Staff Spotlight – Meet Jake, our Financial Adviser

It’s time for another instalment in our Staff Spotlight series, this time focusing on our Financial Adviser, Jake Millar. Jake has been with us since 2020 and advises on all aspects of financial planning, including mortgages, investments and pensions.

In this article, Jake tells us all about his career to date, his favourite part about working with his clients, as well as what he enjoys doing outside of work (featuring a highly impressive home gym!).

Starting out

Jake’s career in financial services began in 2009, with a role as a customer adviser at the Halifax. When offered progression opportunities, he jumped at the chance to qualify as a mortgage broker and adviser. “The great thing about financial services is that there are loads of ways to progress,” Jake says. “With the experience I had gained as a customer adviser and the realisation that I enjoyed working with people, becoming a mortgage adviser was just the natural next step.”

In 2020, Jake also qualified as a financial planner and joined us here at RetireInvest!

Best parts of the role

Jake says that his favourite part of the role is coming up with solutions to his clients’ complex requirements. “I like to look at a complex case and ultimately see how I can make my client’s investments more tax-efficient or generate higher returns,” he says. “Or I’ll see if I can get a higher return for a lower cost and enhance value for money for my client.”

Jake is a real people person and enjoys meeting and chatting with his clients. “I’d be 100% client-facing if I could, but the admin has to get done somehow!” he jokes.

Supporting clients during retirement

Jake specialises particularly in supporting clients with their pensions. “Pensions can be extraordinarily complex, and if you don’t know what you’re doing you could be opening yourself up to all sorts of taxation,” he explains. “I take my clients through all their options in simple terms, educating them about all the different factors that can impact their pension income, including tax efficiency, performance, charges, diversification and attitude to risk. If we manage all of those factors properly, then in the long term we stand a great chance of delivering good results for the client and enhancing their prosperity.”

Jake enjoys seeing his clients’ attitude to their pension change as they learn more about the various options available to them. For him, it proves that education is the biggest factor in making confident financial decisions. “The majority of clients, when it comes to accessing their pension pot, think that they are going to do it in a certain way. Then we might have a conversation and realise that this particular method might trigger such and such a tax and doing it in another way could save them thousands of pounds per annum. Finding out that their pension pot might last longer than they had anticipated and deliver a comfortable income for the duration of their retirement provides my clients with such peace of mind.”

Now for the serious bit – or not

Financial planning aside, it’s time to get on to some serious questions (just kidding)!

When asked what he would choose as his very last meal, Jake took a long time to consider. “That’s tough! I think I’d go for a chicken madras with keema rice and a garlic naan. Something authentic with a bit of spice is my go-to.”

When asked what Mr Man character he would be, however, there was no hesitation. “I’d be Mr Strong!” Jake laughs. “I’m a proper gym addict and actually have my own home gym in the cellar. Like most people, I was stumped when the Covid-19 lockdown came along and I couldn’t go to the gym any more.” So, like any-self respecting weightlifter, Jake built his own gym, complete with a squat rack, pull-up bar, bench, barbells, dumbbells and rubber flooring!