And the winner is….

Last Thursday evening I had the pleasure of attending the 2019 Merton Chamber of Commerce Business Awards held at the historic All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon.

Not only was the venue special, this year had some added interest for Arkenstone Wealth, as we were fortunate enough to be shortlisted for the Best Enterprising Business award.

Sadly we just missed out this time around (of course I clapped and smiled at the announcement like a “humble” Oscar loser!), but it was a brilliant night and a great opportunity to rub shoulders with some of South-West London’s finest businesses.

A job well done…

Any external recognition of our work feels good, but I can hand on heart say it doesn’t compare to the feeling of helping our clients achieve their own personal wins.

I’ve experienced the good feeling of a job well done several times over the past month alone. We’ve helped a number of people answer some very difficult questions and achieve outcomes that are both meaningful and fulfilling for them:

A retired couple wanting to live the dream and spend 6 months travelling the world in relative comfort. Having always been very frugal, this felt out reach for them and they were concerned it might put a big dent in their retirement pot.

We were able to demonstrate that, with a few minor adjustments to the itinerary, they’d be able to afford their trip of a lifetime without compromising their financial future security.

It’s unlikely they would’ve had the clarity or confidence to make this decision without professional guidance.

A business owner in his mid-40’s looking to sell his company. He has a ballpark figure of what the company might be worth, but he’s not clear whether this would be enough to support his family’s lifestyle, the children’s education and free him to pursue charitable and philanthropic ambitions.

By the end of the conversation, he knew the precise amount of money he’d need to walk away with to achieve the ideal lifestyle for him and his family.

What’s more, the company’s present value looks like it might fall short of where he needs to be, so he has added incentive to increase its profitability in the lead up to sale.

A senior executive five years away from “retirement” (as defined by the date her company pension kicks in) was feeling a little burnt out but had resigned herself to working right up until pension age in order to keep filling the retirement coffers.

We were able to show her that the next five years of work aren’t as financially important as she’d assumed they were. In fact, she could afford to bring her retirement forward by at least three years if she wanted to.

She’s now looking at leaving full-time employment and setting herself up as a consultant to create more freedom in both her professional and personal life (the latter being particularly important with a first grandchild on the way).

A professional couple who enjoy their respective careers but want to spend more quality time together and enjoy a better work-life balance.

Opting to work less would mean earning less, which seems counter-intuitive so they feeling confused as to what to do next.

By taking a good look at a number of different financial/lifestyle scenarios to assess what’s possible and realistic, they’re now looking to sell their London home (paying off the bulk of their debt) and move nearer the countryside.

This will mean they can enjoy a better overall quality of life now and still have enough money to put away for a comfortable retirement.

Situations like these serve as a good reminder that most of us aren’t really motivated by the accumulation of money for its own sake – there’s always a bigger purpose. Money can offer the freedom to shape a happier and more fulfilling life but working out how to achieve this is something many need help with.

Technical matters…

In helping clients achieve the clarity required to make these decisions, naturally there are lots of technical questions and considerations that need addressing along the way, such as:

  • What investment return do I need to achieve to ensure I don’t ever run out of money?
  • How might a stock market meltdown affect my financial plans?
  • If I move to a lower cost portfolio, how much more might my investments be worth in the future?
  • Should I invest my spare capital or use it to pay off mortgage/debt?
  • How much do I need to save now to avoid having to reduce my lifestyle when I retire?
  • What’s the most tax efficient way to invest capital and draw income in future?
  • What’s a sustainable level of income I can draw from my pension/investments?

….and many more besides.

There’s always next….month!

As for awards, believe it or not we’re up for a couple more at another local business event later this month. Whilst a win would be great for our profile, I’ll take the feeling of a job well done for our clients any day of the week.

What aspects of your finances do you need to get clear on?

How can you use your money to become happier, not just wealthier?

If you need help answering these or any other money questions, there’s no time like the present, so do get in touch.

Thanks for reading.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *