Jonathan Gibson CFPTM is a Chartered FCSI (Financial Planning), Managing Director of Wells Gibson, and the author of Purposeful Wealth. Here he gives us an overview of his passion for financial planning and his passion for helping his employees and clients to live their best lives.
How would you summarise your passions, both in and out of work?
I am passionate about growing the financial planning profession and have a great desire for Wells Gibson to be the perfect environment to grow people. When it comes to the day job, I just love putting our clients’ lives at the centre of my conversations with them.
Outside of Wells Gibson, although I relish a regular round of golf and training sessions with a local boxing club, I do love family holidays and will always make time for good food and wine with friends and family or, to watch a great movie with Claire, my wife.
What’s your happiest memory?
This is such a difficult question to answer as I have so many happy memories yet, my daughters’ births would be my happiest. Perhaps I should also mention my wedding day!
What one thing do you wish you’d been told about finance when you were 15?
The power of compound growth – there’s a quote in the Bible that says, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”
What made you want to work in finance?
Ironically, I was neither fond of nor clever at maths when I was at school – and if truth be told, I couldn’t wait to leave school. However, I was always interested in my dad’s job in insurance. I remember when I got my first job, my dad talked to me about saving and where I could invest my money, including the concept of buying units in the stock market via a savings plan. I was really interested in that side of money.
I remember an economics project at school when I was 15 or 16, where we had to pick four shares and watch them over the course of the year. I picked four shares that my dad was invested in – interestingly, only BP remains to this day. I found it fascinating. I also remember watching the 1987 movie Wall Street when I was about 17 and, although it’s a film that sadly declares that “greed is good” and portrays a wealthy, unscrupulous trader, the world of investing seemed exciting to me.
How did this lead to you becoming a financial planner and Managing Director of Wells Gibson?
To cut a long story short, in around 2002, I realised that financial planning was emerging as a profession. The key attraction for me was a service that was clearly more about life and less about money. Financial planning would be a service that was not dependent on commission-driven, product sales, an approach I was accustomed to in the insurance sector and, very sadly, the IFA sector I found myself working in.
Nick Cann of the then Institute of Financial Planning introduced me to a financial planning process whereby clients would pay me a fee to look at their entire financial picture and advise them on how to achieve their short- and long-term financial goals, rather than me receiving commission in return for a product sale.
This resonated with me so much. Surely the value must be in the planning, advice, and recommendations?
It appealed not only to my sense of integrity, but also to my adventurous side. There was something exciting about being at the vanguard of an emerging profession in the UK. I relished the fact that it was different and very few advisers in the UK were doing it.
Late 2015, I established my own financial planning business in Dundee, and in April 2016, Wells Gibson, named after my late father and grandfather, became a reality.
What prompted you to join the Institute for Financial Wellbeing?
The IFW gives Wells Gibson the perfect framework to deliver financial wellbeing to all our clients.
What drew you to financial wellbeing in the first place?
The five parts to financial wellbeing at laid out by Chris Budd: A clear path to identifiable objectives, Control of daily finances, ability to cope with financial shocks, having financial options, clarity and security for those we leave behind.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about financial wellbeing since joining the IFW?
Through undertaking the Financial Wellbeing Certificate course, I learnt not to start a question with ‘Why’! Also, the 10 behavioural biases are so insightful and the 10 key points to take back control of your happiness.
How has the way you work with clients changed since you joined?
Financial wellbeing must be at the heart of everything we do.
Who or what is your favourite (general) wellbeing guru, podcast or book?
What are you doing to advance your own financial wellbeing?
Simplifying my life and abstaining more!
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