Joan’s story

“David enabled me to get a much better pension than I thought possible.”

I started using James Hair & Co 12 years ago when I was 55 and looking at taking early retirement.

I had some shares in the business I was a director of, and in addition to my main pension, a couple of smaller ones and a couple of buyout bonds. I wanted good advice because I’d experienced bad advice in the past.

David consolidated my pensions for me and did a massive thing with the buyouts bonds that enabled me to get a much better pension from them than I thought possible.

We put everything into cash to begin with as we went onto the Nucleus platform - and then the market dropped (which was pure luck!). David then invested my pension into Investment Trusts and they've done amazingly well. The growth in that compared to what I would have got if I’d left it where it was has been phenomenal.

I thought I’d be heavily taxed when I sold my shares in the company, but was pleasantly surprised when the bill came in. Which just shows it’s much better to go to experts – they know exactly what’s going on! I actually didn’t need to take pension benefits until I was 60 as I was able to live off the capital from the shares until then.

It’s not just the company, but the person you deal with

I feel comfortable with both David and Jim, and that’s really important. I can pick up the phone and ask “Can I afford a new car?” and they’ll tell me I can! We can chat away about our dogs, and about golf. I have a friend who I recommended to David and she says the same – that she feels very comfortable with everyone there.

You can get on well with someone, but the company might not be the right fit, and vice versa. But with James Hair & Co it’s both the company and the people. They give you a very good service the whole time.

All under one roof

It’s very handy to have the tax and investment expertise in one place, and this means I don’t have to go over everything twice. Barbara completes my tax returns, and David looks after my investments. I’ve got a drawdown pension and if I’m thinking of using it for something substantial, David can refer to Barbara about the tax implications – I personally think it’s a really efficient system!

What I like most about working with them is that they’re comfortable to deal with

I know they’re not going to con me. They’re honest, hard working and easy to be with. Everyone I meet there is friendly – even the girls in the front desk.

I’m not a financial whizz kid, so you have to choose the right people. You want to go to a reputable firm, someone who will not over charge you, not pull wool over your eyes, and do a good job in the time allocated.

If I wasn’t comfortable with them I wouldn’t have stayed with them for so long. You can’t stay with someone you’re unhappy with – especially when it comes to your own money.