I met Mike in 2002 when he was arranging a pension plan for a company where I was MD. I had a bit of money, not a huge amount, and I liked how he talked about money, as well as his honesty and sincerity. I gave him the management of my money, and I haven’t looked back since.
I didn’t want to personally manage my own financial affairs, so trust was fundamental. Mike was the first financial guy I’ve felt this with. He’s my perfect relationship from a financial management point of view - I don’t want to worry about finances on a daily basis, so we discuss his advice and he then gets on with what I need.
He’s helped me through divorce, he really was very good. He even discussed my wife’s requirements directly with her, working out how she would be looked after, that alone made it so much easier and more human, as well as saving a lot of legal costs. And he still looks after my ex-wife’s finances, because she felt he did such a good job.
I constantly used to ask him ‘can I retire?’ He’s moved me towards where I am today. I stopped working, took the summer off, went kite surfing in Brazil and paragliding in America and thought I’d stay retired. But I got a bit bored, so my plan changed again and I’m now working with a number of start-ups, among other interests. I talk to Mike and we just roll the changes into the plan, he makes it easy to see what the financial impact will be.
He’s also advising my grown-up kids who are in their twenties – my daughter recently needed some advice on pensions, so he’s now taken on the whole family. It’s always been a really pleasant experience.
In the past, I’ve been hit with traders, ‘put your money in X, Y, Z’, kind of thing, and you end up losing money. And I’ve had other IFAs, just trying to sell me a bunch of products. The level of sincerity, trust and clarity is why I stay with Mike. He doesn’t try to sell me anything, he always tries to explain the why.
I’m just happy with the way he does things. And my mates, whose opinions I respect also say ‘he’s a good guy’ – that’s high praise indeed.