Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) Paul Green, DipPFS, brings almost 40 years’ financial services experience to the team at Suckling Waddington & Partners (SWP).

We spoke to Paul about building a career within the financial sector, the importance of seeing the full picture when it comes to making financial decisions and why there’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ client.

How did you get into Financial Services?

“I started my career in the mid-80s and have nearly 40 years of financial services experience. I have seen many changes over this time as financial advice has evolved.

“I left school in 1983 when, for those old enough to remember, there were over 3 million people were unemployed it was a difficult time for the whole country and limited opportunities for the young. My first job in financial services was in 1984 as a cashier for Commercial Union, which at the time was a large company, my dad was very happy believing this would be a job for life!

“I progressed in my time with Commercial Union moving up to accounts then underwriting and new business. I think that the variety of roles I undertook back then really set me up, as I benefited from the full range of experience. I even met my wife there and we will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary in 2024!

“I had been working with an insurance company for several years, supporting an IFA who was nearing retirement, he did not want to close the business, therefore, he asked me to join him and provide advice to the clients.

“Eventually he wanted to sell the business and SWP were looking to buy good quality practices. I already knew Gary, a partner of SWP, from the mid 1990’s and I have now been an adviser at SWP for almost eight years.

What is your area of expertise?

“I have advised in most areas of insurance, investments and pensions; I have gained the G60 certificate, which is an advanced financial services qualification allowing me to advise on complex pension areas. However, I offer general, holistic advice on all elements of financial planning.

“I am happy to arrange an initial meeting with someone looking for financial advice, there is no cost or obligation to them at the initial meeting. If we can’t support them, we’ll signpost them to alternative solutions. If they wish to engage our services, we will research the whole market and provide detailed recommendations to meet their objectives.

“I have a wide range of clients both in age and wealth and pride myself on the service that I provide to each of them.

“I take my role very seriously and never forget that people are entrusting me with their future and their wealth – it’s a huge responsibility. I consider myself very ethical and conscientious and strive to give people the right advice.

“I naturally enjoy helping people; whether they’re retiring or giving money to their children, it’s rewarding to be part of their journey and to help them make the most of their money.”

For any clients considering financial advice, what would your advice be to them?

“Have a clear objective about what you want to achieve. Many people don’t take their pension provision seriously enough especially when they are young as it seems so far away, however, anyone who is approaching retirement will tell you how quickly it goes!

“The earlier you start saving the better, there is an aid called the ‘cost of delay’, which highlights the increase in pension contribution you would need to make to have the same projected fund/pension depending on the age you start contributing and the differences are significant.

“A good financial adviser will provide honest and trustworthy advice that will stand you in good stead for the future.”

What would you recommend to clients in the current economic climate?

“I understand that budgets are tightening for many people and in general I would say, if possible, continue to save, in particular if you are a member of a works pension where you benefit from an employer pension contribution. If you need to reduce your outgoings, I would say shop around for your insurances and look at the subscriptions that you have, to see if you need them.

“If you are investing and have seen falls in the value of your investments, our general stance would be not to panic and sell, but to stay invested. Investments are for the medium to long term and history has shown that markets do recover over time.”

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