My name is John Grainger. I’ve been a client of The Aspire Partnership for approximately 10 years, maybe 15 by now, time moves on quickly. My contact within Aspire is Ian Larthe.
Me and two of my colleagues were in business together. We needed some advice, partly on some things like pensions initially and then in the end, we did sell the business to another PLC. Ian helps us with looking after our money and making it work for ourselves.
Basically, I’m not a financial expert. I’m an engineering geologist by qualification. I think I understand finance to a reasonable extent, but I’m not an expert. If you don’t know about your foundations, I can help you out. If you don’t know how the markets work, I’ve got an idea. I’m not the expert. This is why I need Aspire.
I found about The Aspire Partnership through our accountant, Jeff Gollop at the time. He was accounting for our business, we did a lot of work overseas, Jeff was a very experienced person with that. We had some areas we needed to look into and Jeff linked us in with Ian. It’s worked out perfectly for the future.
I had no trust initially, people have to earn my trust as far as I’m concerned. I asked Ian some very difficult questions, quizzed him, grilled him, put him over a barbecue until I was happy. Our relationship has built over a period of time. I didn’t give anything away until I felt completely comfortable.
Working with The Aspire Partnership gives me comfort that I know things are being looked into. When Ian and I meet up, which we do regularly. It’s more to say, “Ian have you hit my targets that I set you last time?” Sometimes he smiles a bit, especially in this economic environment. But he’s taking it on board, especially when it’s things like capital gains, maximising what the government’s doing.
The three words are used to explain Aspire are openness, honesty, and helpfulness.
My financial future, I feel comfortable right now. I know there’s a limit to what you can spend. The information is passed from Ian and Aspire to me on a regular basis and you cut your cloth to it, but also you want to do the things you enjoy. I went to the Rugby World Cup in Japan, my wife and I loved it. And that’s something we planned for.
It’s good to challenge him and he does come back. When I need response, he’s there, sometimes even with a small situation like a policy that I’m not too sure about. What should we be doing? Can you please explain it to me? His staff are very supportive as well, there’s two lads I’ve worked with, Tom and Jack recently, and they both been responsive in good timescales.
The best piece of advice he has given me, I suppose when I was building up the fund, he would tell me what the shortfall was for the target. And that was helpful at certain stages, because I’ve said “if there’s a short fall, I better not retire right now, I’d better go on a bit longer. I didn’t want to carry on too long, but little things like that are helpful.
I would recommend in The Aspire Partnership to anybody who needs financial advice, who’s not an expert.
Steve and the team understand me and my aspirations, and they have guided me along the way