“To retire is to expire” was, apparently, the warning given to Donald Trump by his father. I don’t intend to expire but after 33 years as an advisor and, in the cliché, being ’80 years young’ it is time to go. It has been an enjoyable second career and 14 years as a branch office under the Raymond James banner has been a good place to be.
Redundancy a habit?
Direct sales, that’s how I started in financial services. In those days, there were hundreds, maybe thousands, of advisors in direct sales teams. If you wanted a job, commission only, you studied The Daily Telegraph on Thursday. I had left the Army in 1979 and joined Lada Cars in Bridlington shortly before the Russians invaded Afghanistan. That was not good for me or for Lada Cars. Then to a large British Leyland distributor in Stevenage where I discovered too late that commercially the company had a death wish, which was soon granted. An advert in The Daily Telegraph led me to Hill Samuel and I signed up.
The Hill Samuel direct sales team is now long gone. After four weeks in a classroom I was qualified and could advise on investments. That was just amazing. In 1986 I moved to an independent IFA because the financial services big bang limited the direct salesforces to only the products of their own companies. As has been commented since, the proper application of the law of agency then would have saved a lot of money.
I enjoy figures and joining Hill Samuel was like a duck to water. The investment world was challenging to me then and after 33 years it still is. There is always more to learn and as the mantra says “past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future”. We know that is not entirely true and, as with race horses, good pedigrees count. Today’s advisors must be better qualified and Susie and I passed the CISI’s PCIAM level 6 qualification in 2012. I am now a Chartered FCSI. I also gained by examination the diploma in technical analysis.
In 2002 we moved from being a branch office of Thomas Grant Stockbrokers to become a branch of Raymond James investment Services. We have since grown to two principals and six excellent support staff, who have the full confidence of the clients with whom they are in frequent contact. Karen has been with us for 18 years. Susie (daughter) and I have worked well together for 21 years as equal partners.
There have been many good times and I have met many interesting and talented people. Clients always respond to the quality of care given to their affairs. I am grateful for the trust from so many as I did my best to manage their investments well.