January is always a tricky month, a bit of a downer after the Christmas and holiday festivities, a cashflow drought after paying lots of bills compounded by the holiday overspend and tax payments for the self employed. Maybe as a consequence, it also happens to be the month when cracks in relationships start to show and the number of divorce enquiries received by solicitors increases.
With this in mind the family team at SSB Law launched a series of free coffee mornings where anyone can meet professionals and discuss those niggling questions running around in your mind. Danielle Barbereau, an experienced relationship and crisis coach was available to discuss any emotional issues and Angela Lally, Head of Family was there to share her knowledge and expert legal advice.
As a financial professional it was a priviledge to be invited to be part of the team, on hand to answer any queries people may have regarding pensions, financial assets, mortgages and life cover. I was quite nervous, wondering if someone might ask me a question that I wouldn't immediately know the answer to. There is of course so much we have to retain and after a disturbed night with my daughter teething I worried if my powers of recall would be sufficient. But this wasn't Question Time or Mastermind and what I learnt, is that people don't generally have the day to day knowledge of financial products and financial planning, that I perhaps take forgranted. It is easy for what I consider to be a relatively "simple to solve" problem, to occupy someone's thoughts and create sleepless nights.
I left the coffee morning feeling pleased that we didn't need to engage in conversations concerning reductions in yields, cash equivalent transfers, projected benefits and annuity rates, all the issues that fill my head and are the subject of current client reports. Instead, it was the simplest of questions, " Will I be able to afford the mortgage on my own" and it was the answer, Yes, that gave the greatest peace of mind.
So next time I am networking or someone asks me what I do, I'll keep it simple and say, I help people sleep at night.