7 years with Ethical Futures Advice service: Plan Other services used: Review and Select
Why did you think you needed a financial adviser? What were your expectations? We were approaching retirement and because of the gap between work retirement and state retirement ages, needed to seek financial advice. We wanted to minimise the chances of the money worries and ensure that our investments were ethical.
Even though we are ordinary people, the results of our long term planning seemed like quite considerable sums of money. We needed advice to make sure that we invested in the right way so that we didn’t risk losing it.
Why have you chosen EF? Stories of mis-selling and bad financial advice made us a bit cautious about approaching a financial advisor. We thought that if someone was promoting ethical products, they ought to have a reasonably ethical stance themselves. A friend of ours has also recommended Ethical Futures.
We have beliefs about things like war and the environment and how people are treated at work, that we try to support in ways we do our shopping. We didn’t want our hard earned money going into goods and services we didn’t support
Why is ethical investment important to you? We have beliefs about things like war and the environment and how people are treated at work, that we try to support in ways we do our shopping. We didn’t want our hard earned money going into goods and services we didn’t support.
What were your ethical criteria in choosing EF? We didn’t want to have anything to do with weapons development, we shop fairtrade so we didn’t want to invest in any palm oil companies destroying environment, worker exploitation, particularly child exploitation.
How did EF help you tackle your financial problems/make financial decisions/simplify your life? Julian spent quite a bit of time with us explaining how the company works and reassuring us on various points, helping us understand the risk profile. It was very useful to understand our attitude to risk before we decided how to invest.
Quite a bit of time was spent on painting a picture of what our resources were and what they were likely to be in the foreseeable future. Julian spent a good deal of time helping us through that journey.
Once the investments are made, they are able to answer questions, and to help us understand how the market was impacting on them. Julian was very good at simply talking about financial investment options that are a bit different; such as inherited property interests or money that we wanted to invest in solar panels.
Planning was a useful service - to look at the changing picture that he draws of your expenditure and your income. There was a bit in the middle that we have to prop-up because we don’t get our state pension for a while so there’s a kind of gap, it was very useful to see that encapsulated in this image.
We didn’t have to do the leg work, we are reasonably astute but not expert, so it was reassuring to have somebody, whom you trust, to help you make decisions .
What benefits have you seen from using EF service? We still have modest growth on our investments, it hasn’t all gone in stock market crashes. The other thing that we’ve gained is this clearer picture of what we need to do with our income and expenditure.
Peace of mind about our financial circumstances, enabling us to enjoy new lives since we’ve finished full time work. Obviously, retirement does reduce your income - so it’s good to know that we could still afford to do things like going out on a narrow boat for the summer, going out on holidays, still living in a nice house. We can’t live wildly extravagant, but we can go for a meal or help out our kids if they need. We’ve been able to organize our affairs to be useful grandparents.
How was experience in EF? Very efficient, very responsive, Julian has always been there at the end of the phone or email.
What further goals you wish to achieve in the future? We have a new life and we want to make the most of that.
Financial planning gives us a picture so that we have the reassurance that we have got it right and that we can do this and we can do that and that we can seize opportunities for travel. Financial plan is helping us use the income. It gives us the reassurance that we can spend this income.
Without Ethical Futures we wouldn’t have the whole picture quite so clearly. So, we might be more likely to be building up the capital, not switching the heating on and not going on holiday, just building up the capital.
We would like to thank Liz and Chris for contributing their experience with us.