Financial coaching

Financial Coaching

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Today’s post is about financial coaching – what is it, and how could it help you?

What’s on offer?

Starting today, the 7 Circles will be offering one-on-one financial coaching.

  • Because it’s one-on-one, the content and the format will be different for everyone.

We could talk about your plans for early retirement – or just financial freedom – and whether you are on the right path.

  • Maybe your financial circumstances have changed recently (hopefully for the better) and you’re not sure how to respond.
  • We could look at the asset allocation in your portfolio, and whether you’re making the most of your tax allowances, and keeping your costs to a minimum.

If you’re not at that stage yet, we might talk about whether you should buy or rent, or whether a SIPP, ISA, LISA or workplace pension (or some combination of the above) would be most useful for you.

  • You might even have debts that you need to get under control, and then to clear.

And if you’re a bit further down the road, we might talk about the best way to manage your pensions, and how to get money out of them efficiently.

  • Or we could discuss the State Pension: how do the new and the old systems fit together? Should you defer? Should you top up your contributions?
  • You might even be interested in how best to negotiate your way around inheritance tax.

I’ll show you how money works and how to use it to get what you want.

  • You can ask me what I would do in your situation, and what I actually do to manage my own finances.

I’ll help you to work out what your real priorities are.

  • And help you to put together a practical plan to change your relationship with money.

We’ll start from your current financial position and work out what to change.

  • So that in the future you will have the freedom to pursue the things that are important to you.

We’ll pinpoint the obstacles that are holding you back.

  • And find ways to remove them, or to go around them.

I’ll also hold you accountable, through regular progress reviews.

  • It’s really up to you.

The format is flexible, too.

As a starting point, I envisage a couple of kick-off sessions to get to know each other, supported by a few forms for you to complete.

  • The next stage would be to put together a long-term plan, and include some steps within it that fall into the next year.
  • And then we could have regular update sessions every two to three months

If you’re within touching distance of central London, we could meet in the flesh, though I imagine for the most part there will be a lot of Skyping and emailing.

  • It’s absolutely not a requirement that we meet in person, the advice works just as well remotely, so long as you do your bit.

And whatever the format or the content, you have complete confidentiality, backup by a written agreement.

See also:  Pick and Mix Portfolios - your choice from zero to £1M
What’s not on offer?

Specific, personal financial advice – I’m not qualified to give it, and so I won’t be providing it.

  • Instead, I’ll be pointing you at the resources to need to do your own research and come to your own conclusions.
  • What we’ll be doing falls under the heading of unregulated guidance rather than regulated advice.
  • It’s all about education, tuition and support.

There’s a bit of a crisis in the UK financial advice industry at the moment, at least at the bottom end.

  • The increased transparency around fees means that many people are now aware that they can’t afford (or don’t want to pay) the standard fees charged by an IFA.
  • The average charge a couple of years ago was £1,600.

The other things that aren’t on offer are “The Secrets to Instant Wealth”

  • There aren’t any.
  • But there are a few simple rules that will transform your finances.

I can save you a lot of time, and simplify the concepts that are unfamiliar to you.

  • Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of hard work and discipline needed from your end.
  • It’s simple, but it’s not easy.

I’ll help you to draw up a financial roadmap for you life.

  • And then I’ll be by your side as you to try to stick to the route you’ve chosen.
What’s in it for you?

The champions in life – the winners – almost always have a coach.

  • It’s most obvious with athletes (in the broadest sense) but it also true of politicians and even great investors like Warren Buffett.

You may not aim to be a champion, but everyone can be helped by a bit of coaching.

  • Think of me as your personal fitness trainer, but for your money not your muscles.

Everything is available in books and increasingly on the internet, but you have to know where to find it.

  • And for many people, this theoretical approach isn’t enough.
  • They need to speak to someone with experience in the practical applications.

For someone who is pretty confident financially, the key benefit of coaching is to get a second, independent and objective pair of eyes across your existing plans.

  • Bounce your ideas off me, someone who retired early and is already financially independent.
  • Use me as your sounding board.

For someone less confident, we can build up that confidence and make sure that you have a suitable plan.

  • The key thing is to spot problems and obstacles early on, and solve them before they become game-changing.

I want to help you to take control of your finances, take responsibility for your financial future and transform your relationship with money.

  • I’ll also save you the time and effort of researching answers to problems that I’ve already solved.

And of course, over time, you will get richer.

What’s in it for me?

I’m here to help.

Seriously, I’ve devoted a lot of time in over the years to solving the problems common to all private investors in the UK.

  • But now I’ve solved all my (financial) problems, and I’d like to help some more people to solve theirs.
See also:  Sequencing risk in accumulation - who ate Joe's pension?

I’m not planning to get rich off this.

  • I already am rich enough for my own purposes.
How much does it cost?

Here comes the tricky part.

  • I don’t need to make money from this – I’m already retired.

But my time is not infinite, and it’s increasingly valuable to me.

  • So in the grand economic tradition, the best way to ration my time is to charge a fee.

And I’d like to know that you have some skin in the game – that you’re committed to taking our discussions seriously.

To start with, I want to try out the approach used by the budget airlines, where the early birds get seats on the cheap, and the price rises as the flight fills up.

  • From my end, this matches with the idea that if I take on too many customers, this will start to feel like a full-time job.
  • So each additional client will need to pay just a bit more than the previous one.

I expect that the time commitment from each of us will be in the area of 12 hours a year.

  • That works out to an hour per month.
  • But this will be front loaded in the first two or three months, with shorter review sessions after that.

At the 2017 minimum wage of £7.50 an hour, 12 hours works out at £90, which I’ve decided to round up to £100.

  • I work through a limited company, to that’s really £100 + VAT, or £120 to you (unless you can deduct the VAT).

I think that’s a bargain – this is not the typical minimum wage work.

  • There are coaches who charge that much and more for the first hour or two.

But I respect your right to disagree with my assessment of the value for money.

So the first client will pay £120 a year (one year at a time, in advance) and the next one will pay a bit more.

  • We’ll carry on like that until I feel I’m spending too much time on this, or there are no willing customers at the price.

There are no extras and no commissions.

  • I don’t provide investment recommendations and I won’t try to sell you anything.

Let me know if you’re interested by dropping me an email.

  • There’s clickable version of my email address towards the bottom of the left-hand sidebar.
  • If you don’t spot it, you can reach me on

We can then discuss how to tailor the service to your circumstances.

  • You might want more hours per year to begin with, for example.
  • Or you might prefer audio-only to the technicolour glory of Skype.

Or something I haven’t thought of.

  • The ball is in your court.

Until next time.

Mike is the owner of 7 Circles, and a private investor living in London. He has been managing his own money for 40 years, with some success.

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Financial coaching

by Mike Rawson time to read: 5 min