Being a totally aware or ‘woke’ individual means I totally need to be on it about where my pensions are invested. I’ve jumped around a number of jobs and until recently had 4 pension pots, with no idea of where they were being invested.
I’m 39 and have been paying into a pension since I was 25. You don’t really get much of an option when you start a job as to what you pay your pension into, it’s usually just a company pension pot. Letters arrive and you file them and you don’t really think much of it.
A few years ago I did have some money to invest and did take some advice. What I found was that it was difficult to move my pensions and would probably cost me (a percentage of what’s there), so I decided not to move them but did make what I thought was an ethical pension payment into another pot.
One of my friends, Hugo Sparks, recently become a Financial Planner for individuals. I agreed to be one of his first clients with a no-obligation meeting in which he would look over my paperwork. He works at St Jame’s Place, which is an investment house, with numerous micro-businesses operating, Hugo’s is called Clarence Place Wealth Management Ltd.
I was pretty sceptical about much coming from this. I knew I probably needed some life insurance so thought at least he’d get something out of it. I was pretty good and documented my pensions and had a good chat with Hugo. He asked whether he could submit requests for information from my current pension providers which I happily gave him authority to do.
We had a second meeting and Hugo outlined some pension consolidation options for me, which seemed to make sense. To my surprise, there would be no cost to move the pensions and Hugo could provide me with a pension pot to move everything into which was entirely divested from oil and gas, and it would give me much better returns than I had at the moment. He even dug into my supposed ethical pension from Scottish Widows and found it wasn’t at all.
He offered me a route to be financially stable when I was retired and even gave some security to my family by getting me enrolled in a fairly inexpensive life insurance scheme. This is a life friend, one I’ve known since I was at school, so it was a bit a no brainer - I get to meet a friend once a year, and he secures me a better future with my money - of course, I agreed.
So, as of 10th March, I no longer have any of my pensions invested in Oil and Gas, in fact is mostly in sustainable technology. Hugo has since told me that green investments aren’t being hit as hard as others during this economic downturn, so I’m pretty bloody happy!
There are very few catches to this deal - Hugo gets some money for moving over my pension fund as a bonus and I pay him less 1/2 a per cent a year for management, with much better returns than other pensions.
I’d really recommend Hugo to do the same for you, email address; email@example.com.
I hope this is useful for anyone not tied into a workplace pension who wants to divest.