For our next spotlight interview with the people at the heart of Hazlewoods Financial Planning, we catch up with Trainee Financial Adviser, Alex Davies.
How did you start your career with Hazlewoods?
Following a history degree at Exeter University, I stepped into the recruitment industry in Bristol where my focus was on hiring paraplanners and financial planning support staff. When Covid hit, I decided to retrain in the financial planning industry and relocated to Cheltenham, joining Hazlewoods Financial Planning as a client service assistant, helping the team mainly with valuations. After a couple of months, I was promoted to Junior Paraplanner which involved more technical work. I have since become a Trainee Financial Adviser.
What is your role now?
As a Trainee Financial Adviser, I have completed multiple exams and am now qualified to provide financial advice. I am currently working towards my Level 6 Diploma in Financial Advice.
What has surprised you about working at Hazlewoods?
I have to admit that the rural office location where I am based is pretty impressive! Surrounded by fields, driving into the grounds of the Staverton office each morning feels very special. Also, I really appreciate how much autonomy and trust I am given by the team.
What does a typical day look like?
It varies enormously but usually includes client reviews, where I monitor that their individual investments, pensions, ISAs and the like align with their risk. For new Hazlewoods staff, I have an initial chat about their workplace pension options, which can be quite an eye-opener for younger joiners.
I am also overseeing the onboarding of clients to the Flagstone platform, an online deposit marketplace which allows clients to easily select multiple bank accounts with high interest rates, through which we now have £19 million deposited.
Another great resource I manage for clients is a cash flow tool, where I work through their current investments, and can forecast ahead to highlight how much they might have in retirement and offer advice accordingly.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Problem solving, for new or old clients, has to be number one. It’s the process of gaining an overview of their situation, and then looking at what they need to do to reach their objectives. I also enjoy chatting to the new joiners and apprentices - I feel old and I am only 25!
If you weren’t doing this as a career what would you be doing?
I have just watched the David Beckham documentary, and I would have loved to be a football player or something sport related. Growing up in Greece, I played three or four times a week, but unfortunately that dropped off when I went to university...
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