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Dear Diary

The Diary of a Trainee Financial Planner

Like any good story I guess we should start at the beginning…

It was just over 3 years ago, and over a cup of coffee, that Jeremy dropped a bombshell by tentatively asking if I’d consider joining Brett Investment. At that point I was a PE Teacher (albeit a less than happy one) and although a career change was on my mind, never did it cross my mind that it might be into the world of financial planning! Probably best described as a ‘leap of faith’ by both parties, it is a decision I have not for one minute regretted.

From the very early days we have toyed with this idea of me keeping a journal (one that I could look back on in future years and maybe share with others). With me not being a natural writer, I’ve done my very best to stall actually putting anything down on paper, but Jeremy tells me that time has come to start the engine…so here goes!

Day One

Perhaps understandably I woke up feeling nervous.

More used to tracksuit bottoms and a pair of trainers I remember wanting to impress, taking more care than normal over my new ‘executive’ appearance.

To be honest I didn’t know what to expect. I sort of already knew it wasn’t going to be like the movies ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ or ‘The Big Short’ – so just how much ‘glitz and glam’ was there going to be?

I was primed, ready and half out the door already when my phone buzzed. It was a message from Jeremy…

Morning Trainee – re today, just come in for any time after lunch as I haven’t properly planned for you yet’

…what a reassuring start!

Year One

It became apparent (and to be fair, confirmed by Jeremy) that Brett Investment did not have a graduate induction program in place. Instead, I was thrown in at the deep end and with the benefit of hindsight this was absolutely the right way to go. Most of the early days were spent in the company of the brilliant (and very patient) Katie, showing me the ropes. Gradually I was able to do more with less hand holding; Katie had trained me to operate things like the Wrap platform, our back-office systems and the general processes of a financial planning firm….spoiler alert – there’s a lot of them!

Jeremy gave me a book called ‘The Investment Answer’ and this (coupled with the tremendous support I receive from our investment partner Dimensional) has given me a clear understanding of the investment philosophy that underpins Brett Investment.

But, if you’d asked me back then what was financial planning all about, my answer would have been Pensions, ISAs, performance figures and graphs…lots of graphs!! …I went home at night cross eyed by the number of charts and line graphs I was tasked with looking at.

Year Two

Shortly after starting my second year, I was beginning to get a feel for what you could call the ‘real’ part of Brett Investment – something we proudly call ‘proper financial planning’.

Hopefully I’m now forgiven for once thinking that financial planning was just about money…and that an adviser’s job was to pick the winning investments that no one else knew about. Whilst I know that the right investment portfolio is very important, it quickly became obvious that Jeremy’s role goes way deeper than that.

Sure it is about money… but actually more about what it is for. And this I guess this is where you (our clients) come in.

Nowadays when I sit in on new client meetings with Jeremy, I get to hear what’s really important to people and I have heard some humbling answers to some really great questions. In fact it’s stopped me in my tracks and made me ponder what’s important in my life too.

I have also started to help Jeremy build the client’s plan (The Bucket as you might know it!) by creating a multi-year financial forecast that creates a plan around the key events in their lives and their planned spending patterns.

It’s been some journey and will continue to be some journey with Brett Investment. Perhaps like you it’s one that has surprised me in many ways but also one that really EXCITES me about the future. I can’t wait to evolve with Brett Investment and play a small part in its story.

Year Three

So what experience will my 3rd year conjure up? Well, I suppose it better include some of those exams!!

To be continued…