We spoke to MPA former client and one of its newest Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs), Jared jones, DipPFS about qualifying as an IFA in just 12 months, taking a holistic approach to finances and why we still have reasons to be positive despite the current climate.

How did you get into financial services?

“You could say that I’ve taken a circuitous way round. Having graduated with a Chemistry degree from Manchester University, my first job was in a sales role in medical devices with Olympus – Key Med, selling surgical endoscopes and imaging systems. I subsequently spent 12 years in Sydney, Australia, in various management roles with Johnson & Johnson and St Jude Medical before returning to the UK in 2014. Unfortunately, when the pandemic hit, I was made redundant from my medical sales role, as all the operating theatres were closed for a prolonged and unknown period. With the world in turmoil, it was a really difficult period for me to navigate.

“I was already one of Phil’s clients here at MPA, having asked for some advice on transferring my final salary pension in late 2019. I approached Phil for a job in 2021 and undertook 12 months of intense training, including home learning, home-based studying and sitting six exams to gain my Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. Phil was a huge support during this time, inviting me to join company meetings and regular updates and allowing me to sit in on client meetings in order to learn from his experience.

“I’ve always had an interest in financial services, which has only grown from both the client perspective and having gone through the training process. My previous roles in sales and marketing have given me an appreciation of the importance of trust within client relationships. There’s a very transferable skill set when it comes to meeting the needs of the customer – there are certainly similarities between dealing with surgeons and high-end clients!”

What is your area of expertise?

“I’m still relatively new to the industry, so I’m focusing on general, independent advice. However, I believe I take a fairly holistic approach to supporting clients. I like to think about people’s lives beyond their finances and how money can support people through retirement to achieve their wider life goals.

“Retirement planning, wealth creation and inter-generational planning aren’t usually a focus for many, but by starting early, for example, in your twenties, and saving a little each month, you can set yourself up, financially, for later life.

“So many people think they can manage their finances themselves, such as pension consolidation, but it really pays to bring in an adviser to help you make the most of your money. Thankfully, our generation’s suspicions about financial advisers is unfounded, and I know from first-hand experience how invaluable the advice we provide can be.”

For any clients considering financial advice, what would your advice be to them?

“I’ve been in their shoes myself. I had a pension transfer to do but didn’t know who to turn to to do it. Thankfully, I had two recommendations from my squash club from different friends, which was a huge help and led me directly to MPA as they had both recommended Phil!

“So, if you’re considering seeking financial advice, ask for recommendations from friends and look around. I’m a massive advocate of word-of-mouth and remember that the first meeting is always free, so there’s nothing to lose. In my opinion the current climate is not quite as desperate as the media would have us believe it is. There will be difficult years; every five years generally you might have three good ones, one poor one and one great one. We are currently in a downturn, but it will change. For me it’s an exciting and interesting time to join the industry and potentially a good time to invest.

What is your most memorable case so far in your career, and why?

“Advising a friend of mine has been my favourite experience so far. I had told him the story of my own final salary pension transfer and he mentioned that he and his wife also had two small schemes from several years ago.

“I advised him to look at the transfer value of the previous employer pension. He would have been due to receive an annuity of approximately £2,500 per annum from the age of 65. Both he and his wife were able to transfer out of their respective schemes and we helped them set up their own private pension scheme (SIPP), with support from a regulated IFA. Between them, they realised over £350,000 that they never knew they had which they can access flexibly from the age of 55.”

How do you feel about taking over the reins from Gary Decker?

“I’m delighted to be taking over from Gary. I think we have a similar philosophy in putting the clients first – it’s been mentioned a few times already – so, hopefully, it will be a seamless transition.”

For more information about how MPA can help you achieve your future financial goals, visit: https://www.mpafm.co.uk/services/.