When it comes to financial security for you and your family, it’s hard to know where to begin. With an ever-changing economic landscape, it’s recommended to consult an independent advisor on how to develop your portfolio. Ted Shaw, Managing Director of EJ Financial, speaks to us about how they can help you reach your goals…
Tell us the history of EJ Financial – how did it begin? What is the company ethos?
EJ Financial started its journey on December 31, 2014. I set up the company after experiencing a growing disappointment at the approach taken by financial companies whenever I worked with them. There was lack of independence and an indifference to the real needs of their clients.
Our ethos is straightforward; keep it simple, explain thoroughly and treat clients exactly how you would like to be treated yourself. Our clients’ success is ours as well, and having an excellent working relationship with each other is key.
How does your service differ from your competitors?
Our service differs from many of our competitors because we are truly independent. We perform our due diligence every day and are not frightened to make changes when the service partners’ performance is below what we expect from them. Our client agreement can be viewed on our website – our fees are tiered and we use multiple investment types to achieve the best outcomes for our customers, which is all that happens.
Every client is different. In what way do you tailor your services to them?
Yes, every client is different. We listen carefully to what they say about their financial goals and objectives. Once these have been clarified, we work in partnership to plan, act upon that plan and meet their expectations. The nature of our communication with our customers is truly transparent and we believe that putting them at the forefront of everything we do is the only way forward. Together, we work towards a comfortable retirement for them with a valued relationship and service ethos.
The financial sector is constantly evolving. As financial investors, how do you keep ahead of the curve?
We use service partners that are constantly reviewing their fees, systems and processes. Our whole business is now paperless, ensuring that clients receive communications promptly and sparing them from having to shred wheelbarrows full of paper reports. Staying economical and green is important to us as a company.
For younger clients or new families, what steps should they take now to protect their finances?
Younger clients or new families have many draws on their finances. It is difficult to know where best to place any spare cash they may have saved. Auto Enrolment is starting to make younger people think seriously about the future.
Pensions are a key investment to enable a comfortable retirement. Many people are happy in retirement, but in a recent survey 41 per cent had three main regrets; not starting their pension savings early enough, not engaging with a professional financial advisor sooner than they did and leaving their involvement in good retirement planning a little too late.
Pensions are a hot topic and are regularly under legislative review. In what ways can you work to keep a pension safe for a client in an ever-changing environment?
We work with professional investment managers who are active in their approach to investing money.
For example, they were up at 3am on the Friday morning after the Brexit results making changes to their portfolios to take advantage of the impending drop in sterling when the markets opened. They were spot on.
No investment with a decent return is ever safe or guaranteed, and I would reasonably expect a six per cent to eight per cent return from a medium-risk, well-diversified and actively managed portfolio.
Have you noticed any trends in the market recently and how are they reflected in the services you offer your clients?
The trends in the markets recently are being driven by the Government closing down the opportunities for high-earners to take advantage of the pension contribution benefits. We are currently assisting clients on navigating through these changes.
What would your one key piece of advice be to a client looking to invest their savings?
My key piece of advice to a (potential) client who is looking to invest their savings would be to consult with an independent financial advisor. It’s important, when looking for this sort of service, to consider whether or not you could form an excellent working relationship with the advisor. ‘People buy from people that they like and that they are like’, as they say.
What does the future hold for EJ Financial?
Currently, we have approximately £13million of assets under influence and have set up a Client Review Board, including three of our customers, to keep our business at its best.
We are constantly improving our accreditations so we are able to provide the service that is both desired and needed.
Describe EJ Financial in five words.
Fiercely independent, friendly, honest and transparent.
EJ Financial Limited
2nd Floor, Johnson Building, The Broadway,
Crowborough TN6 1DE
01892 234 884 or 0203 657 9079