It’s fair to say the vast majority of us have had some kind of experience of Financial Services, from opening a bank account to purchasing a protection plan – life cover for example, to saving into a workplace pension scheme or perhaps right up to mitigating one’s inheritance tax position. But ask yourself this – have you always felt at the heart of the advisory process?
Meet Paul McCabe and Neil Wheelan, co-owners of Astute Financial Planners Ltd, whose mantra is ensuring the client is at the heart of their advisory process. When advising clients, they ask themselves a simple question – a health check of the advice given. Would they ask a close family member to follow the advice they are proposing? It’s that simple.
Paul explains; “I’ve always said there are two things clients care most about – their health and finances, and rightly so. It just so happens that we carry responsibility for one of these areas, which is a privilege and one we apply a great deal of attention and care towards. I’ve been in financial services for over 20 years and I passionately believe in providing Lifestyle Financial Planning – often referred to as Cash Flow Modelling. With this form of planning we can understand a client’s overall financial position and, more importantly, their short and long-term objectives. Whether that be planning an around-the-world trip of a lifetime, retiring earlier than planned, helping the kids get on the property ladder or indeed reaching the most common aim – have I accumulated enough wealth to have the lifestyle I want in retirement.”
In the past, many people found their experience of financial advice often centred around a financial product or tax wrapper, and they were referred to the latest investment or fund story. But Paul believes they should never expect a client to be engaged in this. He says; “Yes, at times there will be the need for a tax wrapper to be recommended – utilising one’s ISA annual allowance for example. But this should be centred around an aim and objective such as generating tax-free income in retirement.”
Located in Edinburgh, Astute Financial Planners Ltd is an Independent Advisory Business and Paul holds Chartered Financial Planner status. Between them, Paul and Neil have a combined experience of over 40 years and offer advice throughout the Lothians. They are able to assist clients with family protection planning, income protection, utilising investment tax allowances, retirement planning, inheritance tax mitigation or working with company directors to structure their own wealth management needs or employee benefit consultations.
Paul adds; “I often find myself quoting Paul Lewis of Radio 4’s programme ‘Money Box’ and his advice to clients is to source both a Chartered and Independent Adviser and naturally, I couldn’t agree with him more.”