Six Questions With Paula Ryan

Paula Ryan is the principal at Paula Ryan Wealth Management, a Surrey-based financial services company.
What do you do?
I’m a financial planner: I meet people to review their financial circumstances and find solutions to meet their needs. I specialise in the later life market so those over the age of 55 who are looking at increasing their pension income, looking at the best way to invest, inheritance tax planning, specialist things like long term care fee funding and equity release.
How did you get to be a financial planner, and what do you bring to the party?
I worked a financial company, Lloyds and just worked my way up by doing my exams. Despite the technical nature of financial services, I found the face to face client interaction was what I enjoyed most. I qualified as a financial planner and I’ve been running the business for eight years.
I’ve personally encountered many life-changing events including family health issues, lost my dad, debt issues. I’ve remarried subsequent to divorce – so I’ve stepchildren. I’ve experienced many of those significant, even life-changing events that can affect people’s finances and their relationship with money. So I’ll sit down for a financial review someone who thinks I can help them as long as I can set them on the right path.
Your typical or ideal client?
As a later-life specialist, I deal with people who have an elderly relative who’s gone into care, and they need someone to advise them on their financial options. They might have a property or other assets to sell to fund the fees. However, they don’t know the best way to go about it. I can make a big difference to them because it can include inheritance tax planning. At the other end of the spectrum, I also enjoy meeting people who might be taking their first steps on the housing ladder – so we start saving for that… now you’ve got the house, then family, then pensions. That way, I plan to grow with them. My business is a long-term thing. I want to be the trusted family advisor.
If someone contacts me and they’ve just got a few questions I can answer over the phone. It’s most beneficial if I can review their whole financial situation, so, if they want to meet, then I visit them in their homes, because then they’re a lot more comfortable than anywhere else.
I don’t like price comparisons, what say you?
Pricing of discrete products is a small part of the service. Someone looking to beat a specific low headline price like the interest rate on equity release product is best going for the deal they want to beat. Price is not everything.
Something unusual about you
I used to be a zoo keeper.
You sound like someone who enjoys what you do
Absolutely love what I do. I love spending time with my clients, sitting down chatting, face to face, getting to know people having tea and cake, just really building the relationships. I get to know my clients, their situation so I can find the best solution to meet their needs – whether it earns me a fee or not. It’s not all about money. It’s doing a good job which spreads one’s name and the money would follow. I love the flexibility of my job – it fits with lifestyle which again makes me a better person, more relaxed and easier going with my clients as well.
Paula can be reached on 01293 553297 or paula.ryan@sjpp.co.uk.