Yesterday Philip Hammond, delivered his first and last Autumn Statement. Much has been written since about his attempts to ensure Britain is – in his words – “match-fit” in time for the triggering of Article 50 early next year. And while we all hope that the Great British economy is more Andy Murray than Wayne Rooney on that fateful day, rather less has been written about how the announcements might affect your finances.
Financial planning doesn’t have to be daunting. Framed the right way, it can be incredibly intuitive. When working with our clients we find out three important things from them:
- What do you have?
- What do you want?
- When do you want it?
Sound financial planning is tailored to the individual. You will know when you’ve found a good financial adviser because before they event start thinking about investment options, tax or estate planning, they will ensure they have a sound understanding of your answers to these three questions.
Starting at Gibson Lamb in June this year, I didn’t enter as a complete newbie, having already worked in insurance and at another financial advisers in the City.
But coming into a new company that’s had all the same staff since before I even took my GCSEs has been a hugely enjoyable challenge; as eye-opening as it has been refreshing.
I think of it like learning a new language.
Everything is done in a very particular way; either slightly or, more often, extremely differently to the way I was used to.
As with any job there’s a ton of both industry and company-specific language unique to any company.
I had built up skills and habits that were transferable, and others that were simply incomprehensible to those around me. Learning which is which comes with practice.
The important thing to remember is that there’s also a structure and a reason behind everything we do. It isn’t always obvious, but as a firm these practices stem from both our history and our culture.
These are the things that come naturally to the others, that I am still building into habits
- Filing: It’s hard to imagine two systems designed to do essentially the same thing being as different as Adviser Office (used at the place I used to work) and CCD (used at Gibson Lamb). A lot of the crutches I could rely on with the old system to keep things structured are simply no longer there. And everything is now filed in an entirely different way.On the plus side, and from the client’s point of view, we have a handy way of keeping everything paperless and efficient with “Virtual Cabinet” and “Portal” – see Vicky’s blog on this very topic!
- Structuring client letters: Starting out, even things like making sure I formatted my letters with the various rules that Gibson Lamb have relied upon for decades could trip me up.This invariably takes more concentration and double-checking than anything I end up putting in the letter itself. I like to think it’s finally become second nature to me. We shall see!
- Meeting preparation: Luckily this didn’t take me as long to learn as I had relevant experience before. Gibson Lamb has over the years developed some sensible methods (including, of course, clever use of technology!) to make this take a lot less time than where I used to work.
Learning from experience
Training brings its own set of challenges for the existing team almost as much as me (at times) as they try to explain to me something that for them is as instinctive as riding a bike.
With this I’m lucky that everyone’s been so welcoming.
I’ve quickly came to see why Gibson Lamb has managed to hold on to both the same core team of staff for so long, as well as many of its clients for even longer.
At this early stage, I just like to think I’m starting to make their lives easier rather than harder (!) and on a personal level that I leave the office every day having learnt as much as I can. From there I can look to the future with a company that I already look forward to being with for many years to come.