has given us a purpose and a reason to get up and do our hair - blast those daily Zoom calls – and some of us having less hair to style than others! Your reason could be anything - it could range from helping your family, formal volunteering, assisting your neighbours or friends in need or walking a dog to meeting up with friends for a game of golf or a pint. Anything that makes you feel needed and adds meaning to your life. However, it would be very easy to see how your happiness and wellbeing would be affected if your sense of purpose changed or was taken away from you. You can give your life meaning and feel like you’re achieving a sense of purpose by setting yourself goals to achieve (and tracking your progress towards them), looking for groups to join where you can contribute, arranging online group calls if you can’t see family and friends face to face to reinforce your sense of community and belonging, even if only virtually.

Volunteering Volunteering can work wonders for your sense of wellbeing. As mentioned before, it can provide you with a sense of purpose that you might feel you’re lacking in other areas of your life. The simple act of helping others and practicing the art of kindness (i.e. putting others needs before our own) has been proven to also benefit our own mental health and wellbeing. It can reduce stress, improve mood, self-esteem and happiness levels. So the old saying “it's better to give than receive” is actually proven to be true! There are several reasons why volunteering helps our wellbeing: • Helping others not only supports them, but it can also improve our own support networks (by meeting likeminded people) and encourage us to be more active, mentally and physically. • Undertaking face-to-face activities helps reduce loneliness and isolation. •

Helping out with community organisations, particularly those that help those less fortunate than ourselves, can give us a different perspective on our own lives. It can make us see all the things that we have in our own lives and creates a sense of gratitude for what we have, which is proven to increase our own feelings of happiness and satisfaction.

• You don’t have to undertake an “official” role – even just undertaking some smaller acts of kindness will most likely give you a sense of happiness, self confidence and make you feel more optimistic. PLUS you may just start off a ripple effect, with those people who experience your good deeds becoming more likely to repeat that good deed for someone else.

Gratitude As mentioned previously in relation to volunteering, practicing gratitude regularly is well known for promoting a sense of wellbeing. Feeling grateful stimulates powerful chemicals in your brain including serotonin and dopamine, which act as a natural “antidepressant”, make you feel content and add to your sense of wellbeing. We recommend buying a journal (something which in itself gives you joy while looking at it) and writing down three things you’re grateful for each day, or you can download an app such as the Gratitude Happiness Journal if you’d rather use technology.


Financial peace of mind Studies have shown that money doesn’t necessarily bring happiness. It does in so much in that it can improve your living conditions and allow you to live your desired lifestyle. However, chasing money can in fact have the opposite effect on your wellbeing and cause stress and dissatisfaction with life. So what is Financial Wellbeing? It is a feeling of security and knowledge. It’s about being in control of your finances, having your affairs in order and knowing that you have enough to meet your needs, whilst allowing you to enjoy your life. And what is the biggest roadblock to achieving this in our lives? Simply put, procrastination! If just the thought of it feels overwhelming, break it down into bite size chunks or even better, get someone to help you. Ask us! It’s what we love to do - help and work up a good budget! If you haven’t already done so, our Notes on Life Financial Planner is a great place to start. And don’t feel you have to tackle it all in one go – make it manageable and complete it section by section. Just getting started should make you feel calmer and more in control.


Steps to a sense of wellbeing There are a myriad of resources out there on how to improve your sense of wellbeing, both physically and mentally, so if you’d like to find out more hop online. But just focusing on a couple of the areas we’ve highlighted above should make a big difference. And if you need some inspiration on the volunteering front then you’ll be glad to know that we speak to a number of people in this edition of the magazine, all doing completely different activities, but each gaining a huge amount of wellbeing from their involvement.


"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" World Health Organisation



Fun Facts to come out of

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of people are shopping on their high street for non-essential goods

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of adults in England say it’s more important to be active now than before


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Carrington’s Financial Wellbeing Top Tips The brainchild of advisers, Ali Moorhouse and Cecily Chapman, Carrington TOP TIPS launched earlier this year as an educational platform; a place to engage with planning advice and of course somewhere to find a few TOP TIPS to ensure you are setting yourself up in the best way possible for your future, financially. So, we asked them to share their Five Top Tips for increasing your Financial Wellbeing.

Know where you’re going Spend the time on identifying your goals and what you want out of life – how do you want your life to look? What type of lifestyle is important to you? This is an important step, as it is completely unique to you. The goal is to align your lifestyle with your finances and ensure you have enough for the life you want to live, both in the short-term and in the future. This will provide you with not just a sense of financial security but the feeling that you’re making the most of the life you have right now, which will elevate your general levels of satisfaction.

Budgeting Financial wellbeing starts with assessing your spending habits, and if you don’t want to do this alone, a great place to start is by creating your Life Plan with your adviser. Sitting down with us to undertake the planning process will help you to review your expenditure and income, blue-sky those goals and dreams, plan for the changes you expect and factor in the unexpected bumps in the road. When operating your finances without a budget it can be easy to lose control of your spending habits. Not knowing where you stand with your finances can also lead to, sometimes unnecessary, worry. Having this knowledge and clarity will give you the emotional freedom to go out and enjoy your life as you want to live it.





Save before you spend – include your monthly savings in your budget and make sure it leaves your account at the start of the month.


Use tax efficient savings vehicles – ask your adviser about your options.

3 4

Base your savings on your life plan - know your number!


Start saving regularly and early to children’s savings accounts – not only does it teach them about money and the importance of starting to save early, but it’s a great way to get them started in adult life.

Match investment risk to your risk tolerance (both financial and emotional) and the time horizon of your various goals – don’t put money you need imminently into a high risk, volatile investment.

For regular TOP TIPS please follow us on LinkedIn & Twitter.

Understand the effect money has on you Take a good look at your relationship with money and how your feelings affect your spending or hoarding habits. This process can be navigated with the help of a life coach or financial adviser and does not have to be done alone. But understanding your triggers around money and what is driving your behaviour will help develop a more positive relationship with, and behaviour towards, money and your enjoyment of it in the future. For instance, are you an emotional or compulsive shopper? Do you feel you have to keep up with the Joneses? Are you always saving for a rainy day? Exploring why you spend, or indeed save, can help you understand the rationale behind your decisions and enable you to perhaps react differently when different situations arise. Your relationship with money can also be reflected in how you choose to invest and how you react when things go wrong financially. Are you sweating when markets fluctuate? Does the value of your investments keep you up

at night? We are in the business of financially educating our clients and taking the stress out of investing and financial decisions in general. By bringing the focus back to your plan and life goals, and supporting and coaching you towards achieving them, we can help alleviate undue stress in this area of your life.

Emergency Funds Investing is an important part of supporting the goals and ambitions you identified during the life planning process; however, it is important that you have an emergency pot, squirreled away for life’s unexpected turns. These financial upsets are things that are beyond our control and may come in the form of an illness or death, redundancy or bankruptcy. We always advise our clients to set aside a pot of funds, and based on each client’s circumstances, the value of this will vary. It is best to save the money somewhere that is instantly accessible and will not be directly affected by market moves, such as a savings account that earns interest.

Wellbeing comes from financial security, so having this pot of funds available to access if something goes wrong can be the comfort blanket needed to sleep easy, so please don’t underestimate the importance of it.


Investing for the Future Once you feel more organised - you know where you’re going, you’ve tackled your budget and you have a plan in place, then it is time to look further down the line… Investing in your future and creating wealth should be seen as your journey toward financial freedom. Saving requires discipline and direction. Knowing what ‘your number’ is i.e. how much you need to save to achieve everything that is important to you, can give you direction, clarity and provide you with the motivation needed. Clarity around your future can lead to an enhanced feeling of wellbeing.

1 Philanthropy - giving to charity gifts or spending 2 Giving money on friends and family out on experiences 3 Splashing and memory making activities something that gets 4 Buying long term use 5 Saving up to buy a dream item Credit: Chris Budd’s The Financial Wellbeing



Whilst talking to clients over the last few months, we became aware of just how many of them have been undertaking volunteer work in the community or taking part in challenges to raise money. On the following pages you will read about five such clients and what they’ve been doing. We would like to stress that none of these clients wanted to shout publicly about what they do, many of them are very private about their activities (with the exception perhaps of Brian – who needed to shout about it to raise money!) but we cajoled them into it as we felt it was important to highlight the work they were doing, to hopefully provide some inspiration for anyone else that felt like they would like to explore the world of volunteering. We hope the interviews show that there are a multitude of different activities that you can undertake, that ANYONE can do it, you don’t

need to commit a large amount of time (unless you want to) and that it can have real benefits in terms of improving your mental and physical wellbeing, which can often extend to the wellbeing of your friends and families too. It also, of course, has a huge impact on the cause to which you give your time (or money). We hope you find these stories as inspiring as we did – we struggled to shorten the interviews to the length that you find here, so much so that you can find longer transcripts of the interviews on our blog on the website – should you want to read more – which we strongly suggest that you do. They contain some wonderful stories and anecdotes. If you and/or your family get involved in volunteering (we’re sure there must be lots more of you out there) we would love to hear about it so please do get in touch!

"Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world" Howard Zinn

Jan Berger

is a retired business owner with a penchant for music, theatre and the arts and a love of (and growing collection of) fine wine. Jan discovered the joy of reading with children in his local schools ten years ago and shares with us why he enjoys it, why he feels it’s important to get involved and what benefits it brings to him and the children he reads with.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN VOLUNTEERING? Rosie (my wife) found an advertisement in our local paper to say an organisation called Volunteer Reading Help (which was renamed Beanstalk in 2013) were recruiting volunteers to go into primary schools. At that time I was indulging my love of the arts regularly, going to lunchtime recitals and talks on the arts, and I guess she thought, “This is all very well and good you going out every lunchtime” (I’m exaggerating, it wasn’t every lunchtime) “But, going out every single day doing all these indulgent things, would you like to consider it?" I thought for a day or three and it seemed to me that it was worth investigating. We live in the borough of Hillingdon and it’s very diverse. There are parts of the borough where the socioeconomic grouping is struggling economically and in other aspects of

their lives. Many families are trying their best to educate their children and to give themselves and their children a better life. So, I thought I would apply, was invited to an interview, and I passed! I started in the September term and was allocated years five and six. They said this particular year five was difficult, they needed help. And year six because, obviously, it’s the year before transition and SATs, an important year. I was allocated two

children from each year as a twice weekly commitment. Essentially, I was with the children for 30 minutes maximum, on a one-to-one basis. I established quite quickly several important factors. There were several families where literacy levels were low. There were other families where they didn’t necessarily speak English at home and those children sometimes spoke English with difficulty. They might have spoken language one with parents and language two with grandparents. The other thing that became apparent is that there was a lack of a male role model in their lives. For the vast majority of children that I saw then, and have continued to see over the 10 years I have been doing it, live with a single mum. So, I think that the role that we volunteers can offer – and sadly there aren’t sufficient men volunteering – is some sort of role model and mentor which I think is very important, particularly for boys. I was then asked to take on another school which I was very happy to do. The second school was only a mile away from the first, but the difference is like night and day. The school is run differently. The school’s parental input was far higher than the other school. I was allocated year one. It

was of course a completely different experience. It was delightful because they were enthusiastic. Their expressions and the things they tell you, were a real joy and I continued going to both schools up until this last term (before Covid of course). I have seen a transition of children moving from year one up to year six and it’s been a very enriching experience. The Beanstalk Charity decided to merge with Coram. I found the bureaucracy that came with the big charity a little cumbersome. So, I made the decision to resign from Beanstalk and I approached both schools and asked them whether they would be happy to continue the arrangement that we had. They both welcomed that idea and that’s where we’ve been for the last one and a half academic years.

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE? DO YOU THINK THE CHILDREN BENEFIT? Yes. I feel that it’s time well spent and, without trying to sound arrogant, I think it’s important.

WHO WOULD BE SUITABLE TO DO READING IN SCHOOLS? Absolutely anyone that felt that they had the time to go into the school. And if possible it would be fantastic to get more men involved. We used to have get togethers of volunteers twice a year and it was obvious from these meetings of the need for more male volunteers. The room was filled with women, multiethnic, across the ages and only four blokes which never changed throughout the years. That saddened me as so many of the children could benefit from a male role model.

IF SOMEBODY WANTED TO GET INVOLVED AS YOU DID, HOW WOULD YOU SUGGEST THAT THEY DO IT? The format now with Coram Beanstalk is that you have three children for twenty minutes each. It’s only an hour. If you can give a couple of hours a week they would be very grateful for volunteers. You can find more information on their website uk


It is important to these children that someone outside the home shows additional interest in them, apart from the staff of course. That they have someone else coming along who listens to what’s going on for them and how their reading is progressing. I think that it’s vital because as I said earlier, many of them when they get home don’t speak or hear English or their families sadly show little interest in what they’re doing.

There are also local charitable organisations that organise reading in school programmes which you should be able to find online.

WHAT DO YOU THINK VOLUNTEERING GAVE TO YOU? It’s given me an enormous amount of joy to see small children progress where I feel they wouldn’t otherwise have progressed because of the lack of parental input. So, from that point of view, it’s been really rewarding.

It’s been a happy experience. It’s been interesting talking with the teaching staff. I was overwhelmed by the welcome I received and acceptance of me as a nonteacher. It’s been uplifting, it’s added a new dimension to my life as I’ve not had that degree of parental input with a young child for years. To start all over again with the nine-year olds, ten-year olds and then latterly with six and seven-year olds, has been a great experience. It has enriched me enormously and, most importantly, it’s made me far more aware of the needs in the community and how perhaps I, and others who are similarly placed, can make a contribution. If not in person, then financially because many of these institutions are very underfunded. For example, there is very little music, very little drama. And, both of those activities so empower children, that it is absolutely essential it becomes part of the primary school curriculum. I’m just sad that it doesn’t matter how much money I offer to throw at it, it’s going to be a grain of sand but if more people become involved, in whatever way they can, THEN we can make a difference.

Shelley Chapman

lives in Putney with her husband and has three “grown up” children. She’s always been an active volunteer in one capacity or another, and recently joined a charity providing help and support for the elderly. She tells us what she enjoys about volunteering, the important benefits she feels that she, and others, get out of it, and how you can get involved with even just a couple of hours a month.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR VOLUNTEERING The charity that I volunteer for is called Re-engage (previously called Contact the Elderly). I joined early last year as a “driver”. I drive one or two ladies (they tend to be ladies, there are very few men) to the house of whoever is hosting the tea. The tea usually takes place on a Sunday afternoon, for up to 12 guests (excluding drivers and host). There’s a lot of chatting and catching up amongst the ladies, together with the host and the drivers, over sandwiches and cake. It’s really lovely and there is a lot of interaction. Many of these ladies don’t much have much family, either at all, or they are not local or for one reason or another they are not in contact. They’re usually over 75 and the range of what they’re like as people… well the spectrum is huge. The one thing they all have in common is

their appreciation of the support they receive from Re-Engage. As a volunteer, you give up a couple of hours one Sunday a month. It gives the ladies you support something to look forward to and some face to face contact.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING IT? I’ve been doing it for about 18 months or so. Before that I was on

a local committee for Cancer Research UK for many years. I’ve always tried to do something for the local community. My mother was a great role model in that respect, she used to host tea parties much like those I’m involved with now.

WHAT DO YOU FEEL THE PEOPLE YOU’RE SUPPORTING GET OUT OF IT? I think for many of them it’s an important contact, and for some it’s the only contact. You can’t assume everybody has a support network. One of the ladies I have been contacting through Covid is Austrian and she has no family here in the UK and only one brother in America. She has no access to the internet or a mobile phone. Nor does she have anything like Sky TV or Netflix. In her words … “If it goes wrong, I just get so stressed”. A lot of the older generation are scared of technology, which is why our contact has been so important, especially in these challenging times.



Each of the volunteers was allocated one or two ladies to keep in touch with on the phone. When the country was in total lockdown we phoned our ladies once or twice a week. We did food shops and picked up prescriptions. What became apparent was that it was the talking on the telephone that they enjoyed the most. When delivering food, it was an opportunity to have a “socially distanced” chat on the doorstep for ten minutes. That, I think, made a real difference.

It makes me feel as though I have done something helpful. It’s good to do something outside of your own family. I hope it also gives my children (who are all grown up now) an example of community spirit and not to just think of ourselves. As I said earlier, my mother used to volunteer doing something very similar and that clearly had an impact on me.

WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO YOU THINK THIS WOULD BE SUITABLE FOR? I think you need to be able to talk and listen. Really engage with them and take notice. Kindness and empathy are crucial, as is a sense of humour! It doesn’t require a lot of time but it makes a huge difference.

There is a danger that the world is becoming more and more ‘remote’ because of social media etc. and we are at risk of less face to face contact. So, I think it’s important for the children to see people helping others, and to hear me talking about it. It will hopefully give them some sense of engaging with their own communities. Often you don’t have to look very far to find people in need, and it can be more effective if you offer help informally rather than through a charity. That is one of the benefits of this year, more people are working from home and have


found the time and opportunity to get to know their local community a little more, and be able to help support those that need it.

volunteering it’s self-explanatory. You need a clean driving licence to be a driver and they will run a DBS check on you. They are all over the country.


Equally – if you know of someone, perhaps someone local to you on your street, who you think might benefit from help from Reengage perhaps think about speaking to them

Their website is www.reengage. and if you’re interested in

Brian Adcock

is the Managing Director of Castle Triathlon Series. Their charity partner is MacMillan Cancer Support and they raise tens of thousands of pounds a year from the triathletes taking part in their races, undertaking their challenge for the charity. In December last year Brian turned 50 and decided that he wanted to run a 50 mile ultramarathon with MacMillan as his chosen charity. Here he tells us all about that challenge, and a few other challenges he has coming up! Get ready for some energy…

TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHAT DRIVES YOU TO DO YOUR CHALLENGES? If you don’t start talking about these things, I find they never happen. So I just start talking about things, and then my wife gets annoyed as I keep talking about it, and then eventually I have to do it – that’s kind of the way I approach things! I’m still, for my age, pretty fit and healthy and I’ve always wanted to climb an 8,000-metre mountain. Everest has become a bit too commercial for me, I’d like to climb Kangchenjunga which is at the eastern end of the Himalayas. It’s a bit like expeditioning 50 years ago when not many people were doing it. I’d like to do that by the time I’m 55. Shorter term goal is to trek to the South Pole, because obviously I’m an idiot, and I want to do a route called the Messner route which is about 600 miles. You can expect to travel about 20 miles a day, so it’s basically a 30-day trek pulling your pulk. We would be a selfsupported team of about eight and we will be doing that ideally in November of 2021, but it might be November 2022.

HOW DOES YOUR FAMILY GET INVOLVED IN YOUR CHALLENGES? I’ve always done lots of activities with the kids, we decided that when they were eight they would all have to come away with me and do a mini expedition, then when they’re thirteen and eighteen we would do the same thing. We’ve done three-day cycles such as Hadrian’s Wall, from Bough Beech to Portsmouth when the girls were eight. Arthur and I did a sail/ run event where we had a couple of guys who helped us sail the boat and then they would drop us off at various points along the South West coast and then we would run. Last year as a family we climbed Kilimanjaro which is not a hard mountain to climb but it’s quite high. Esther was 13 and made it to the top when there were plenty of people turning around and not able to cope. The kids are quite hard CORE (INTERVIEWER: “YOU’RE NOT JOKING!!!”)

TELL US ABOUT YOUR 50 MILE CHALLENGE I was 50 last December and I wanted to do a physical challenge where I could raise some money

for MacMillan Cancer Support. Like all of these things it’s about the journey to the event as much as the event itself. We started training for it pretty much as lockdown started. I was training with an old Royal Marine friend of mine, then the kids got interested and involved and that was when Arthur decided that he quite fancied doing the 50 miles with me. The route itself was from Eastbourne to home, via the South Downs and Ashdown Forest. On the day of the race the first fifteen miles was into a really strong headwind, and although we’d only done fifteen miles, it felt like we’d done about 30, and we were pretty knackered. I started getting cramp at about 22 miles and I didn’t think I was going to make it to the end. But when I managed to get some salt down myself, I started feeling gradually better. By the time we got to the finish we’d been joined on the run by MANY local friends (socially distanced of course) – I felt a bit like Forrest Gump!

DID COVID AFFECT YOUR CHALLENGE AND THE FUNDRAISING? I didn’t raise as much as I would have liked, our target was £50,000 and I raised £7,000.

DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO DO CHALLENGES FOR CHARITY? The challenge itself is usually the main driver for me, but it also seems like a great idea to combine that with raising money for a good cause.

IF SOMEONE IS READING THIS AND HAD NEVER REALLY DONE A PHYSICAL CHALLENGE OF ANY KIND FOR CHARITY, WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST TO THEM? The hardest thing with all of these things is actually signing up for something. I think if they just pick something six months in advance of where they are now and sign up for it and start talking about it – before they know it, they’re actually doing it.

Make it attainable but something that’s going to really challenge you, where you’ll have to push yourself and you’ll have to train for it as there’s no point in doing it if it’s too easy. And just go for it and see where it takes you. One thing you’ll have heard is that your body is far more capable of doing things than you actually think it is, and it’s always your mind that holds you back. You don’t have to do an organised event if you’re worried Covid will ruin your plans. Just set yourself a challenge and find a way to do it on your own, or with family and friends... or come and join in at the Castle Triathlon series in 2021!


There are so many fundraising e-mails and personal challenges going on at the moment, which is great obviously, but I think it did affect the amount I raised. We’re going to do the South Pole for charity too, we’ve not decided which one, but watch this space!

If you would like to donate to Brian’s fundraising you can do so here: brians-505050

You can find more about the Castle Triathlon Series here:

Martin Taylor

runs an education company and lives in Beaconsfield with his wife and three children. He shares with us how he came to volunteer at Beaconsfield Cricket Club, alongside his wife Michele, what they enjoy most about their volunteering and what opportunities there might be for anyone else looking to get involved with their local sports club.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO VOLUNTEERING WITH THE CRICKET CLUB? One day, about seven years ago, I was helping out with my nine year old son’s age group, and I saw my other son (who was about five or six at the time) running around with a bat using it as a gun. There were about 40 kids with one coach, and the kids were running rings around him. I went back to Michele and told her how rubbish I thought it was that these kids were not actually learning any cricket and she said, “Well, stop whinging about it. If you’ve got a problem with it go and do something”. At that point I was working in London, so all my social life was in London and my wife’s social life, with school etc, was in the town. So that meant we had two quite separate social lives. I think her ulterior motive was to get me (being the very clever, savvy, woman that she is) more involved in the local community.

It started very much as running an under-six and under–seven year group that year, as my youngest son was in that group and progressed to me co-ordinating the under-six, seven and eight year olds (the Mini-Colts) more officially and Michele started getting more involved too. She doesn’t like shouting about what she does, but everyone knows that she does a staggering amount behind the scenes. The Colts have gone from 100 or so to about 350 and that includes about 80 girls as well.

HOW HAVE THE LAST SIX MONTHS AFFECTED WHAT YOU’VE DONE? Our activities were stopped abruptly with the “appearance” of Covid. So, we set up a new Facebook Colts’ page, which we tried to keep as active as possible with videos, weekly challenges, home drills, kit advice etc. In the last week of May we were allowed to have two kids and a coach in a net. We opened long hours to try and allow as many kids in as possible. It was the first contact some of these kids had had with friends for months. Things progressed slowly but by July we were into playing matches. The reaction from the parents and the kids has been great, we’ve had some lovely emails from parents this year saying things like “When my kid turned up, I could forget they had lockdown. Just, when all the schools were shut, when the schools weren’t doing anything, this was the only thing in town where they could meet anyone of their own age, and competitively”.

HOW MUCH TIME WOULD SOMEONE NEED TO COMMIT IN ORDER TO HELP AT A LOCAL CLUB WOULD YOU SAY? However much time you have free there would be a job for you! And “many hands make light work” as the saying goes. Some people might do a couple of hours a week and others a lot more, depending on their capacity. Personally, I’m doing about eight hours a week but it’s only for ten to twelve weeks during cricket season.

HOW WOULD SOMEONE GET INVOLVED? If you weren’t engaged in a club right now, I would suggest you make contact through their website. You will need to have DBS checks etc. In rugby you tend to get more parents volunteering than you do for cricket, whether that’s because some people think it’s more technical, I don’t know. We don’t get a lot of women volunteering either, but they would be very welcome. So there are opportunities, for anybody. Male, female, young or old!

HOW DOES WORKING WITH THE CRICKET CLUB AND VOLUNTEERING BENEFIT YOUR LIFE AND THE LIVES OF OTHERS. I think it’s probably brought me closer to my kids. I think there’s a respect that you get from your kids that I imagine I wouldn’t have got if I hadn’t done it. It’s also brought me closer to Michele. It’s lovely to have a common language and a common objective in your house that is over and above just talking about where we’re going to go to eat or what the kids are doing.

Five or six years ago I had a social life that only existed in London really. If I’d come into Covid without having volunteered this would have been a very, very different experience for me. My wife has her social life around here, but for me it would have been much, much tougher without the volunteering team having provided me with a social network. I went into my work with the club with very different objectives. If you stick at it, you can build up great friendships. You can explore new opportunities. You get a lot more out of it than you even knew you needed to start with.

Maggie Liu Brown

is a film production lawyer who lives in Beaconsfield with her husband and two sons. During the early stages of the pandemic she became involved with a local organisation offering support to those in need in the local community. In the process of helping others she and her family found it gave them a much-needed boost too, and she speaks about how it would be a great thing for anyone to get involved in.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU DO TO VOLUNTEER Only a year or so before the pandemic, a charitable organisation called Better Connected Beaconsfield (BCB) had set up with the purpose of improving the wellbeing of our local communities by connecting Beaconsfield residents with services in the town to enable them to thrive and have a better quality of life. When the pandemic hit and a lot of vulnerable people were starting to shield, BCB quickly realised that those shielding would need extra support and saw there was an opportunity to use BCB’s network to help even more people. I answered a call-out for volunteers to come forward to provide shopping support and prescription collection/delivery for those shielding, plus anything else that they might need, and thus “The Buddy Network” was born.

We sub-divided the town into zones and each zone has a group co-ordinator. I am one of the group co-ordinators and my role really is to organise the group of buddies in my zone. I hadn’t anticipated that I would get to use many of my “corporate life” skills in setting up systems to communicate with all the volunteers, assign people tasks, and ensure everyone is kept abreast of what’s going on; effectively managing

people, just on a volunteer level rather than a corporate level. Any requests for help that were received were then allocated to the co-ordinators who would either respond directly to the request or could assign it to a Buddy in their group. In my group there are approximately 30 Buddies and we cover hundreds of households. In addition to people needing the more practical support we were providing (e.g. shopping, errands), as the pandemic took its toll on people’s jobs and incomes, we quickly realised that more individuals and families began to need additional support by way of food and essentials. So BCB put out a request for people to start donating food and other essential items on a weekly basis and The Buddy Network was activated to help. Anyone who wanted to donate could leave their donations on the doorstep, and the network of volunteers would go around the neighbourhood and collect it.

On my patch, the way I organised things, was to assign Buddies to certain streets, then each Buddy went around and collected any donations that were left out. They dropped it at my house as a central drop-off point. If someone in my area had a need or a Buddy suspected that a household they were supporting might be in need of food or supplies, we would help them request a parcel, and would then collect it and drop it off at their house.

HOW MANY HOURS DO YOU SPEND? When we were setting up it was probably 10 to 15 hours a week, just during the initial period to organise everyone. Also, for me, things took more time than I had anticipate because I had about 30 Buddies to manage and I wanted to get to know them. But you really don’t have to commit this kind of time, even just an hour or so a week would be helpful. If lots of people do a little amount it can really make a difference.

WHAT DO YOU THINK BEING INVOLVED GAVE TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY? I have two sons who are in secondary school and I think it was good for them to see the organisation, and people pulling together and helping others. In terms of wellbeing, in terms of supporting your emotional wellbeing and your mental state, I think feeling like you were empowered to do something was great not only for me, but for them too. In fact, my husband helped out where he could too, and my volunteering became a family activity. If I had leaflets to distribute, or some drop-offs to deliver, my sons would be (usually!) very happy to help. Because my house was one of the main drop off points they could also see how much food and essential supplies were being collected, which I think brought it home to them as to how many people must be in need, and it

was more than they realised. They said a couple of times that they were proud of the fact that their mum, and we as a family, were getting involved. So it became this family awareness about what was going on. I have the sense that involvement in volunteering activities like this as a family unit is something less prevalent these days because we’re all so busy. We’re all on our devices, or busy with our own jobs, school friends, etc. So I think that this has been one of the unexpected benefits of volunteering during these Covid-19 times – that it’s brought families together in different ways. I think volunteering is a great equaliser as well, it puts everyone on a very level playing field. It’s a humbling experience. It is great to know that everyone is doing it because they feel they want to do it, it’s not because it’s a job helping put food on the table. It’s different and there’s a different energy that goes into that and in return, there is a different energy you can get from it.

HOW WOULD SOMEONE GO ABOUT GETTING INVOLVED IN THEIR LOCAL AREA? We are organised through Better Connected Beaconsfield which the Buddy Network is a part of. It’s likely that there will be similar organisations in most towns/villages so just have a look online. What’s interesting is there are a variety of skills that they rely upon, IT skills, communication and PR skills, marketing etc. Not just people with time, but specialist skills. I think it’s the fear of not being able to live up to the commitment which holds a lot of people back. Because they would like to do “this thing”, but they’re not sure about anything long-term. But I think that the key is just to get your hands in and try something, and it will probably naturally evolve to fit whatever your circumstances are. It doesn’t have to be a big commitment. And it’s nice, it’s nice to feel as though you’re able to contribute, even though it’s not really anything that big of a deal.

Round up

What the carrington team have been up to... We would also like to wish Ali and Cecily a Happy five years This has most certainly been a year at Carrington. Celebrating their we’re unlikely to forget, but for us anniversaries in October, both joined it’s a very special one as it marks us fresh out of Uni and we couldn’t be 10 years for Carrington as a financial prouder of them. Here’s to another life planning and wealth management great 5 years guys. company. It has been an exciting time watching us grow and go WELCOME TO from strength to strength. Recalling THE TEAM proposition planning meetings in Regents Park - Mike, Carolyn, Nicola In July we were very pleased to and Mo eating ice-creams at a picnic welcome a new team member, who bench discussing service deliverables is no stranger to Carrington, Thomas and meeting structure, while ducking (Tommy) Fairbank. Tommy completed an internship with us at the beginning the hungry, dive-bombing pigeons, of 2019 and impressed the team so to successfully adding new team members and welcoming new clients. much that we were pleased to be able to offer him a position when he During this time we have aimed to act as pioneers and visionaries in our graduated (with First Class Honours in Business and Finance from the field, striving to evolve and innovate at every opportunity, while remaining University of Sussex) this year. He has joined the Client Relationship true to our core value of offering an team, assisting the advisers on a day invaluable service. Well done Team! to day basis. Having a keen interest Happy 10 Years.


in the investment world, he has also been supporting Mo with fund due diligence for our portfolios. Tommy is currently working towards his Diploma in Financial Planning and has already passed the first exam RO1! Please join us in wishing him a warm, yet socially distanced, welcome. To learn more about Tommy, his Goals and what’s on his Bucket List,

pop on over to the team pages of our website and have a read. This summer also saw the addition of Huey to the Team. Huey is the most adorable French bulldog puppy who loves nothing more than to excitedly greet visitors, romp in the park and spend as much time as possible sleeping next to Marissa while she works. Talk about a dog’s life!

TEAM GOALS Some may have thought it was not a year to accomplish big goals, but this didn’t hold our team back! Rachel whose goal to get on the road, both literally and figuratively, not only passed her drivers licence but also bought a car. She’s loving her newfound freedom. One of Cecily’s big life goals was to buy her first home and following her own professional advice and taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday, she’s had her offer accepted. Go Team.

#CarringtonCulture While Tommy is starting to swot for RO2 (the next exam along his diploma path), Tom is getting ready to sit RO6, his last one! A three-hour written examination which is based on a case study and tests all aspects of the candidates financial planning and legislative knowledge, it’s no mean feat! Rachel has started revision for the RO4 exam – pensions and retirement

planning, while Sophia is powering through her Chartered exams, writing two back to back in October! Good luck guys, we are extremely proud of you. Mike has hit the books again this year, however, he’s swapped tax calculations and pension carry forwards for some viti- and viniculture. Although taking his wine studies, a passion and hobby of his, very seriously we all believe it’s just for the “homework”… quaffing it!

WELLBEING Carolyn downloaded the Couch to 5km app and not only completed the challenge but has continued with her newfound love of running. Mo is another one who recently caught the running bug. What started out as a jog at lunch time, quickly evolved into a daily 8km to the first of many 10km runs. In the process he’s managed to lose 8kg’s and counting. Good going. Sophia had been hard at training for a London to Paris charity cycle which unfortunately

"A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life"

was cancelled, however, she quickly moved on to training for her first triathlon, which Suze Orman took place at Hever Castle in September, well done Sophia! Mike took to Zwift (an online cycling community where you can cycle/ race on a stationary bike) like a duck to water and bashed out 1,750 miles. What was meant as training for the Mayflyer charity cycle has turned into a daily fix. And although the Mayflyer was cancelled this year, he completed a 50 mile charity ride through the Chilterns instead. Al was focussing his efforts on the L’Etape (a leg of the Tour de France ridden by amateurs) this year, which was set to be a killer cycle course in the South of France. Unfortunately, most of these events were cancelled, but we’ll be ready for them next year!

COMMUNITY During lockdown Carolyn volunteered for a local group, which were involved in picking up packages from the foodbank and delivering them to residents, as well as doing people's weekly supermarket shops and dropping it off at their homes. Having had to self-isolate at the start of the pandemic, it felt good to be able to return the favour and help those in need and unable to leave their homes. Ali has signed up to train as a guide runner for the visually impaired. Combining two passions of his – helping people and running, he is hoping that he can commence training soon and would soon like to offer help at local park runs and eventually help someone run a marathon. And although this may not have been completely altruistic, Nicola joined an online community working together to help save the South African wine industry (the government made the buying and selling of alcohol illegal during the lockdown) by only buying SA wines, either direct from the vineyards or through local supermarkets. Every little helps!

INDUSTRY RECOGNITION We may have mentioned it once or twice, but we are still buzzing from our amazing win at the 2020 Money Marketing Awards. If you would like to see the announcement for the Advice Firm of the Year award, and what the judges had to say about us, it’s up on our blog. Nothing can beat this feeling. The Women in Financial Advice Awards are around the corner and we would like to congratulate Cecily who is a finalist in the Financial Adviser of the Year category, and Nicola in the Marketing Influencer of the Year category, with Carrington up against some stiff competition in the Contribution to Gender Diversity category. Well done ladies, and fingers crossed! Earlier this year Mo was invited, for a second year running, to judge the Investment Week Fund Manager of the Year Awards, this year for the UK Equity categories. We are very proud that your expertise continue to be called on for these prestigious events.

QA &


James Caplan Managing Director of First Financial

020 8416 0111

Meet James Caplan, Managing Director of First Financial, and our “go-to guy” for mortgage advice (for the Carrington team and for client recommendations). As well as talking to us about why he set up First Financial and what he loves about his job, his team and working with his clients, James shares with us his passion for volunteering with The McGuire Programme – which is truly inspiring. We loved hearing more about what drives James in his personal and professional life and we hope you do too! TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR CAREER TO DATE AND WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO? I started off in estate agency, having done it as work experience whilst I was on a business studies course. I remained in estate agency for a few years and then got bored and wanted to try something else. I decided to go into the fashion industry working in sales in London for a ladies manufacturing company. Working in the West End was amazing, but I could see that it wasn’t a longterm career. My father had been in financial services for many years, and he kept nagging me to work with him but I didn’t want people to think “ah, you ended up working with your dad and you got it easy”. I eventually gave in, aged 25, and worked with him in a large insurance company for a few years, but then we both decided to leave and set up our own business, First Financial. I haven’t really looked back.

WHAT DROVE YOU TO START FIRST FINANCIAL? I think frustration within the financial services industry. Working at a big organisation 25 years ago, it was all about commission. At the time I was

surrounded by a lot of ex doubleglazing sales people who one day were selling windows and the next day doing financial services and selling policies. (I am pleased to say the industry has since cleaned itself up and regulation brought in to ensure advisers are suitably qualified). All they cared about was the related commission on the sale rather than giving great advice and we didn’t want to be in that environment. So, we decided to set up our own business and challenge the status quo of the financial services industry and provide a service that was second to none. If you ask any of my team what are the three most important things within the business, they will all respond, “Service, service, service”.

WHAT MAKES FIRST FINANCIAL DIFFERENT? IS IT THAT LEVEL OF SERVICE? Knowledge is a big aspect, because too often we come across new clients

where they have seen other advisors who have not provided them with the best possible advice. They have been provided with mortgage offers which are sometimes one or even two percent higher than they could’ve secured. We deal with a lot of complicated scenarios. A lot of self-employed business owners as well individuals with multiple income streams who don’t fit the normal “tick-box” lending. It’s by understanding their situation and then, having built up great relationships with the banks and the underwriters, that we are able to present the case in such a way that the bank is comfortable with it. Too often, advisors don’t come up with that best advice. The other aspect is service. Treating people how you would want to be treated. If you’re making the biggest financial commitment you’ve ever going to make personally, it’s going to be a property purchase. Think of the stress that person’s going through and how you would want to be treated in


deliver a service second to none.

those circumstances, then deliver a service second to none, which is our approach.

WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST SATISFYING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? It goes back to delivering something that other advisors can’t do. For example, recently we dealt with an elderly couple who got into some financial difficulties. They were both suffering from ill health and the children wanted to help them out. We facilitated a mortgage where the parents could remain in the property and still pay competitive rates. We ended up achieving a rate of 1.5% for them and they’d been to other brokers who said that they could get them a mortgage rate for 5% and even then the application was turned down. Not only did we deliver, but we delivered at a rate which was market leading (and really helped the couple financially), and that gives us huge satisfaction. It again goes back to getting the best possible outcome, our knowledge of their situation and the way we deal with it. Another really satisfying aspect to the business is we now only recruit future advisers with no previous experience. We take them on as administrators through our graduation program and we get to guide them as they work their way up from administrators to senior advisers. We’ve been through that process now with six people and we’ve got four other people working through this process at the moment, so the greatest thing, from a business point of view, is seeing the growth of these individuals.

One adviser has been with us 7 years and was recently made a director of the business. It’s great to see these people grow and turn into being fabulous advisors and huge assets to the business. Therefore, our academy program is something that we are incredibly proud of.

HOW HAVE THE LAST 6 MONTHS CHANGED THE WAY THAT YOU WORK? Like everyone else, we worked remotely from home. We set up Zoom and we have an amazing practice manager who facilitated everything overnight for us to work from home. And the team worked really well from home – albeit when all is said and done, I am not one of these people who thinks they were working even better. I still believe in an office

environment where – in our industry – bouncing ideas, managing workloads, is still better for us as a business.

HOW DID YOU SUPPORT THE WELLBEING OF THE TEAM DURING THIS TIME? I was very mindful about the wellbeing of our team and actually it’s something we’ve been working on for the last year or so, pre-Covid. We want to really create a fabulous environment for people to work in, to really enjoy coming into the office. We did things like arranging for a personal trainer once a week at 8am to do online workouts with the team. We surprised them by getting pizzas delivered to everyone’s houses, which they loved. I was getting upset that people weren’t getting coffee breaks where you could go to the kitchen or chat over coffee at someone’s desk. So, we organised twice a week to just dive into zoom, have a break-out with a coffee for 15 minutes and just shoot the breeze. We also ran a few Zoom social drinks evenings and the obligatory quizzes.


"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

As I said previously, there have been some really positive changes that we’ve brought in over the last few years. Covid actually turned out to be great for that and I am really pleased with how we dealt with it. It was really important to us to keep everyone together and motivated. We only furloughed one person and of course made up the 20%, and she was included in all of our social events because we very much wanted her to still feel like part of the team. We didn’t furlough anyone else because we have clients to support and, during lockdown, there were clients who were worried about their mortgage payments. Business levels obviously dropped significantly, but we were in the position where we had to support our clients. People were scared and if you are there for the good times, you have to be there for the bad times. We know, after 23 years of business, we have built something that is really unique and very special and we owed it to our clients to continue to support them.

HOW DID YOU MANAGE YOUR OWN WELLBEING? Obviously, it was very much business as usual. We were supporting our existing clients throughout and we sent out regular updates as to what was happening in the mortgage market, so that kept me busy. I still worked out in the gym/garden as well as taking advantage of the quiet roads and went cycling (for no more than one hour of course). I also discovered cooking. I’m going to sound terribly arrogant here, but I’ve always been pretty good at organising a proper barbeque, not just sausages and burgers but creative things like beer-can-chicken and things like that, but I didn’t cook. I’ve always

loved Gordon Ramsay and started watching videos, Googling the recipe and giving it a go, and I was actually pleasantly surprised as it was much easier than I thought it would be. I think my wife appreciated it more than the kids because it meant she didn’t have to cook the whole time, but she didn’t like the fact that the kitchen, by the end of my cooking stint, looked like a bomb had hit it. The only downside about cooking is that you spend about 3 hours cooking and then you waffle it down in 10 minutes.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR TOP TIP FOR ANYONE THINKING ABOUT GETTING A MORTGAGE? Prepare. The first thing you should be doing is having a chat with an advisor, before you even start looking at property or put your own property on the market. That should always be the starting point. Ask yourself: “How do I need to line up the dots to give me the best possible outcome”? It can be frustrating when someone has complicated or “quirky” finances such as self-employment or low deposit etc and then they approach me saying “I have my own place under offer, I’ve agreed to buy a property, can you sort out a mortgage”? It’s often the case that if they’d come to me three months before I could have dealt with that and put them in a better position – and often it can be the difference between getting a mortgage and not getting one. Simple as that. It's really important to get advice upfront – and PLEASE don’t go to a provider where you get Robo Advice. To get the best deal you really are better off with a personal service. Have a discussion with an advisor and tell them what your plans are. Establish what your borrowing capacity is and what you can and can’t do. It might

"If it ain’t broke, break it." Robert J. Kriegel


be that you need to re-engineer some of your finances to get yourself in a better position. That could be as simple as “I’ve got money in savings, but I’ve got £5,000 on a credit card paying 0%, so there’s no point in me clearing it, I just pay the minimum”. In that scenario, even though you may have the savings, some lenders will take that as a commitment whilst others don’t. The second thing is, don’t waste your time doing an Agreement in Principle with an estate agent mortgage advisor because when you do come to buy a property, more often than not, the advisor will invariably go to the same lender even though another lender may be a cheaper option. This will result in another credit check and having multiple credit checks on your credit file can then weaken your chances of getting the mortgage. A good advisor should be able to give you a very strong indication as to what your borrowing limit is without resorting to this, as an Agreement in Principle means absolutely nothing in reality. It means you passed the latest credit check based on a specific loan amount and the information entered, not one

that has been properly underwritten and assessed by the bank.

HOW EARLY IS TOO EARLY TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT FUTURE PROPERTY PLANS? It’s all about the preparation. Where do you want to be? What do you want to achieve? It is very, very important to have a plan. It doesn’t have to be, “Oh, I am thinking of doing this in three months’ time”, it could be a year’s time. We have no issue at all about giving free advice to people considering their longer-term property goals as it goes back to the fact that everything we do is about keeping clients on a long-term basis. We don’t have customers then; we have long-term clients.

WOULD A CLIENT, BEING FINANCIALLY AWARE AND HAVING GONE THROUGH A FINANCIAL ADVISER SUCH AS CARRINGTON, HELP THE PROCESS? Without a doubt. A firm like Carrington really cares about their clients and does detailed analysis, it’s not just about picking investments. It’s about understanding what their goals are. Short, medium and long-term, what they want to achieve, etc. It would help because we can then work hand in hand with Carrington, to give the client a better journey. Mortgage planning is as important as financial planning, and having a company like Carrington on board and working closely with them is wonderful as they have the same philosophy as us.

IF YOU NEVER HAD TO WORK AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR TIME? It would be volunteering with the McGuire programme as it’s a passion of mine. If I didn’t need money I would be working full-time in that organisation, it’s amazing. The McGuire programme was started almost 25 years ago by a gentleman called Dave McGuire, somebody who had a profound stutter. He developed the programme which incorporated both physical and psychological tools along with a sports mentality and by combining these he was able to control his stutter (or stammer which is one and the same).


The thing with a stutter is you’re never cured; I will always have it. But if you work hard and do what you need to do, put in enough time and effort and follow directions, then the programme provides you with a mechanism for controlling your speech. Stuttering can affect absolutely anybody. There is primary stuttering, that starts off in young children and which many children grow out of. Once you reach about 8 or 9 years of age however you become more conscious and this turns in to secondary stuttering, which will be with you for life. It was a speech disorder that I lived with for many years which changed my habits and how I dealt with things. For instance, I would never go along to my childrens' school parents evening, because I would have to talk to a teacher and, if I was talking to a teacher it brought up bad emotions from when I was at school, which would meant I would stutter more. So, how did I not stutter? Don’t open your mouth or just avoid putting yourself in speaking situations. It also dictated the way I dealt with clients as I relied far more on e-mails, and there was a period when I couldn’t say the word ‘mortgage’. I live in Bushey, Hertfordshire, but I couldn’t say ‘Bushey’ and If anyone asked where I lived, I would reply “Near Watford”. A client once asked “where near Watford, I know the area well?”I stood there for 5 minutes trying to say the word ‘Bushey’ and in the end turned around and said, “I can’t say it”. I went on the programme five years ago and it completely changed the way I conduct myself. You invent all these tricks which work for a while but ultimately have a short shelf-life. At nearly 43 years of age, I had no more tricks so the programme helped me immensely. They don’t focus on a cure as after all there isn’t one.

They focus on helping the individual to become an articulate, eloquent speaker, saying every word exactly as it should be said. What’s so empowering about the programme is that it’s the only speech programme in the world which is run entirely by people who stutter for people who stutter, and you cannot be involved in the programme if you don’t. I was on the programme for about two years and I was invited to staff training to become a coach. It’s all voluntary work and you go through a three-day course which ends with an exam. Once you have become a coach you, can help and mentor new members who complete a four-day course.

Vital Statistics...

A year later, I was then invited to become a course instructor, which is completely different because you have to actually conduct the training for the four-day course. They are very intensive, effectively being a year’s therapy in four days and can have up to 120 people attending. To be honest, I thought that there was no way I could be an instructor, but others within the program encouraged me to venture out of my comfort zones, so I went on the training course and got to instruct my first course in 2018.

doing it and feel like I’m in a very privileged position where I have been able to give my time to others and support people. I’d always been one of the more pedestrian people, thinking “You’re raising money for charity, here have £10, £20, whatever”. But, to actually give your time and effort to help people, especially when you can relate to them because you’ve been there, that’s what’s so amazing about the programme.

I have now instructed three courses including one in India (which is the most incredible country I’ve ever been to), and two in the UK. I love

JOB TITLE Managing Director of First Financial BORN Greatest city in the world, London. FAMILY Married to Tara, a Doctor. Three sons - Nathan 16, Zack 13 and Oliver 10. FAVOURITE HOLIDAY Mallorca. HOBBIES Cycling and I’ve recently taken up cooking.

FAVOURITE BOOK? Carol Dzwek 'Mindset', 'Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway', Susan Jeffers, 'If It Ain’t Broke Break It' by Robert Kriegel. WHAT MAKES YOU MOST HAPPY? HOW DO YOU RELAX? Holidays with family, cycling and volunteering with the McGuire Programme. WHAT COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? Bike (and family!) WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE APP? Weather apps.

Book review

If you find that you’re spending time worrying and you’d like to find ways to overcome that worry – whether it’s just a niggle at the back of your mind or somewhat more all-consuming – then this is the book for you. The stories at the end of the book (and indeed those interspersed throughout the sections) are also really THOUGHT PROVOKING as to how many people have conquered their worries in the past using the rules within the book. Many of them also shine a light into a world that existed before the stressors of today. Oh and I think it’s worth investing in a hard copy of this book – it’s one of those books you will be writing in, highlighting, sticking bits of post it notes on… and I don’t think it would be the same as an audiobook!

THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ FOR ANYONE STRUGGLING WITH WORRIES – ABOUT LIFE, WORK, MONEY, HEALTH, ANYTHING REALLY! Written by Dale Carnegie, most famed for his book “How to win friends and influence people” (which if you’ve not read, you absolutely must), this powerful book (if you take what you read and put it into practice – an issue of course with any “selfdevelopment” book) has the potential to change your outlook on life for the better. Many would assume that given the first edition of this book was written in 1953 it might be outdated – there are no references to the internet, television or to social media as influences on our levels of worry, but

actually this is hugely refreshing as this book talks about the very BASIC way in which our brains work and process information. It speaks directly about the way in which human emotions, interactions and external influences such as money or job worries can affect us. We all know we should spend less time on social media or watching the news if we want to lessen our stress levels… whether we do something about that is another matter – but back to the book. The book is split into eight sections, each one split into sub sections which cover a vital “technique” in your quest to conquer worry. Listing all of the areas which I found really useful, would find me effectively repeating the contents of the book. I’m not sure that there was a section that didn’t make me think “YES, that’s so true,

How to stop worrying and start living by Dale Carnegie I’m going to work on that”. But I’m going to try and pick out the five most useful ideas in the book from my point of view – which will hopefully tempt you into reading it!

LIVE IN DAY-TIGHT COMPARTMENTS One of the most powerful quotes from this chapter is from the French philosopher, Montaigne. “My life,” he said, “has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.” This rule talks about living in the now – forgetting about what has gone before and not worrying about what “might” (but probably won’t) come in the future. Breaking down your life into

day-tight compartments makes it easier to cope when you’re feeling overwhelmed, just concentrating on getting to the end of that day without worrying about tomorrow, next week, next month – next year!! – makes life and worries seem more manageable.

THE MAGIC FORMULA FOR SOLVING WORRY SITUATIONS This formula came from Willis H. Carrier who said that any worry problem can be solved by doing the following three things: Firstly, ask yourself, “What is the worst that can possibly happen?”, then prepare to

accept it if you have to, and thirdly, calmly proceed to improve on the worst. Even if you come up with the worstcase scenario, once you’ve written it down and thought around how you might cope with it, it’s probably not as devastating a problem as you first thought. Once you accept this worse case and plan on how to overcome it, you’ll feel much calmer.

then we procrastinate and don’t take the first step in solving our problems, so they are never solved! Dale quotes Waite Phillips, a prominent oil tycoon who says “I find that to keep thinking about our problems beyond a certain point is bound to create confusion and worry. There comes a time when any more investigation and thinking are harmful. There comes a time when we must decide and act and never look back.”



Dale talks about Galen Litchfield’s four step method for analysing worry and meeting it head on. The steps include:

This rule is based around eight words said by the great philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, which are “Our life is what our thoughts make it”. Dale suggests that if we think happy thoughts, we will be happy. If we think miserable thoughts, we will be miserable… you get the drift on this one…. Dale is very quick to say that he’s not advocating a habitual Pollyanna attitude towards all our problems but rather that we should show concern for our problems but NOT worry. There are many ideas in this section about how we can do this, many of which are very simple in their essence – but have definite merit in trying out for yourself.

1. Writing down precisely what you’re worrying about. 2. Writing down what you can do about it. 3. Deciding what to do. 4. Starting IMMEDIATELY to carry out that decision. This method is particularly effective because of the last step – we can spend a great amount of time analysing what we’re worrying about and what we can do about it, but

FIND YOURSELF AND BE YOURSELF: REMEMBER THERE IS NO ONE ELSE ON EARTH LIKE YOU This section talks powerfully about what it is to embrace being you, that it’s easy to try to imitate others (particularly others who are successful in your particular field) but that this will only bring you to be a second rate someone else. The chance of being identical to someone else is one in 300,000 billion – you are absolutely unique, so be yourself and don’t compare yourself to others as it is a fruitless task – instead be the best you you can be! “Nobody is so miserable as he who longs to be somebody and something other than the person he is in body and mind”.

a day in the

life of



: The recent change in life circumstances has meant that my alarm no longer goes off quite as early allowing me to take full advantage of bonus sleep that would usually be spent on a busy commute. A new routine has seen me starting my morning with the usual several cups of tea but also a morning walk around my local park to wake me up! This might all change as winter arrives …

: The working days starts a little before 9am checking emails from overnight and organising myself for the day ahead. At 9am we have a virtual company morning meeting over zoom, where we share workflow, different planning ideas and company news! Like most people, over the last six months we have all been adjusting

Climb Kilimanjaro Visit the wonders of the world Cycle London to Paris

to a different and remote way of working. We are a close team and therefore have found new ways of sharing ideas and news! We have all been committed to keeping lines of communication going, through our company morning meetings, team meetings and ‘social meetings’ over a Friday zoom drink! We have all been supported by Mike and Al to make working remotely as comfortable as possible. While we have enjoyed a shorter commute to our desks, we are all looking forward to popping in the office to see each other again!

Bucket List Complete my first marathon See a show on Broadway

: MY JOB Since lockdown, my role has slightly changed. While continuing to provide technical advice/assistance to the Financial advisers, I also head up our Client Relationship Team – which has now grown to a team of five. My role involves leading and organising the team to ensure that all new and existing business is dealt with efficiently and creating bespoke Life Plans and cash flow analysis for clients. I can also be found joining your client meetings!

There is no such thing as a typical day as client needs and circumstances are constantly changing. This makes my role more fulfilling, as two days are never the same!

Top 5 Facts

It is also important that I keep up to date with any industry, taxation, legislative and various product changes. This involves reading articles, arranging meetings with our product providers for platform updates and zoom technical seminars with industry experts.

I am the oldest of 8 children!

I lived and worked in Australia for a year and a half.

I like to run half marathons in different European cities! I have performed on Blue Peter.

I can play the flute and saxophone.

: LUNCH I usually break up my day between 121, making sure I get outside for at least part of this. As I have upcoming exams for my Chartered Financial Planning qualification, my lunchtimes also involve reading some of my revision cue cards and past exam papers. On days where I can’t face that then 30 minutes of Yoga (I have been enjoying Yoga with Adriene during lockdown!).

: I spend a significant amount of time writing suitability reports, which may include: Inheritance Tax planning, ISA or Pension transfers, VCT/EIS recommendations, Pre Retirement/ Income Strategy and Life Planning reports. It is often me you have to blame for the long (but interesting!) suitability reports you receive. Our suitability reports specify in detail the financial advice provided by your financial adviser and explains how the recommendations made meet your overall personal and financial objectives. These reports are important as they highlight our research, details of your individual plans and how the recommendations fit in to achieve your overall Life plan.

: END OF THE WORKING DAY! I am enjoying not having to commute back home in the evenings and have been using the extra hour to get through some of my reading list. A couple of lockdown favourites have been, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Where the Crawdads Sing, Wild and Little Fires Everywhere (and the recent TV series!) My evenings often involve either meeting friends for dinner or drinks or a swim, cycle or run. This is in preparation for my first triathlon at Hever Castle. It all seemed like a good idea six months ago when I signed up trust me to sign up to one of the only triathlons that’s not been cancelled this year!

"The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money" Jacob Lew

chAriTY OF THEyEAR Unfortunately, this year put a halt to our planned charity events very early on. It was disappointing that we couldn’t support our two chosen charities as we’d planned and as such have decided to roll our fundraising efforts and events into next year. Full Circle Fund Therapies and Magic Breakfast have continued to offer support to those most needing it – the very ill and disadvantaged children, under very difficult circumstances during the pandemic. Our fundraising pages remain open if you would like to support them by making a donation. You can also pop on over to explore Full Circle Fund Therapies Wellbeing Hub on their website, where you’ll find online sessions including Mindfulness, guided Visualisations, Breathing techniques and chair based techniques in massage and yoga.

Keep your eyes peeled for what we have in store next year!

Paying it forward… If any of the contents of this edition have inspired you to take action in some way, whether it’s to start a savings plan, get more active, look for volunteering opportunities locally, or steal a desk in the Carrington office like Al, feel free to jot down your thoughts here (and we’d love to hear about your plans so drop us a note!)


"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants" Epictetus

One Chapel Place • London • W1G 0BG t. 020 7078 4849



Profile for Carrington Wealth Management

The Club - Autumn 2020  

Company magazine produced for our clients and contacts.

The Club - Autumn 2020  

Company magazine produced for our clients and contacts.

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