Despite 80% of parents believing that a life insurance policy would protect their family, nearly half haven’t yet got one[1]. Can you imagine, the worst thing possible happens and your partner and child(ren) could be kicked out of the family home because they can’t afford to stay without your income.

Then there’s the fact that nearly 42% of people are unhappy with their current financial position[2], which shouldn’t be that surprising when you learn that 46% of all UK adults admit having low knowledge about financial matters[3].

So what’s on your ‘dream board’? Is it taking the kids to Disneyland Florida? A new kitchen? A new car? Or just knowing that you don’t need to watch every penny spent?

And of course, there’s the dreaded p-word…

Pension.

Did you know that 35% of UK adults don’t have a pension, with a further 36% clueless about what’s in their pot[4]?

So how much do you think you need to have saved before you retire?

The recommended amount for a comfortable retirement is £260,000–£445,000 (depending on accommodation costs)[4].

I don’t say all this to scare you. I say this as someone who over the last year decided it was finally time to do some ‘adulting’ to ensure my family, my income and our future is financially secure. With that in mind, I’d like you to say hello to Taylor…

Taylor runs Universe Financial Advice, a company that’s intent on untangling the confusing world of financial protection and investment to help people get the best out of their money.

I first met Taylor at a laptop networking event at Newbury Racecourse – but didn’t pluck up the courage to talk to him until a few months later! In my humble opinion, he is a wonderful person to know and I feel my money and my family’s future are very safe in his hands. I love how passionate he is about what he does, and how he speaks to me as a friend, explaining the different options clearly and making the whole process so simple.

Here I spend 5 minutes talking to him about his business…


What do you do?

Way before I even knew what a financial adviser was, I was obsessed with money – not necessarily having lots of money, but how it worked.

As soon as I was old enough to get a job, I started a career in the world of banking. But when I finally heard the term ‘financial adviser’, I knew this is what I wanted to do, and started teaching myself all about it at home.

Eventually setting up Universe Financial Advice, it initially felt like a complete leap of faith, but in reality, it’s enabled me to help so many people to get the best out of their money.

I named the company ‘Universe’ because I’m quite a spiritual person at heart, and just as the universe is all-encompassing, I aim to do everything I can to help each client.

In terms of specific services I offer, it broadly fits into 3 categories:

  1. Protection: ensuring families are financially secure.
  2. Investments: ensuring people are getting the most out of extra money they have.
  3. Pensions: helping individuals to build a retirement strategy.

Within each category there are several products, but as an independent financial adviser my clients benefit because I’m not tied to specific vendors and forced to promote certain products. And I’m constantly upskilling to keep ahead of the market and up-to-date with what’s new.


Who do you help?

This is really hard to answer because I firmly believe that I can help anybody with their finances. But clearly that’s commercially unhealthy so I’d say my sweetspot tends to be:

Business owners: I love their passion and being able to help them achieve their dreams, extract profits effectively and support them with venture capital. And then at the point of sale where they exit their business, I can help them navigate the new complex tax challenges they face.

Entrepreneurs: often they have that same passion as the business owners, but perhaps lack the money. Here it’s about helping to set them up for success and supporting them to get their business making money quickly.

Young families: having children changes everything. Not only do you want to ensure your family is financially secure now, you want to set your children up for the future, and protect your family if the worst was to happen – the last thing you want to worry about in the event of sickness/death is money.

Some people think there’s a magic number that you need to earn to need a financial adviser but that’s just not true. If you’re passionate about your money and want to do something better with it, I can help.


What do your clients say they value most about your service?

My ability to break down the complex into something simple.

I’m pretty relaxed – it’s not often that you’ll see me in a suit and tie! – and this comes across in how I talk to people. Financial services is both a science and an art and it took me a long time to grasp how you can have 2 completely different products, and yet neither one is right or wrong, because everything is purposefully designed to do something different.

Because finance is subjective you can’t be prescriptive when advising a client. You have to sit and listen to what they want – and most of the time they’ll come to you saying ‘I have no idea but I want to make sure I can keep a roof over our head if I fall sick’ or ‘I have no idea but I want to retire at 50’.

Once I know what they hope to achieve with their money, I can simply say ‘this is what you need’ and make everything straight forward.

Finance is a minefield because there’s different tax and legislation to navigate, plus different products that all do the same thing. I try to de-mystify the process. For example, with investments and retirement I’ll sit with the client and do all the modelling so they can see exactly where they’re heading, and how much extra they might need to stretch if they’re falling short of their current goals.


When it the ideal time for someone to engage a financial adviser?

Yesterday!

It frustrates me that we go through school and no-one ever sits us down to explain something as important as investments or as simple and an ISA – there are people in their 40s who still have no idea about pensions and saving for their retirement.

Even if you’re 18 and you’re yet to get you’re first job, you should speak to a financial adviser so you know what you need to be thinking about. Saving and investing as little as £10 per month is better than nothing. And there’s something about investing the money that does something psychologically in a person’s mind – it’s no longer money for today.

That said, most people only start to really think about their financial situation when a big life event happens…

On the protection side: it’s usually when a person, or someone they know, experiences a trauma or a death and they realise they’ve gone all these years without any protection for their family.

On the investment side: people are either looking to build a pot of money for their children, or they suddenly come into some inheritance. It’s very rare that people decide to suddenly start investing for themselves because so many are stuck in ‘cash now’ mode and stuffing money in a piggybank.

On the pension side: it’s usually when people hit 40 and think, ‘holy cow, I’m nearly 55 and haven’t saved anything’. Or they switch jobs and get enrolled in another pension scheme and so look to consolidate everything.


How do you like to work with your clients?

I once had a client dump a bin liner of pension paperwork on my doorstep, which took me an entire weekend to sort through what they had and make sense of it all. Ideally, I’m looking to avoid this happening again, so I like tech-savvy clients who have their information to hand and are happy to work online. I use a secure portal where I ask clients to complete a ‘Fact Find’, which gives me all their details so I don’t need to keep going back to ask 101 questions.

But the first step is always to have a cup of tea and a chat, usually over Zoom, about what they’re hoping to achieve with their money. I’ll always share some initial ideas, and then once I’ve got the details from their Fact Find I can go away and come back with some more solid options based on actual figures.

And because I’m independent, I’m really flexible about when I work so I can fit around family/work commitments my clients have.


What’s the best way for someone to contact you?

Good old-fashioned email is best with me as I’ll pick it up straight away: Taylor@universefa.co.uk

I then have a link to Calendly in my email signature so you can book that initial call in my diary without the relentless back and forth with dates and times.

Alternatively, you can visit my website: www.universefa.co.uk

Or connect with me on LinkedIn…


Sources:

  • [1] Source: https://www.legalandgeneral.com/life-cover/articles-and-guides/family-life-and-care/life-insurance-poll/
  • [2] Source: https://www.ftadviser.com/pensions/2018/10/23/third-of-people-do-not-have-a-pension/
  • [3] Source: https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/research/financial-lives-survey-2017.pdf
  • [4] Source: https://www.finder.com/uk/pension-statistics#:~:text=35%25%20of%20the%20adult%20population,is%20enough%20to%20retire%20comfortably.