Hi, my name is Graham Hartley. I’ve been a client of Calton Wealth, or the company before that, for about three or four years, and I deal directly with Tom Ham.
I was looking at making a decision about taking early retirement, and clearly, I wanted to make sure that I could financially make that decision and I needed professional advice. I needed the sort of advice that would reassure me that the decision, ultimately, when I took it, was going to be the right one, and it was going to be a long-lasting one.
I first came across Tom through a personal recommendation, I’ve got a friend who’s quite senior in financial services and I wanted to take a personal recommendation. I approached this friend and asked if she could recommend two or three financial advisers, and Tom was one of those. From the initial contact, that’s when the relationship started, and Tom does our financial services advice now.
From the very first meeting with Tom, I was impressed almost straight away with him. Because although this may sound strange, we didn’t actually talk a lot about financial stuff. We actually talked about lifestyle and this sort of decision my wife and I wanted to take, what this sort of future held for us and how we wanted to live our lives. It wasn’t until later that we actually started to sort of crunch numbers. So, I really felt Tom was really trying to understand us as a couple and what we wanted to get out of the retirement part of our lives.
Working with Tom, I feel very confident. I think that it’s very important that there’s a huge element of trust there. When you decide to retire, you are really entrusting somebody with your financial future. In my view, it was very important, I had that sort of good relationship and trust with him. Tom almost feels like a personal friend to me. It’s much more of a relationship like that, as opposed to simply a client and financial adviser relationship.
One of the early things Tom got my wife and I to do was an assessment of risk and how we wanted to approach risk as far as our financials were concerned. It was very fortunate that although we did the questionnaire independently, we actually came up with the same sort of results. Tom was then able to sit down with us based on those results and sort of plan and map out a future for us financially. So, it was very, very important to us that he understood what we wanted to do as a couple in our retirement years.
Three words I would use to describe Tom, very professional, very sound advice, and very, very trusted. Trust is probably the most important one for me.
Tom, although he’s very professional, he keeps the tone of the conversation and the sort of professional advice as something that I can clearly understand, as financial services isn’t my background. So, it’s very important both to him and myself that I understand the advice. So, I’m very impressed with the way Tom can manage that and can make sure that I fully understand what’s going on and the decisions I’m taking.
In terms of advice and the best piece of advice from Tom, I would confidently say he explained to my wife that she could retire early as well.
Not only would I recommend Tom, but I would also actually say I have recommended Tom and I’ve given his name to several close friends and family in terms of a trusted adviser. It really is that element of professional advice and trust that are key, and I wouldn’t do that to people that I knew very well unless I absolutely believed that.
Tom wanted to understand what we wanted of our life, before looking at the numbers.