Darren Mansell shares his experience of the benefits of working with a professional Financial Adviser
Louise (my wife, who is unfortunately no longer with us), and I first considered our finances back in 2014. With Louise’s health issues, we had already gone through the legal things like Wills and Lasting Power of Attorneys. These turned out to be very important.
It so happened that our solicitor recommended a financial adviser company, Caple Banks. We arranged a meeting with Jody Banks. Jody spent time understanding how the Thalidomide Trust worked. We went through a thorough review of our finances and more importantly our future needs and desires. We both had balances in our Trust allocations, and these were not doing anything in terms of growth. Taking out the Health Grant each year increased the amount of cash that was available for us to invest.
Louise also received Direct Payments and contributed some of her own funds to achieve the level of care she needed. This meant she needed a pot of funds readily available should the Direct Payments change. This was built into the review together with the need for a new vehicle. This information all painted a picture for Jody to work with.
An investment portfolio was proposed to suit Darren and Louise's requirements
We were asked to consider the level of risk we would accept given the potential volatility of the stock market. This was all explained in a simple way.
An investment proposal was put together for both of us, and inheritance tax and income tax were considered and ‘wrap around’ Trust portfolios were set up for us both. These are Trusts in our names not the Thalidomide Trust.
The most obvious benefit was that our Trust money was now working for us and generating growth rather than sitting in the Trust doing nothing. The investments allowed us to plan for the future with a new van, holidays and feeling safe in the knowledge our funds were being looked after. It also meant things were easier to deal with as part of Louise’s estate when she passed away.
The downfalls are that shares and funds are subject to the markets but despite recent downturns, the funds have mostly recovered – you do need to have faith in your adviser and go with their recommendations.
Having financial advice has been important and beneficial
I have been with Caple Banks for nearly nine years now and having gone through the process of dealing with Louise’s estate, it was good to have sound advice and access to solutions. My adviser is both professional and a good friend. It is important to have an annual review and to take note of any recommendations proposed.
In summary, you need to decide what you want to do with your money. If there is no urgency in needing cash, then look to get your funds working for you. From a simple ISA through to wrap around fund portfolios, there are investments available for everyone.
I am not endorsing any one Financial Adviser as there are many out there, but finding one that you feel confident to talk with makes a big difference. Please make sure they are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority which offers you further piece of mind.
Don’t forget that the Trust has lots of financial information on its website including videos about financial topics in the Money Matters section. Also, if you have used a Financial Adviser, the Trust would really like to hear from you, whether it was a positive or negative experience. You can contact the Trust on 01480 474074 or by email.