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Financial Planning: It’s a marathon, not a sprint

April 9 2009 by Geoffrey Mabbutt

Spotlight on Wow Financial Planner, Geoffrey Mabbutt, who is running in the Brighton Marathon in April

How has the training gone so far?

It has been pretty tough! Before I decided to enter the Marathon, I don’t think I had ever run further than about 4 miles! I’ve suffered a couple of niggling injuries which have set my training back a bit, but I am now running further than I ever imagined I would and I’m actually starting to enjoy it!

How do you motivate yourself?

It’s not easy when the rain is pouring down or it’s freezing cold outside, but I just have to remind myself about how tough the challenge ahead is, what it means to me to achieve my goal and how much grief the guys in the office will give me if I didn’t make it around! In all  seriousness, everyone at Wow has been very supportive although “apparently” not one of them received my e-mail inviting them to run with me!

Aside from running, what do you like to do in your spare time?

In the Summer, I like to get out on the golf course as much as possible. I’m slowly but surely disproving the theory that practice makes perfect.

Define financial planning in 10 words or less….

1. Goals
2. Reviews
3. Advice
4. Guidance
5. Commitment
6. Importance
7. Security
8. Control
9. Efficiency
10. Results

What has been the biggest difference you’ve made to a client’s future?

Whether I am helping someone to manage their debts in the most cost -effective way, helping them to minimise their tax bills or helping them to create and achieve a financial plan for the future. The biggest difference I make, according to many of my clients, is in  helping them to actually understand their financial affairs and what they can do to improve them.

What mistakes do people make with regard to financial planning?

In simple terms… not doing it!  Some people have had bad experiences with so-called “Financial Advisers”, others just think that they can do it themselves. In our experience, almost nobody runs their financial affairs in the most tax-efficient manner when they do it themselves. They either just never get around to doing it on a regular basis or they don’t know what they should be doing for the best. There’s just so much information out there!

Your top tips for becoming financially secure…

It’s simple…… begin planning as early as possible. It’s a bit like training for a Marathon really; determine what your goals are, make sure they are realistic and then work out what you need to do to achieve them. Setting achievable goals is really important. For example, even if I trained all day, every day for 6 months, it’s very unlikely I’d be troubling the Kenyans in a sprint finish!  In preparation for the Marathon, I‘ve adopted  a training programme, sought advice from a running expert and invested in the right kit such as good running trainers to help me achieve my goal. If you want to plan for your future financial security, I’d recommend investing in sound  financial advice and in suitable products to help you get there. Regularly reviewing your objectives will greatly improve your chances of achieving them. In my opinion, everybody needs a good financial planner who helps them to regularly review their progress against their objectives.  If you don’t have a financial planner, or if you do but they don’t do this, ask them why? Maybe it’s time for a change…

To find out more about financial planning with Wow, why not book a meeting with Geoff? Contact us here.

In case you’re interested, Geoff completed the Brighton Marathon in April 2010. You’ll have to ask him what time he got and whether he managed to avoid getting run over by the road sweepers that were clearing the course at the end of the race!

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