My purpose is to share ideas and insights that might make a positive difference
Welcome to Ireland’s Award-Winning Personal Finance Blog & Podcast! We believe that the financial service Industry has it all wrong; it focuses on selling products often at the expense of the individual client. I am trying to shift that focus back to the individual. Whether you are in your 30’s, in your 80’s or somewhere in-between I hope that you will gain some insight here that will help you achieve results and avoid mistakes in your financial decisions.
I take great pride in being totally independent in the information I share, and remain as unbiased as possible (for one with strong views on this stuff!). I deliberately have no sponsorship, affiliations or any links that might inhibit my freedom of speech here. You will not be asked to buy anything through this website, all I ask in return is that if you like what you see or hear then please tell a friend about the website, blog or podcast.
This website exists to help make a positive difference, and I absolutely love what I do……I hope it shows!
A Little About Me…….
Following 3rd level education in 2003 I entered the financial services ‘industry’. While I was always focused on doing the right thing I was a traditional financial advisor back then, I sold policies and plans, doing so for 7 years before becoming truly frustrated at the limitations that put on my ability to really add value to clients.
In 2012 an opportunity came about to develop my skills and knowledge in the broader financial planning, and so I embarked on a 6 year journey. I became a qualified trainer, coach and facilitator, working with literally hundreds of financial advisors, brokers and financial planners. My main intent here was to help them to help more clients more effectively, and to enjoy what they do. Again, it was work that I loved, and was worked with some great people.
The Informed Decisions Blog began during this period, in 2016, as a bit of a passion-project. I wrote and created the website and blogs during weekends, early mornings and late nights. It was (and is!) something that I am hugely proud of, for no other reason than it is really helping people to take control of their financial decisions, and is making a positive difference in people’s lives (or so they tell me!). I was getting lots of people asking me for individual coaching and financial advice, however I was working full-time an an employee at that stage and was not in a position to help.
In May 2018, following the birth of our 3rd child (Emily) I set sail on a new adventure, and committed to helping more people directly through Informed Decisions, and I am glad to say that it has been a success thus far. I will not become a millionaire, nor is that the aim. I am so grateful to be doing work that I love, with people that I enjoy working with, and making a meaningful difference in the process. Special thanks due to my wife Fiona who has supported me in making this happen. Family is my #1 priority, and we have great fun (some pics below!).
Oh, it is my ambition to donate between 5 and 10% of our profit each and every year to a local registered charity. In December 2018 I was so grateful to have been able to make a decent donation to Remember Us, who are based in Balbriggan and provide activities and supports to people with special needs, and their families in Dublin, Louth & Meath……they are doing awesome work.
Financial Planning Advice
In the work that I do now I always aim to provide more in value than I receive in payment, it’s helps me sleep well! I am grateful to spend approximately 80% of my time now helping a select number of forward-thinking individuals directly. I proactively help them achieve their financial goals, manage their investment and retirement decisions on an on-going basis. We work together on the basis of mutual respect and trust, and is a win-win for all.
Who I Work With:
People who enjoy life and have with one eye on retirement People who seek an alternative view, perhaps a 2nd opinion People who don’t want to pay more than they should on their investments People who value an independent & boutique planner People who want a long term and rewarding relationship
What I Do:
Spend time to understand what you need & want A comprehensive analysis of your current arrangements & plans Create your own unique Financial Masterplan to achieve your goals and aims Help you make decisions to benefit you with regards your investments & plans Tell the unvarnished truth at all times Believe you deserve the best service and care
What I Don't Do:
Make predictions about future market performance Talk down to you Operate without a defined plan we create together Try and time the markets Try and sell you stuff
In order to do so Informed Decisions Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and is fully authorised and insured to help individual clients, business owners, and directors. It is worth noting that I do this totally independently, deliberately holding no agencies or affiliations with any Insurance Companies. The income I receive is what client pay me for the value I bring, never any commissions, ever. I believe this provides both total independence and real value to clients in their financial planning and investment management.
I deliberately work with people who enjoy what they are doing, who value what I do, and who want to achieve results and avoid mistakes. It is as important to avoid mistakes as it is achieve results in the pursuit of long term investment and financial success, as we all know!
Training & Coaching
As a qualified coach, trainer and leadership facilitator I gain huge enjoyment from working with others in the financial services profession. Anything which allows me the opportunity to shift the dial in terms of the client experience and outcomes is of interest to me. Currently I spend about 20% of my time in this area, meaning 4/5 days per month. I work only with groups of financial planners and advisors that are trying to add real value to clients and have the clients’ interests at heart.
I do a range of full-day, half-day training events conferences, all of which are bespoke and created with the client’s objectives in mind. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than helping others to achieve their goals, and to help clients achieve theirs.
Transparency Task Force Ambassador
When I heard about the existence of a volunteer community called ‘Transparency Task Force’ last year I immediately got in touch with the founder Andy Agathengelou in London. This non-profit community strive to increase the levels of transparency and clarity for consumers of financial services. Once I had done my research and spoken to other volnteers I accepted their invitation to become Ireland’s first Ambassador.
My intent in being an Ambassador is to try to play a small part in ensuring that this profession, which I believe adds huge value to society, still exists in 10, 20 years and beyond. This can only be achieved if the profession is more open, more transparent and more client focused in how it operates. If we can achieve this then everyone will stand to benefit in the long run.
List Of Qualification:
Qualified Financial Advisor (QFA), 2005 – Present
Qualified Retirement Planning Advisor (RPA), 2009 – Present
Qualified Personal General Insurance (APA), 2011 – Present
Master-Trainer, 2012- Present
Qualified Executive Coach, 2016 – Present
Covey Leadership Facilitator, 2017 – Present
Kinder Life Financial Planning, 2019….