12 December 2023

Spotlight Series - Iain Harper

Tell us about your role at Carbon and why you wanted to work for the business?

I am a financial planner and associate director at Carbon. My role involves a combination of client work supporting both existing and new, as well as leading our wellbeing team and coaching newer members of staff. I am also Carbon’s clients in vulnerable circumstances champion.

I first joined Carbon as a very green, graduate trainee ten years ago and was keen to combine my interest in helping people and the power of getting money decisions right.

Talk us through your career to date

Other than a very short temp role at fintech company FNZ, who coincidently power some of the technology that I use today, my entire career has been at Carbon. I was initially part of the client support team, learning about how the industry and a financial planning business works, before gradually ticking off my professional qualifications and moving into client facing roles.

What is it about your role that excites and inspires you?

Fundamentally, I like helping people. Whether this is someone in vulnerable circumstances, a business owner looking to exit, or a professional rugby player planning ahead for when they hang up their boots.

Whilst a key part of our service, managing and talking about investments is not where the golden conversations are had. It’s talking about the big picture stuff and helping people to do more of the things they enjoy i.e., doing what they want, when they want.

From your perspective, what are the key financial issues to be aware of over the next few years?

Most people would benefit from having a firmer handle of their pension funds. It is common for someone to have various pensions from past employments, but if you look at each individual pension, they generally have different features, costs and investment approaches. It is important to get on top of this, as it impacts how much money you accumulate by retirement and the form in which you can draw your pension.

What is the most important piece of advice you give to your clients?

Be a saver whilst working, but not to the extent that you aren’t used to treating yourself. Many retirees do not know how to ‘turn the tap the other way’ (spend more than they earn) as they have spent a lifetime squirrelling away whatever they can.

Here’s an idea - when you get a pay rise, enjoy half and save half. Life is about balance.

What do you love most about working for Carbon?

Carbon has an incredible learning culture, and I am a far better planner as a result. I sometimes wonder how much less I’d have picked up if working alone all these years!

What would you like to achieve next in your career with Carbon?

To contribute towards the growing success of the business, to influence colleagues and become a role model in all aspects of client work and leadership.

If you would like to discuss your financial situation with Iain directly, please contact him here.

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