Healthy Financial Habits

We all know people who aren’t sure whether they need a financial planner, don’t need a financial planner, or don’t know what a financial planner is. Two years ago, I was discussing some ‘rules of thumb’ with a friend whose son had recently left university and, for the first time, had become financially independent. My friend passed the tips on to her son and recently told me that they’ve helped him to feel financially on track.

Passing on some common sense when it comes to personal finance can be seriously powerful and occasionally life changing. With that in mind, if you know anyone who needs help with their finances, here are a few basic tips you can pass on to them to offer a little help:

  1. Tell them to write down their income and expenditure (and tell them to be generous on expenditure, they don’t want to spend a lifetime struggling to stay within the lines). When they have this, they should review it and stick to it.
  2. It is good practice to write down financial goals (maybe they’d like to help with their children’s education or pay off large debts such as a mortgage? It’s also worth remembering that, if they haven’t already, one day they’ll want to stop working). This will help them to stay on track for a comfortable future.
  3. Should they get the urge to buy something big (I’m thinking 6 months in the Bahamas…), suggest that they give themselves a 72 hour ‘cooling off’ period before reviewing the purchase again, checking that it wouldn’t compromise their financial goals and then, if they’re still keen, have a cocktail for me!
  4. Keeping an ‘emergency cash fund’ will give them some level of security should something unexpected pop up. This could come in handy to provide them with extra time if they need to search for new employment, but more than this, it will provide them with valuable peace of mind.

These four habits require effort, practice and they are only the beginning of a true financial plan (let us not forget inflation!) but they can really build a solid foundation for a financially secure future and we all want that for the people we care about.

Finally (and this will probably be the most uncomfortable part of the conversation), tell them to plan for the worst, insure any loans that they take out (mortgages for example), find a couple of people they trust and set up Lasting Powers of Attorney and remind them that it’s only polite to your family and friends to speak to a solicitor and leave a Will.

I hope this does help someone in your life as much as it has helped those in mine, but at the very least, I hope it answers the question of whether your friends and family need a financial planner or not, or even just gives them an idea of what a financial planner is!

A Sporting Bunch

A Sporting Bunch

There have been a lot of sporting achievements and upcoming physical challenges within the team recently and we thought that it would be nice to share these in Navigator.

 After last years successful Brecon Beacon Challenge (in which the team raised over £1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society), next month half of us will be climbing up Scafell Pike to raise money for Children’s Hospice South West.

Our very own Steve Brady has been selected to represent England in the over 50’s Hockey team (and went on to win every game in their first tournament) and we have recently sponsored the exciting young Bath Rugby player Josh Bayliss.

 

Scafell Pike

On the 7th of July a team of 9 will be heading to the lakes in the very early hours of Saturday morning to climb and conquer Scafell Pike. After a long day of walking we will then nip up the Old Man of Coniston and back on the Sunday morning, before the long drive home. We are taking on this challenge to raise funds for the Children’s Hospice South West, an amazing local charity which we have had a close connection with over many years.

 

Many of us have visited the hospice at Charlton Farm in Wraxall and have seen first-hand the incredible work that they do. If you would like to sponsor us we would be very grateful for any donations, big or small – just click the link below to donate via our just giving page;

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/brunel-capital-partners

We will be sure to let you know how we get on and thank you in advance for your support.

Further information about Children’s Hospice South West and their work can be found at the bottom of this article.

Steve’s Playing for England!

 

We’d like to congratulate Steve Brady, a director of the firm, on being selected to represent the England over 50’s Hockey team. This is a fantastic achievement for Steve who has now had the opportunity to represent England on the world stage. Steve has now played his first International Hockey tournament, representing England at the Home Nations competition in London. England managed to win every game without conceding a single goal.

I asked Steve if there was anything he’d like mentioned in this article and his response was ‘feel free to use words like heroic’.

A glass to Steve… Heroic!

 Sponsoring a Future Rugby Legend

We’re delighted to announce that we are sponsoring the exciting young Bath rugby player – Josh Bayliss.

A local lad, Josh is a former pupil at Millfield School in Glastonbury. He was a member of the England under 20’s squad that went on to achieve a Six Nations Grand Slam and a place in the 2017 World Rugby under 20’s Championship. He made his first team debut for Bath in 2016 and has been hailed one of the most exciting back row players in the country.

A little more about Children’s Hospice South West

 Children’s Hospice South West provide care for children with life-threatening conditions by providing hospice care and profession family support services. They are dedicated to making the most of short and previous lives through the provision of the best possible hospice care for children and your people with life-limiting conditions. The care offered is not just about medical and nursing support for sick children but is also about enriching the lives of the children and their whole family. They provide specialist palliative care, respite for the whole family, a sibling service for brothers and sisters, emergency support, end of life care and a bereavement service for as a long as it is needed.

Leading the Way to Professional Excellence

We’ve always been proud of the individuals at Brunel and Pilgrim and their academic achievements (whether that is achieving Chartered Status, Financial Planning and Paraplanning Diplomas or learning Spanish) but we’re now proud to announce that as a collective, we’re TWO of the few firms in the country to achieve Chartered Status. That’s both Brunel and Pilgrim.

In this section we look a little further at what this means, discuss our recent Cyberplus Accreditation (and how this safeguards you) and our Managing Director Damien talks about his new role on the Personal Finance Society’s Financial Planning Expert Practitioner Panel, as a leading expert to help improve the Financial Planning Industry.

Chartered Status

Chartered status is an exclusive title only awarded to firms which meet rigorous criteria relating to professionalism and capability. The award is granted by the Chartered Insurance Institute the professional body for insurance and financial planning. To achieve this status we were required to demonstrate a commitment to developing knowledge, enhancing capability and maintaining ethical standards. This provides all our clients with the reassurance that we are operate in an ethical manner, put our clients interest first and provide high quality advice based solely on our clients’ researched needs.

To date, fewer than 700 firms have achieved Chartered status which indicates that this is a highly coveted award reserved for the leading firms within the financial advice market.

We will be working hard to maintain these standards and providing a commitment to customer service and professionalism.

Cyberplus Accreditation

As a firm we have also recently achieved Cyber Essentials accreditation. Cyber Essentials aims to help organisations implement good levels of protection against cyber-attacks. In addition we have undertaken  further assessment with IASME to demonstrate that we have taken into account the requirements of the General Data protection regulation (GDPR).

The IASME Governance standard, based on international best practice, is risk-based and includes aspects such as physical security, staff awareness, and data backup. The IASME standard was recently recognised as the best cyber security standard for small companies by the UK Government.

IASME is one of just five companies appointed as Accreditation Bodies for assessing and certifying against the Government’s Cyber Essentials Scheme. The Scheme focuses on the five most important technical security controls. These controls were identified by the government as those that, if they had been in place, would have stopped the majority of the successful cyber attacks over the last few years.

We take our client’s cyber security seriously and would urge you to look for this accreditation with other organisations you may deal with online!

Damien’s New Role on the Financial Planning Expert Practitioner Panel

As an organisation we are always looking for new challenges, especially in areas where we can make a difference. One of my new responsibilities, and something I’m hugely excited about, will be to sit on the Personal Finance Society’s (PFS) Financial Planning Expert Practitioner Panel. I was delighted and honoured to be chosen as one of the inaugural members of this new panel of financial planners.

The timing couldn’t be better. There is a real buzz about the financial planning profession, and a quiet revolution of planning excellence is gathering pace.

The Vital Role of the Personal Finance Society

I’ll come on to the panel shortly but first a quick look at the PFS and why they’re so vital. They are the professional body for financial advisors in the UK and they exist to promote high standards across the financial advice community. In climates like this, where the public can be suspicious of financial institutions, we need bodies like the PFS to help strengthen confidence in our profession.

The PFS is well qualified to do it. They have a long and commendable history of championing professionalism, promoting technical knowledge and establishing high levels of client service and ethical practice.

The PFS has recently announced its new President will be Sharon Sutton. Sharon is Managing Director of Thornton Associates Ltd, Chartered Financial Planners, based on the Isle of Man, where she was the island’s first Chartered Financial Planner. Sharon’s biography on the PFS website says she “believes in educating people to take control of their lives through financial planning so they can seek to achieve their dreams and don’t run out of money”. I know Sharon personally, and I also know that we’re going to get on very well as that fits exactly with the philosophy of Brunel and Pilgrim.

My Role on the Financial Planning Expert Practitioner Panel

One of the ways the PFS will achieve this is through the new Financial Planning Expert Practitioner Panel. The panel has been established to guide the PFS as it broadens its Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme to incorporate inspirational financial planning good practice. The first meeting took place earlier this month. As well as myself, the panel comprises another 11 members from the financial planning industry. Without wanting to sound immodest, Sharon Sutton commented that it brings together “a distinguished and passionate group of individuals who are willing to share what they have learned for the benefit of the wider profession.”

The PFS has established the panel to provide financial planning insight and guidance to the wider profession as part of a continued focus on consumer outcomes and business sustainability. This is great news for clients as it seeks to ensure they receive the best service from advisers who are themselves benefitting from guidance on best practice across the industry. We on the panel will meet regularly to develop guidelines and amass insight on good practice to distribute and make available for PFS members. We’ll also be seeking to arrange a series of specialist events and we’re working on a good practice guide resource for advisers.

A Foundation of Trust and Confidence

Helping people to take control of their finances, gain financial freedom and make their dreams a reality are the principles that Brunel and Pilgrim are built on. But before we can help people achieve this, we need to build a foundation of trust and confidence in the professionalism and ethical standards of financial planning. It’s a responsibility that falls to us all, as financial advisers, and extends right across our profession. As a member of the new Financial Planning Expert Practitioner Panel I’m hugely looking forward to taking on this responsibility in the new term ahead.

If you know someone that would like some guidance on their financial planning, please do drop me a line or call me on 0117 214 0870.

Brunel Capital Partners is a sister company of Pilgrim Financial Planning