Christmas charity round-up

This year, a few members of the Bristol team took time away from the office to help at the Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) Christmas party at the Charlton Farm Hospice, on the outskirts of Bristol. It was a lovely event with lots of different activities which the children enjoyed immensely.

Instead of sending our clients Christmas cards this year, we made a donation to CHSW to help them continue their great work providing care and assistance to the families of children with life limiting conditions.

In additional to financial support, we bought a selection of small gifts which were handed to the children by Father Christmas at the Christmas party. It is great to see first-hand what the difference that these donations make.

Volunteers at the CHSW party included (from left to right) India, Vicky, Stuart and Sara.

Through the Wells Dementia Action Alliance (WDAA), donations were made to local Charities “Heads Up” and the “Lawrence Centre” towards their Christmas Parties which brought much cheer to their clients living with dementia.

Plans are also underway to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the WDAA during Dementia Action Week between 11th and 17th May 2020, when there will be activities for all throughout the week to help raise awareness and fund raise as there is so much more that we can do to help those living with dementia in our community.

Guests and clients and the Mayor of Wells share a seasonal cheer at Heads Up’s Christmas party.

Photo courtesy of Philip Welch.

Growing better

The Greek Philosopher Heraclitus once said that “change is the only constant”. He could have well been looking at the Financial Services profession today!

The Directors at Brunel and Pilgrim are continually looking at ways to ensure that we maintain the high level of service to clients by embracing change when it comes along and where we see that it will benefit our clients.

We have several projects that we will be completing this year, notably launching our own investment platform and our own Client Portal, which we’re really excited about!

To make sure these projects are a success, we have reshaped our team and it is with pleasure that I can introduce our new Managing Director, Andy Weston.

Andy has been our Head of Compliance for many years and he is the perfect man for the job.

We also see promotions for Kate Harris and Sara Mather to Group Operations Manager and Technical Team Manager respectively. Damien Rylett remains our CEO.

To fill the gaps left by these promotions, we have taken on more staff.

We are also pleased to therefore welcome Bryony Slade to our Compliance and Operations team, who will be working between both the Bristol and Wells offices.

In addition, we have augmented our Client Services team with Tom Doughty and Louise Brown who each bring valuable experience to their new roles. Jamie Havard joins us from the Office of National Statistics as a member of our Paraplanning team in Bristol.

The Wells office has been strengthened by Rachel Goymer and Katy Cox who have settled into their administration roles, and Lucy Harris has recently joined Harriet Carss in our Paraplanning team.

You will be pleased to hear that we will also be launching a new website where you will be able to put faces to names.

Whilst the team is growing, it remains our plan to stay nimble and focused entirely on our clients.

Technology can bring many benefits to our lives, but we will always be a company where you can be assured that a human being will be at the end of the phone and happy to talk with you.

Why financial advice is priceless

Do you remember the Mastercard ‘priceless’ campaign of the late 1990s?

These iconic adverts reminded the viewer, usually in a funny or thought-provoking way, that there are some things that money can’t buy.

These Priceless adverts came to mind when I reflected recently on the value of financial planning.

You see, a lot of what we do for our clients has a tangible value attached. But many other elements of our service can only be described as ‘priceless’.

Recent studies by the have found that those who used financial advice were better off than similar individuals who did not take advice.

A study originating in the United States concluded that the services provided by an excellent financial adviser have the potential to add around 3% each year to your investment returns. So we know that working with a financial adviser can make you wealthier.

The ‘Adviser Alpha’ study from investment provider Vanguard quantified the potential value added to an investor from services including rebalancing investment portfolios to manage risk, selecting low-cost investments and behavioural coaching.

When compared to the cost of ongoing advice, this added return through the provision of financial advice is excellent value.

But what takes financial advice from something valuable to something priceless? In my mind, it’s the less tangible benefits of what we do that make our services invaluable.

For example, we ensure things get done.

All too often, it’s easy to set financial goals (especially at this time of the year, when Resolutions abound), but fail to follow through and execute these goals as planned. By working with a financial adviser, we help life work by holding you to account and making sure these ambitions are realised.

There are some unquantifiable aspects of our role, which are undoubtedly priceless. We help our clients avoid the biases which arise a result of merely being human. These are biases which can derail even the most experienced and sensible investors.

One of the most important benefits our clients tell us we provide is delivering peace of mind. The ability to sleep well at night, safe in the knowledge that you have a plan for the future, is priceless.

Peace of mind ties in closely with the reassurance that you are making the right decisions, for you and your family.

One of the results of a financial plan includes being able to spend your time doing the things you enjoy, safe in the knowledge you won’t run out of money in the future, and your investments are in an appropriate place.

When the clients we work with can confidently provide financial assistance to adult children or other family members, they tell us this is priceless too.

If we believe everything we read in the press, working with a financial adviser is all about picking the best investment funds and being sold products to fill gaps. I hope this article shows you that, in addition to the tangible benefits of working with a financial adviser, it’s something that results in a priceless outcome too.

Brunel Capital Partners is a sister company of Pilgrim Financial Planning