Nathan Bater APFS is Financial Planning Manager at Bartholomew Hawkins in Cardiff, one of IWP’s founding firms. Now a member of IWP, Nathan spends his times advising clients on pensions, retirement planning, investments and tax planning. We spoke to Nathan to understand why decided to become a financial adviser after graduating from university.
Q) Why did you decide to become an IFA?
A) It peaked my interest! I had interactions with IFAs in my first job out of university and it seemed like an interesting career. In my job there, I could only tell people what they could and couldn’t do, but websites can tell you that. What websites can’t do, is scrutinise your personal situation and then provide guidance on the best course of action for you personally.
Q) What are the most enjoyable parts of your job?
A) Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s being able to make tangible differences in clients’ lives. I have a client in his mid-50s who has just had his first child, but is concerned about his own age and wants to maximise the time with his child time by retiring early. With my help, he is going to be able to retire roughly ten years earlier than normal. That kind of value is something that you simply can’t break down in pounds and pence.
Q) What are the most challenging parts of your job?
A) Compliance, which while positive for the sector, is becoming increasingly complex and can seem over onerous at times. This is especially prominent at small firms who are unlikely to have a dedicated compliance professional. This has improved dramatically since joining IWP, as they have compliance professionals on hand. This has freed time up for me that I can now use for doing more work for my clients.
Q) What do you think the future looks like for financial advisers in general?
A) Bright. We are seeing a trend in which the value of transactional financial advice is declining, whereas the value of long-term holistic financial planning is increasing. This is in part due to transaction-based advice not going down well with the regulator, but also because holistic plans are arguably better for clients; they give them an ongoing service that helps them achieve their overarching financial goals.
Q) Do you think being relatively young within the industry gives you a fresh and different approach to financial advice?
A) Yes, but not because I’m young. It’s more because I started with a clean slate – which anyone new to the sector will have, regardless of their age. It’s a benefit because when I started, there was a lot of regulation already in place, especially with RDR and other qualifications to ensure competency having already been introduced. This has allowed me to build up techniques and knowledge in a much more regulated environment.