Diary of an IFA in Leeds

 Diary of an IFA in Leeds

I know it’s going to be a good day when I don’t check my emails first thing. I drink my cup of tea in bed, made by my beloved husband who leaves home early and read the previous day’s Financial Times in bed. I like to jump out of bed with a feeling of excitement about getting my goals accomplished – like I imagine Tony Robbins (US based life coach) does-on a good day. Today feels like an excellent day.

I tend to clear my email inbox as part of my Sunday night ritual – going through all my emails for the week, replying to anyone I have missed, filing everything neatly into folders. It really helps me to feel ready for the work flow of Monday. 

Here’s what happened to me last week, nothing out of the ordinary, but offers some insight into the life on an Independent Financial Adviser in Leeds.


I tend to keep this day reserved for admin, so I avoid client meetings and ensure my office is in order. On Monday mornings, I look at my task-list for the day and tackle the biggest and baddest frog first. Frog, you ask? Bryan Tracy talks about your “frog” being your biggest and most important task, the one you are most likely to dwell upon on if you don’t do something about it. So, I get down to business – checking items off my list as I go along. I have three pieces of research that I need to complete – a large mortgage, a pension transfer with a portfolio with passive funds and a new pension for the director of a limited company. Nice and varied. The mortgage is going to take the longest as I have to contact several different providers to find for the best deal for my client.


Today is focused on getting the best rates for this large mortgage deal. My client is buying a home in Leeds at a pretty price. I have called all the banks (that offer big mortgages) high value teams, then the private banks and a couple of the private banks are extremely keen to get this business. The credit teams at these banks are always cautious and want to see all paperwork beforehand, but I am organised and armed with everything they need. This work took all my focus today with various phone calls between me, the client and the bank offering the most competitive rate. I politely declined offers for meetings with the other provider wanting to pitch for the business; no point wasting their time at this stage.


Wednesday was mostly focused on getting the private banker all the information he needs and the process is on its way, I can now relax about this piece of work. They have met; the banker now knows the client is not just a figment of my imagination. Lunch is with a client who I have been speaking with for a while about transferring his pension across. We have known each other for many years and the meeting is quite informal and we are both quite engaged in the conversation, flitting from business to banter and back to business. Even though the trust levels are very high, he asks me some pretty tough questions and I answer, thoroughly convinced that my proposed solution is worth it. He likes the portfolio I have designed with the least expensive passive funds in the market, he likes low costs, I give him a bunch of paperwork to read before he signs it after going through the compulsory parts with him and we set up another meeting for the following week.


A busy day indeed! I have 2 client meetings in the City Centre followed by a third in Harrogate. I agreed to visit my client as she has young children to pick up from school – it’s also not a long journey on the train; I enjoy reading my kindle on the train, decompressing from meetings if you will. I don’t own a car, I am a from Leeds and public transport is pretty good. I am also very frugal and I just think cars are an unnecessary expense for me. The meeting goes very well – the client asks a lot of questions, taking careful notes and we agree to meet again in a couple of weeks.


Today requires me to be a human courier and rush some urgent documents from my client to the banker. A bike courier would normally suffice, however, having been scarred with documents being misplaced within departments in a big organisation before, I just do it myself to remove risk. I have a few client phone calls, meetings to book for the following week, paperwork to print for next week’s client review meetings and then after that… it’s Friday fun. I meet a friend for lunch – hey! I am self-employed and pick my working hours! Lunch over, I head over to research ethical funds at the Library. I do love the library and spend many an afternoon speed reading through books and feeling inspired about a new blog post. By 6pm, I return my books to the librarian and exit the Library feeling good about a productive week and look forward to a relaxing weekend.

And there you have it, that’s my life as an IFA in Leeds.