At First Wealth, we recognise that our team is our biggest asset, and we expect the best from our people. In return, we provide competitive remuneration, excellent benefits, and a positive, proactive and energetic company culture that encourages personal and professional development.
We’re driven, determined and passionate about helping you create a life you love. In this series we will delve into the lives of each member of our team and give you a chance to get to know us even better.
Let's get the basics!
Name: Rob Bell
Job Title: Financial Planner
Joined: The start of 2018
Tell us about your day to day role...
Towards the end of the summer, I started to transition from my role as Technical Analyst to Financial Planner. It seems to be something that I have worked towards for a long time, but then happened all at once. Once I had passed the internal sign off at First Wealth and gained the qualification, it only took around 10 days to get the FCA registration. Usually this takes a lot longer, but it flew through!
I still have some outstanding items to delegate from my Technical Analyst duties as I build my own client base, but I am definitely getting more involved in the hands on aspects of financial planning. I attend so many meetings where we get to know what they are looking for, how we can help them achieve their goals, and arguably most importantly, provide insight into the things they need - but haven't necessarily thought about.
For me, building a financial plan is a demonstration of how well you have understood your client and their life. How you have interpreted what they want and how you can help them achieve that. A lot of clients leave the initial planning meeting feeling very inspired.
What is your long term goal?
Now I have achieved Chartered status, I have 3 exams I want to tick off so I can offer the whole spectrum of advice. They are: Equity Release, Long Term Care, Advanced Pension Planning.
However, I am slowly edging towards a much bigger goal. I want to qualify in STEP (trust and estate planning).
It's a far more legal based qualification that isn't taken on by many people in our profession. However, I want to get to a place where I am truly offering the most holistic advice I possibly can. The way I see it, the more value I can add with an abundance of technical knowledge to tackle complex problems, the more my clients will benefit.
What are you passionate about?
It's all about helping people. I can't count the number of times I have sat in meetings where a client is unsure about so much and we get to highlight all the opportunities they have. We can tell them with confidence what they should be doing and guide them with our knowledge. I don't like the idea of traditional selling, so it's great that what we do has a genuine and almighty positive impact on our clients lives. Once they see that, I don't need to sell anything.
Advice for people entering the profession?
Becoming a Financial Planner is all about people. Yes there are always exams and qualifications, but like a lot of things, it comes down to understanding people. The best experience you will get is being involved in live cases with real problems and real solutions.
I didn't necessarily plan a career as a Financial Planner but I truly believe it is a profession that has the power to help people, despite the bad reputation it has accrued over the years. There are still cowboys and tricksters out there who are motivated by making money, but I know that we are a million miles away from that at First Wealth. I advise anybody entering the profession to do their research before joining a company. Make sure your values align to what is expected of you at work.
What do you do in your spare time?
I live in Princes Risborough with my partner. I love travelling and trying new things, I never stop learning. I also like keeping fit and spending time outdoors. The first lockdown was made so difficult because of the lack of time we could spend out and about!
Tell us something about you that not many people know...
I went travelling for 3 years around Asia and Australia. Whilst I was in Australia I was a scuba diving master on the Great Barrier Reef. Travelling was all about getting out of my comfort zone after studying Chemistry at University, so to be doing something new and challenging everyday was perfect.
I had a few scary encounters with sharks but the most dangerous memories I have is expeditions dealing with strong and unpredictable currents.
Last words? Favourite quote? Book recommendation? Inspire us!
My biggest thing is to live by the mantra 'I'd rather regret something I did, than something I didn't do and missed out on'. I try to go full out and commit to everything in my life, it's not always the case, but I strive towards that.