We’ve been clients of Velocity since Tony set up the business. They’ve given us a breadth of advice across all financial aspects.
Why did you get in touch with Velocity?
We got in touch with Velocity as one of our sons has learning difficulties and won’t be independent, and for me, this was a big issue. When Gary was considering leaving full-time work, we wanted to make sure that we had enough wealth behind us to look after Samuel, especially when we weren’t around anymore. We needed an arm around a shoulder to say we were okay to carry on with our plans.
What aspirations did you have in mind when you first spoke to Velocity?
I think the big thing for me was trying to get a service across a number of financial areas. I think many advisers advise on pensions or just wealth, not necessarily on tax or legal issues, like wills. We wanted to work with a firm that covered all of those coordinated services together.
How did you hear about Velocity?
We’d known Tony prior to him setting up the business I think the big differentiator for me was the way he thoroughly understood us. He’s always looking out for us, and I think it’s probably fair to say that Tony knows more about our wealth, our circumstances, and us as individuals than anybody else that we know, whether that be friends or family, and I think that’s important so that he can then give us the advice that we seek.
He quickly moving from being a financial adviser to a really good friend, but still with that client relationship. I think it was vital for us to have that kind of friendly person give us that financial support.
Why did you choose to move with Tony to Velocity?
I would say that I’m very happy being with Tony, because although I’m not as financially clever as Gary, Tony can explain things easily to me, and I definitely needed a “layman’s” kind of approach. I needed a bit of reassurance from Tony, plus we can have a joke about things, and he has become more of a friend. I say things to Tony that I probably wouldn’t say to anyone in my family. So that’s why we’ve stuck with him.
If anything happens to Helen, the first person I will call is Tony. I think in reverse, if anything happens to me, the first person Helen would call is Tony. And I think equally, our youngest son, I think the first person he would call would be Tony. He knows that he’s a trusted person. We feel that our financial situation, whether we’re around or not, is in safe hands.
What has Velocity helped you with during the time that you’ve worked with them?
Well, because of our son, I haven’t worked for a number of years.. So, he has helped me sort out my pension and resolved all of my nightmare thoughts about what happens to our son if something happens to me. He’s given me that reassurance and also helped me realise that it was okay for Gary to step back from his full-time job and find something that he actually enjoyed.
I think we’ve achieved an awful lot in terms of wills, powers of attorney, pensions, drawdown and consolidating certain pensions, where we’ve taken things from defined benefit to defined contribution, but with quite knowledgeable bases behind that. So, we’re making sure our pensions are of a portfolio nature, but we’ve also spread the risk around.
One other thing to add is that we have a younger son, and we don’t want to let him have the burden of looking after our older son, if and when something happens to Gary and me. So, with Tony’s help, we’ve made sure that our youngest son won’t be totally responsible for looking after our other son. So that’s been a really big thing.
How does it make you feel to be working with Tony and Velocity?
I actually feel reassured that I’ve got someone watching my back. There aren’t that many people who know exactly what’s going on with our son and can help us with his issues. So, it’s nice to know that Tony is there, making sure that his future is looked after as much as ours is. So, I’m reassured to have Tony.
Plus, we always have great fun when we’re in our meetings. I really like our meetings; they’re not grim things like they could be when you’re talking about death. With all the things that you have to do with wills, it’s nice to have a bit of a joke while you’re doing them.
We actually quite look forward to the meeting. That’s how well we get along with Tony. We respect his input but enjoy the meetings as well.
How do you feel about the social events Velocity hosts for their clients?
I think the events that Velocity hosts for their clients are very enjoyable, and it’s good to have a chat outside of the work environment.
I don’t see those events as financial adviser-client meetings. They are fun, and we’re meeting other clients of Tony’s who are really nice people who have similar situations. I do have a lot of fun at the social events.
How do you feel about your financial future after working with Tony?
I have to say that I’m very reassured that we do have enough in our retirement and other pots to keep going. We don’t have an extravagant lifestyle, and Gary is by nature very, very, very tight. But Tony has encouraged him to spend a little bit more money, and we both know that we can spend a bit of money every now and again with the reassurance that we’re not going to damage our future. All we want to do is save money for our boys.
Which three words would you use to describe Velocity?
Gary and Helen:
The three words we’d use to describe Velocity are professional</span, approachable and challenging – in a positive way!
What’s the best thing about working with Tony?
I think it’s the fact that he comes across as quite laid-back while at the same time retaining that level of professionalism and robustness.
In the time you’ve worked with Tony, what’s the best piece of advice he’s been able to give you?
We’ve had so many years of putting money away, not spending money, not buying extravagant things, not doing the big holidays, that I think there came a point where Tony said, “Come on, you two, you need to spend some money. Just go and have some fun.” I think life can get a little bit serious here with some of the things we have to deal with.
We wouldn’t have necessarily heard that from a third party. The family isn’t going to give us advice, and our best friends aren’t going to give us that advice because they probably know too much about what we’re like. So, I think it’s quite good that Tony just gives us that challenge and that push. He challenges us in ways we do not get from our peer groups. He’s reassured us by saying that even if we do spend X amount per annum, it’s not materially going to affect our overall pot and our overall objectives. But it’s nice to know that we can spend a little bit of money in the short term so that rather than waving a building society book in the air, we can show some photographs and make memories.
Would you recommend Velocity to friends, family or work associates?
I would definitely recommend Tony because he is so approachable and easy to chat with. He encourages you to talk about things that are sometimes quite tricky to talk about. Plus, he has a great network of people , like tax advisors and a solicitor, that have helped us.. So yes, I definitely would, and we have recommended him to several other people.