Our columnist Raj Shah, founder of Blue Wealth Capital, on how financial planning is about giving money purpose

My first article for unLTD back in November 2019 was about the importance of identifying and maintaining a sense of purpose as you get older and move to the next phase of life (notice I didn’t use the word retirement!)

A year on, and after some further reflection, I firmly believe that high-quality financial planning is about giving money purpose, and, for most people it being a force for good. Good being things like using some of your wealth to support causes that are important to you and often aligned with your sense of purpose.

In my opinion, this goes beyond investing in ‘green/ethical’ funds as you are actively involved in selecting and understanding where and how your wealth is used.

Early last month I delivered a keynote talk on this very topic. There were more than 200 delegates from all over the world, including senior representatives from The University of Oxford, MIT (Boston, USA), UNICEF, The Science Museum, Mind and many more well-known institutions.

I spoke about how high-quality financial planning can ensure one’s money has purpose and can be a force for good, and how I help people identify their sense of purpose by deep questioning to understand who they are and how they got to where they are now – a bit like peeling back the layers of an onion. In many cases this involves going back to an individual’s early memories and how these may have moulded their views and behaviours on money.

I also spoke about how small tweaks to their planning can have a significant impact on their ability to give to causes close to their heart. For example, reviewing and subsequently reducing the charges you pay on investments could free up money to give. Planning and restructuring one’s affairs can make it possible for one to give in one’s lifetime rather than leaving a legacy in your will. David Brailsford (of Team Sky cycling fame) spoke about the compounded effect of small ‘marginal’ gains.

Many clients come to me with the objective of saving tax, and when I really get to know the person, I find that the reason for this goes deeper than wanting to avoid money going to the government by way of tax – people want to have the choice about where their money is spent, they simply want to do good. In most cases people want to have some control rather than this go into the general coffers of HMRC.

If you would like to learn more about how high-quality financial planning and the ‘deeper process’ is helping many of my clients with giving their money purpose, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Raj Shah is founder of Blue Wealth capital and has been shortlisted for Financial Planner of the Year and Investment Adviser of the Year