Personal Finance | 2 May 2024

“Financial planning is crucial to getting what you want from life”

Coutts’ Head of Financial Planning Laura Kingman says getting your finances in good shape isn’t about your money, it’s about you.

Are you on top of your pension? Could you benefit from setting up a trust? Do you have a plan in place around inheritance tax? Getting your finances in great shape for yourself and those close to you can involve a lot of questions.

Worry not though, because Coutts has a team of experts to help you find the answers.

The head of that team is Laura Kingman, who took up the role last autumn. She’s previously led numerous departments that serve clients directly across the investment management world – her childhood dream of becoming a pilot eventually falling by the wayside. She came to Coutts “for its fascinating, unique client base” and its recognition as a leading brand worldwide.

She says the positive impact financial planning can have on people’s lives is what draws her to it.

“I like doing a job that can make a real difference for clients – getting to the heart of the challenges they face and helping them deal with them,” she says. “Financial planning is so crucial to getting what you want out of life – for yourself and your family.

“Here at Coutts, we have a team of specialists ready to help. We’ve got mortgage specialists, lending specialists, investment specialists, and more. We give clients their very own team of advisers to help them make the most of their money. Helping a client manage their wealth, position it so it could grow for the future, protect it and pass it on to others in a way that suits them is all very rewarding.” 

The best way to arrange your finances

Laura says that, while there is a certain amount of number crunching involved in setting up a sound financial plan, it first and foremost comes down to who you are.

“The first thing we do is sit down with a client and, quite simply, talk about them. Their goals. Their priorities. Their challenges. What do they want to achieve?

“Then we get down to the figures. We talk through their income and outgoings – what’s going out and what’s coming in? What loans or debts do they have? What savings or investments do they already have? We work to get a complete picture of their financial situation.”

She adds, “Then we talk about potential solutions – the results of those solutions and the benefits they could bring. Also, perhaps most importantly, we talk about the potential implications of not acting.”

Why we could all use some expert help

Being wealthy often means you’re very successful in your chosen field, and therefore also very busy. This can make finding the time for financial planning something of a challenge. But having an expert working alongside you frees you up to focus on your own area of expertise.

That expert can advise you on what’s worth considering to support your goals in life, help you decide on the best path to take, then set it all up for you. They can also show you how your financial future could look using various forecasting tools, helping to bring it all to life.

“It’s a bit of a myth that just because someone is wealthy they’re a financial expert,” Laura says. “Some are of course, but for the most part it’s not an area people focus on. Here at Coutts, we really are the experts. And not just in financial planning, but in financial planning for the wealthy. We’re well-placed to understand our clients’ very specific needs.

“After all, whether you’ve got £10 or £10 million to spare, we all tend to live within our means – it’s human nature. And we all worry about the future and want to ensure our families are looked after for years to come.”

She adds, “Many Coutts’ clients also want to protect their legacy, how they’ll be remembered, and ensure their values around money are passed on appropriately. This can sometimes be the absolute top priority. Business owners, for example, might pass on a business that’s been in their family for generations, so it really matters to them.”

How often should you review your finances?

Ask Laura for her biggest piece of advice about good financial planning and her answer comes back straight away – check in regularly.

“It’s really not a ‘once and done’ thing,” she says. “Our lives change, priorities change and, beyond that, regulations change. There’s almost always something you could do to get more from your money.

“It’s worth letting us help you review your finances regularly. And if you’ve never done it, I truly believe it’s never too late to start and still benefit.”

For more information on financial planning with Coutts, including where to start, speak to your private banker. 

Eligibility criteria apply. Advice and product fees may apply.


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