Jessica Best’s passion for helping people achieve their financial goals led to her becoming an Independent Financial Planner at McLaren Capital. Having achieved her Diploma in Financial Planning and on her way to Chartered status, she uses her knowledge from various leading national firms in the industry to ensure every client receives the unique experience they deserve.
We love Jessica’s enthusiasm for the charity sector, which she channels into working with homeless communities across Surrey and Hampshire, and her determination to put clients’ best interests at the heart of every financial planning meeting.
How would you summarise your passions, both in and out of work?
I have always enjoyed helping others. The joy of making someone smile or seeing their relief that their plan is coming together is really for me what it’s all about. I currently volunteer for Step by Step, a homeless charity for young people, helping in their finance department in my spare time and if I’m not there you’ll find me stretched out on a yoga mat or delving into a new book.
What’s your happiest memory?
Driving across the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia just after I completed my Masters. I was sat in a 4×4 with my friends who were all medical students studying in Chicago at the time. It was the most wonderful combination of culture and laughter and food as far as the eye could see.
What one thing do you wish you’d been told about finance when you were 15?
That financial planning was a career available to me. We had career days but the only finance jobs I came across were number crunching behind a desk, neither of which stood out to me. Not once had I come across a financial planner nor the wide variety of careers the industry has to offer. I wish that someone had told me how much more you can give to a client by being a financial planner as opposed to just managing their investments.
What made you want to work in finance?
I’ve always had a deep yearning passion to help others. I had a background in research and always liked numbers so when the opportunity arose I realised I could apply my skillset to my greatest passion.
How did this lead to you becoming a financial planner?
I knew I wanted to be client facing having initially started on the trading floor at Tilney, I then realised I can do so much more to help clients by sitting down in front of them and helping them devise a plan. I worked my way up from there quickly deciding I also wanted to be independent, working as a paraplanner en route to where I am today.
What prompted you to join the Institute for Financial Wellbeing?
I read an article written by Chris Budd a couple of years ago and thought the idea of financial wellbeing resonated so much with the type of financial planner I want to be for my clients. Shortly after that I joined IFW and haven’t looked back.
What drew you to financial wellbeing in the first place?
As a big advocate of mindfulness and wellbeing I found that I could apply the concept to my work through financial wellbeing, it logically pulled together all the elements I feel are crucial for happy client outcomes.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about financial wellbeing since joining?
The idea of just sitting back and listening.
How has the way you work with clients changed since you joined?
I am more acutely aware of the financial coaching element of financial wellbeing, understanding the emotions surrounding money and the decisions my clients make.
Who or what is your favourite wellbeing guru, podcast or book?
We’ve all come across the book many times but I definitely have to say my current favourite is The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters. It is so fascinating to learn about our inner selves and understand why we and those around us make decisions. I have learnt so much about myself through this book.
What are you doing to advance your own financial wellbeing?
I have adopted some good financial habits, having definitely always been someone who helps everyone else first I often neglect my own needs. I have clear savings goals and finally changed my account for a better interest rate.