Paul is a Chartered Financial Planner with more than 20 years’ experience in financial services.
He has a wealth of experience in all areas of financial planning, with a particular specialism in investments, pensions and retirement planning. He takes great pride in helping his clients reach their goals and life ambitions. Paul is highly personable and explains everything in plain English.
He is now only 1 exam away from achieving ‘Fellowship’ status which he is currently working towards.
Hi Paul, hope all is well. What is your favourite thing about working in the financial services industry?
I love the variety of the job. I meet all sorts of interesting people with wide-ranging backgrounds and needs. It’s great to be able to work with each of them to help make plans for a better and more prosperous future.
Tell me a bit about your background, where did you grow up and what schools, colleges and/or Universities did you attend?
I grew up in a leafy suburb of York and spent most of my childhood playing football, climbing trees (and falling from them!). I attended local primary and secondary schools and did A-Levels at York College. I enjoyed sport and was pretty good at running and football; I also played in a band called Penny Racer at local pubs and clubs (thankfully before the era of social media so no evidence!).
After A-Levels, I went to the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich where I studied Economics & International Development. After 3 years of student living, and with no clear idea of what I wanted to do, I returned to York and got a job with General Accident and my career in financial services began.
What does a typical day for you at SMC entail?
I tend to start about 8:30am after the nursery drop-off and catch up on emails, messages, financial and industry news. I’ll then look over the cases or reviews that I’m working on and speak with my colleagues about how we can progress these.
After grabbing some lunch I’ll head off to a seminar which is an essential part of keeping my knowledge current, before meeting with clients to carry out reviews or discuss any additional investment. Often the days are long, however, it’s a pleasure to spend time with my clients who are all lovely.
With over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry what things do you think have changed for the good in your view?
I guess the big positive change came in the form of the Retail Distribution Review which introduced greater transparency of charges and fees; it was the shot in the arm the industry needed to improve its image and to help restore trust in financial advisers. Also, there is clearly a drive to get younger blood into the industry and drive up professionalism through examinations and qualifications. This is clearly evident at SMC where the advisers (Sean & myself) are relatively young and are both forward-thinking chartered financial planners.
What one bit of advice would you give to people in regard to their personal finance?
Don’t put it off. The sooner you start planning for your future, the longer and more comfortable your retirement will be.
Outside of work, what are your interests or hobbies?
I have a young family so most of my time is spent with them either in soft play areas or at the park or beach when the weather is better. When I do get the opportunity I like to be out in the mountains, travel or watch football.
Do you live in the city and have you always been from the Merseyside area? If so how has the city changed for you over time?
I grew up in York and moved to Liverpool in 2014. I have however had family links with the city for more than 20 years, so I have seen some significant changes. The development of Liverpool One and the waterfront is a real transformation and the benefits of the City of Culture status in 2008 are clear. It is a fabulous, vibrant city and one which everyone should visit.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have 3 things, what would they be?
Michael Phelps, a saddle and a gold medal on a stick.
What product do you think the world could live without?
My guilty pleasure is Britain’s Got Talent or The Voice, however, I do think we’ve reached saturation point for celebrity-based reality television.
And finally, finishing with the question we’ve asked all the rest of the team at SMC so far. Are you Liverpool or Everton?
Neither, I am a lifelong Man City fan who still cannot believe that we now win trophies.