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Caring by Numbers – John’s Story

There is no doubt that the life of a Wealth Manager is a privileged one. I am not referring to money or financial gain, but the privilege of getting to know and help our clients.

The Hitchin community is culturally diverse and this is reflected in the wonderful mix of professions, talents, and characters we meet as clients. None more so than John Evans, who sadly passed away in December 2016. It was a real honour to have worked with John and his family and (with his family’s permission), I would like to share his story.

We first met John in 2008. John had never married and he lived alone in a house that seemed excessive for a single man, but he loved the location and his neighbours, so there was no moving him. He spent his spare time cycling, tackling daredevil house repairs and contemplating the world’s unsolved mathematical problems.

He had a small portfolio of company shares that he enjoyed managing. He was interested in the markets, and had the time to watch them, being such a wonderful mathematician it was a natural synergy. He was a human computer, some may say a genius. Yet he never boasted about it and it was only after he died that we truly understood just how brilliant he was.

In 2011, John came to us with his Nieces who were visiting from Germany. His health was deteriorating, but his mind was not. He was less inclined to manage his investments and wanted Raymond James, Hitchin to look after them, in the knowledge that he was preparing to move on to a different stage in his life.

With his next of kin so far away, he needed a network of professionals that he could trust. We were now an integral member of John’s team, alongside his doctor, accountant, solicitor, and carers. Eventually, John had to sell his home and he moved into a local care home. It was like a hotel and he loved it. At last, he was being pampered and cared for in a way he had never known, being alone for so many years.

For the next five years, the proceeds of his home and his investments would provide funds for his care, and provide substantial legacies to his family.

This is how it worked: The strategy was to invest for income in a Balanced Income and Growth Portfolio. This was invested 50% in Defensive Assets and 50% in Growth Assets.

In the five-year period from October 2011 to October 2016, the portfolio generated a regular monthly income which covered the cost of care and it also rose in value by 26%. The total adjusted return of capital gain and income paid out was 43.8%, net of all fees and charges.*

Although this strategy may not have been appropriate in all cases, it worked for John and gave his family peace of mind. Not only were their immediate financial needs met but the growth in the portfolio provided a comfortable cushion which covers the majority of fees and taxes that John’s estate now faces without affecting the original capital invested 5 years previously.

Both John and his family also knew that they could come to the team at any time with their questions, and regular contact was maintained throughout the whole process.

John was a man who lived independently his whole life. We worked with him for three years before he and his family entrusted us to fully manage his investments. At John’s funeral, we learnt that amongst many of the achievements in his life, he wrote the instruction manual for the cockpit of Concorde. It was at this moment we appreciated just what trust meant to a man who held the lives of so many in a guide to flying the world fastest commercial passenger plane.

If you would like to invest for your future, or the future of your loved ones, have pensions, ISAs, and Investments that you feel could do better, then come and talk to us. Our initial meetings are free with no obligation.

*Growth figures correct as at October 2016.

Risk Warning. Certain Investments carry a higher degree of risk than others and are, therefore, unsuitable for some investors. The value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up, and you may not recover the amount of your initial investment. Where an investment involves a foreign currency, changes in the rate of exchange may cause the value of investment, and the income from it, to go up or down. Before contemplating any investments, you should consult your wealth manager.