Saltwell 10 Road Race Runners Co-Navigate Newcastle Financial Advisers

Supporting local events is something we love to do at Co-Navigate. It’s all part of our mission to give! Whether it’s giving something back to our community or giving advice to clients so they realise their goals and dreams.

There is no doubt that this year has been very strange for us all. Events and plans have had to be put on hold across the UK. But looking forward is also part of our ethos! With that in mind, we are delighted to announce that we are sponsoring two local causes within our community.

First of all, we are sponsoring the Whickham Fellside Youth Football Club’s Under 10 Girls team. This is their inaugural year in the Russell Foster League, and we wish them the very best of luck. We all love footy at Co-Navigate and are keen to promote the growing interest in the girls’ game.

As well as football, some members of the team love running. In fact, our Director and Mortgage & Protection Adviser, Lyndsey, runs with and is a coach at Saltwell Harriers.

So we are delighted to announce that we are sponsoring next year’s Saltwell 10K Road Race.

As England’s oldest road race, the three-lap race around Saltwell Park is a traffic-free route that ends at the Lake. This year’s race has been cancelled, sadly, but we are excited to be involved again next year.

We will keep you up to date about when the 2021 Saltwell 10K Road Race is taking place. Until then, please visit the website saltwellharriers.org.uk for the latest news.

Dan Bullen from Newcastle Financial Adviser firm Co-Navigate

Name

Dan Bullen

What is your position at Co-Navigate?

Financial Planning Assistant

When did you start work at Co-Navigate?

July 2017

What was your experience before working here?

I moved to Co-Navigate straight after school after completing my A-levels at Berwick Academy and heard about the job. I started working with Lyndsey in the mortgage side of the business. 

What attracted you to Co-Navigate?

At the time it seemed like the right place. As I was living in Berwick and when you’re from there you can either go to Edinburgh or Newcastle for work as they’re about an hour away. I was looking for an apprenticeship and I met the directors and they seemed really nice.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I get to work with some very interesting people both as colleagues and as clients. You get to hear about all sorts of things: where they have been, what they want to do in the future and being part of that is a fantastic.

Favourite colour

Green

Favourite music

I tend to listen to radio. I usually listen to Radio 1, although I’m a fan of Coldplay.

Hobbies and interests

My big hobby is golf. I’m a 3 handicap and at the moment I play about 5 times a week. It’s pretty much what I do outside of work. I have won 3 times this year, since lockdown. I play in individual events and have been playing for a while. But I have only been playing competitively for just over a year. This summer I was going to start playing in team events and leagues, but because of lockdown that hasn’t happened yet. I’m also a big football fan and support Glasgow Celtic. I used to play but I don’t do that anymore.

If you would like to read about our other team check out our news page. Contact us today and you might even get to talk to Dan.

Fiona Richardson from Co-Navigate, Newcastle Financial Adviser company in Gosforth

Name

Fiona Richardson

What is your position at Co-Navigate?

Mortgage and Protection Assistant

When did you start work at Co-Navigate?

May 2019

What was your experience before working here?

I hadn’t been in financial services before. My job before I came here was at an asbestos company. I was there for 2 years working on projects and arranging surveyors to test for asbestos in buildings. It was very different to being here!

What attracted you to Co-Navigate?

There was a job advertisement for the position on Facebook. When I spotted it and read about what was needed I thought, ‘That sounds like me!’ I contacted Lyndsey and I was successful.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I like that every day is different and everything is fast-paced and it keeps me on my toes. I love working here because everyone is so caring and they look out for each other.

Favourite colour

Purple

Favourite music

I love music from musicals. My favourite musical is Wicked.

Hobbies and interests

I play volleyball once a week in a local league and I like cycling. It is electrical but there are a lot of hills around where I live.

If you enjoyed meeting Fiona, why not meet the rest of our team…

Brenda Bailey from Co-Navigate

Name
Brenda Bailey

What is your position at Co-Navigate?
Financial Planning Assistant

When did you start work at Co-Navigate?
April 2019

What was your experience before working here?
I started in financial planning in 2001, so I have 19 years of experience. At the start, I was a part-time administrator in a financial planners and chartered accountants. I then worked for a large North East financial firm in 2008 as a financial planning administrator. During my time there I became a team leader in 2015 and left in April 2019 to join Co-Navigate.

Before financial services I was an administrator at a builder’s merchant. I then became a medical secretary at a local hospital before I took four years off to look after my two daughters. As they were growing up I worked at a local supermarket part-time then moved into financial services.

What do you enjoy about your job?
The main thing I enjoy is working for a great team. Our clients are our main priority, and I enjoy working with all the team to ensure the client’s journey goes really well. I love the fact you are always learning and putting it into practice. And I love the variety as no two clients are the same.

During lockdown I’ve missed the interaction with the rest of the team and our clients. But the safety of our clients and ourselves is the priority.

Favourite colour
Red

Favourite music
I like a mixed range of music but mainly rock, such as Def Leppard and Iron Maiden.

Hobbies and interests
Keeping fit is a hobby and I run twice a week although I’m a fair-weather runner. I like going to rock concerts and real ale and enjoying going to the occasional beer festival. I love socialising with my family and that is what I’ve missed most during lockdown.

Don’t miss interviews with our directors

Couple with family considering inheritance and estate planning

Don’t leave it too late

Inheritance is an emotive subject and is likely to come into focus over the next 12-18 months as the Chancellor looks to raise money for the Treasury.

The coronavirus pandemic has cost the government billions. The Office for Budget Responsibility says it could be as much as £298 billion! Such reports are focusing some people’s attention to think strategically about how they will pass their wealth to the next generation, especially if tax relief is in the Chancellor’s sights.

There has been a rise in people gifting assets to family members, a report in the Financial Times claims. It says due to the pandemic, people are not hanging onto savings and investments in case tax relief is cut.

Make a plan

It is a shame that some people are only thinking about their inheritance and financial future in light of a major event. Our advice to clients is that they should enjoy passing on their wealth while they’re able to witness its impact.

Similarly, you don’t want to give away assets without ensuring you have enough to live your own desired lifestyle. A perfect financial plan would mean leaving £5 in your bank account on the day you die, having spent it yourself enjoying life, or seeing the good it can do for others.

That isn’t as heartless as it sounds! You see, without correct inheritance and estate planning, you may hand your loved ones a large tax bill that eats into the wealth you created. And who wants that?

Don’t wait

Waiting for the Chancellor to make a decision on his future may affect yours, so don’t wait. If inheritance tax changes, especially the ‘seven-year rule’ that allows sums to be given away tax free is reduced or removed, then you may regret waiting.

Your financial plan is as distinct as a fingerprint, and we treat your circumstances individually. It’s why we don’t have a catch-all line about advice on family trusts, investments or pensions. It depends on your own personal financial circumstances and what you want to happen.

Inheritance and estate planning advice

If you want more information about financial planning, contact us today on 0191 2286130 or email enquiries@co-navigate.co.uk. We can speak to you about your financial goals over the phone or via an online ‘face-to-face’ meeting if you prefer.

This is Jamie Bogle, Co-Navigate's Financial Planner, Co-owner and Director

The final interview with our directors is with Jamie Bogle. He is Co-owner of Co-Navigate along with fellow founder Andy Mathers. After lots of experience in finance, he now enjoys the fact he can shape his own destiny as a business owner.

Name

Jamie Bogle

What is your position at Co-Navigate?

Financial Planner, Co-owner and Director

Why did you choose a career in financial services?

I always wanted to work in finance. At university, I did a law degree, but I always knew I’d work in finance in some capacity. I worked for Barclays before I went to university as a cashier and got summer placements there while at university. I liked the finance side but mainly talking to customers and helping them with their money, that’s what I really enjoyed.

What is your experience?

After university, I worked in London for HMRC in employer compliance, but I didn’t enjoy working in the civil service with its mentality. I found it frustrating! From there, I saw a graduate financial adviser trainee position with the Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS), and I successfully applied. I looked after both insurance and financial advice. Again, I really enjoyed talking to people and trying to help them, I just didn’t enjoy the pressures of having sales targets. From there, I moved on to be a mortgage adviser at my uncle’s firm. That was also my first taste of self-employment. I worked there for 7 years, first as a mortgage adviser and then as a financial adviser. Then I spent 4 years working as an IFA (independent financial adviser) with a national firm, and it was during this time when I worked with Andy that I realised there is much more to financial advice than simply selling products. I wanted to help clients with their financial decisions and use more complex cash flow forecasting tools. We couldn’t do that where we were, so Andy and I decided to launch our own independent business, Co-Navigate, in order to help serve our clients better and design our own processes for delivering financial planning advice. I’ve been in finance for nearly 20 years now, and the time has gone quickly!

What do you enjoy about your job?

I really enjoy seeing clients! There is a lot of paperwork and reports to write, unfortunately, but meeting clients is what makes this job so enjoyable. During lockdown it has been more difficult because you’re just seeing them virtually rather than face-to-face and I really miss that. However, seeing clients embracing technology has been really helpful so we can continue to serve them. I also love having my own business as it allows me to be in charge of shaping my own destiny.

What key advice would you offer to a potential client to Co-Navigate?

Always invest according to a plan and don’t worry about short-term events that will inevitably try and get in the way. Just don’t get distracted from the plan.

Favourite colour

Red.

Favourite music

I’ve got a very broad taste but my favourite musician is Ludovico Einaudi. I’m also a big fan of Amy Macdonald and Kate Rusby.

Hobbies and interests

It’s got to be football. I love playing it, especially my weekly five-a-side. I’m also a season ticket holder at (dare I say it) Sunderland and go there with my daughters. I also enjoy cycling and quite often ride into work and back.

Lyndsey Stephenson Mortgage Adviser Co-Navigate Newcastle

In our last blog, we met Andy Mathers. Now, we introduce our Mortgage & Protection Adviser, Lyndsey, and discover how helping her Dad as a teenager helped her put her foot on the career ladder of financial services…

Name

Lyndsey Stephenson

What is your position at Co-Navigate?

Mortgage & Protection Adviser and Director

Why did you choose a career in financial services?

My Dad was a Financial Adviser and I grew up knowing finance as a natural part of life. I started at a young age helping out my dad in his business with basic office tasks, etc.  I then went on to help a few other financial advisers in their businesses. By going into a shared office from my teenage years and doing admin tasks for pocket money, such as filing and shredding, I got to know about what goes on behind the scenes in finance. When I went to college, I started working for another adviser as his main administrator part-time. I got used to chasing mortgages and speaking to advisers and everything that goes on, basically everything except advising. Leaving University, it seemed an obvious choice to go into financial services as I already had the background and experience.  

What is your experience?

I became an adviser in 2004 and ultimately, I’d say 5 or 6 years prior to that I was working in the field doing admin work.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The best thing for me is I get to be part of a really important part of people’s lives – their home.  I get to help people move into their dream home and that’s a really powerful thing to be part of. The fun bit is helping people get to where they want to be.  And I get to meet such lovely people every day. 

What key advice would you offer to a potential client to Co-Navigate?

Look at everything with an open mind. A lot of people have a pre-conceived idea about what a financial adviser is or should be. At Co-Navigate, we’re very different to other financial advisers; we want to build relationships with people and help them get to where they want to be rather than being transaction focused.

Favourite colour

Navy blue.

Favourite music

I’m a big fan of 80s music and could listen to it all day long. And I also like 90s pop and rock when I am running. I’m a big fan of easy listening at the weekend.

Hobbies and interests

I am a big fan of keeping fit. My husband is a qualified fitness instructor, so exercise is a big thing for us as a family. I do a lot of running, circuit training and cycling. I love spending time with family and friends, and I have really missed it during lockdown.

Andy Mathers Co-Navigate Director and Financial Planner

As part of a new series, we are introducing the people behind Co-Navigate. You may have already met the Co-Navigate family on our ‘Meet the Team’ page. But what makes them tick? And how did they move into a career in financial planning?

First of all, we meet Andy Mathers…

Name

Andy Mathers

What is your position at Co-Navigate?

Financial Planner, Co-owner and Director

Why did you choose a career in financial services?

I pretty much fell into the career. I did my degree in economics and worked for two years at a church. During that time, I was buying my first house and when I spoke to someone at the youth group he asked if I wanted to speak to his dad, who was a mortgage adviser. I went to see him and six hours later he offered me a job! I shadowed him for two weeks and as I have a geeky mathematical brain and it’s a people-related job with maths thrown in, I absolutely loved it. That was 22 years ago!

What is your experience?

Initially, I was a general adviser, working with mortgages, investments and pensions. In the past 10 years I have focused on investment and pensions. Pretty much all my clients are medical professionals, that is my speciality now.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The key bit is helping people make the most of their finances and make good decisions. People worry about talking about money and the future. What we hopefully do is give them a sense that they are in control of their finances and make wise, educated decisions, such as, ‘Can I afford to retire a year earlier?’ It gives people the sense of freedom as some people feel guilty about spending money. But when it’s planned and you can afford it, it frees you to enjoy your money guilt-free. It’s not just financial, it’s life planning to help people make good choices.

What key advice would you offer to a potential client to Co-Navigate?

Don’t bury your head in the sand! A problem shared helps deal with it in a very positive way and you don’t feel worried about it. Talk to us about your financial planning. We help people understand what their finances look like and help look forward in a positive way. Our clients have real certainty for the future, which helps people make good decisions rather than fear or worry about it.

Favourite colour

Blue.

Favourite music

I don’t really get chance to listen to music as we have 3 daughters. When we get in the car I don’t get chance to choose as it’s usually Tik Tok at the moment. My life has been ruined by Tik Tok! I do love jazz to relax to.

Hobbies and interests

Faith is really important to me – I’m actively involved in our local church. And I love hockey. When we’re not in lockdown I am playing hockey 6 hours a week. That’s 4 hours of practice and 2 hours of playing.

Couple plan finances for tough times

As the coronavirus lockdown continues, how are you managing with your finances in these tough times?

Many people are facing a few weeks, potentially months, where income may fall due to being furloughed or having their hours/wages cut.

At the same time, investments are reacting to stock market volatility while savings attract little interest.

With finances, the answer is always preparation. Having a plan in place that considers all kinds of scenarios is one of the foundations for financial planning at Co-Navigate, including tough times.

Even if the worst happens, by having something in place you won’t worry as much because you’ve already considered the situation and will have a plan.

Your task list

  • Finding savings in your budget
  • Making some cash if your hours are reduced
  • Protecting your credit score
  • Prioritising your bills if you can’t cover everything
  • Thinking through your next move if you lose your job

Look at your spending

Having a budget means you are aware of where your money is going so you can adjust it when needed.

During times of regular, uninterrupted employment it can be easy not to think about budgeting, but if you can work on your budget now, you’ll be better prepared for most eventualities.

If you’re unsure about what should be included in your budget check out an online planner like this one from the government’s Money Advice Service.

Once you’ve worked out where your cash is going you can spot spending that can be trimmed or removed. If you can save some money you can build up an emergency fund.

You don’t need a lot for an emergency fund, although we do advocate trying to save at least 3 months’ income to see you through the tough times.

Make some extra cash

This suggestion isn’t as crazy as it seems. Have you got a hobby you can make money out of? After all, this is how most successful businesses get started.

If you’ve got the materials and can make something that you can sell online, then that could bring in a bit of extra cash.

How about your current job? Can you turn your knowledge into an online course that will help others develop their skills?

Teachable allows you to set up everything you need for just over £30 a month. It could be a good investment if you can attract 5 people who pay £30 for your course. Not only will you cover the cost you will add a little bit extra to your income.

Protect your credit score

Be careful with credit cards during the lockdown. Retail therapy online might give you some pleasure but don’t allow it to cost you your future.

If you’re used to paying off your balance each month, don’t worry about having a little bit on your card. Make sure you don’t exceed your limit and if you need extra time to pay contact your card issuer as they may give you leeway during the Coronavirus.

You could switch your card to one offering 0% on balance transfers for a year or two, which would make your money go further. But beware think about credit checks and remember that having multiple credit checks can impact your credit score/rating.

Safeguarding your credit score is essential because having access to credit can help you navigate through unforeseen tough times.

Prioritise your bills

When you have a reduced cash flow unexpectedly, bills you’d normally pay without hassle may be more difficult to manage.

Look at your survival at first in these cases. You need to cover your food, home and utility costs first. After you meet those costs, you can then prioritise other bills.

Business owners are used to speaking to creditors to reassure if they hit a rough patch to extend terms. Try this in your personal finances too. If you deal with it head-on it’s better than receiving a letter and problems later.

Think through your next move

Industries that would normally get by in a normal recession could be hit badly through the coronavirus crisis. As a result, no profession is safe from job losses, sadly.

If you’re fearing for your job or business, don’t panic! If you have a game plan in place you won’t end up with brain fog should the worst happen.

For business owners there is lots of support around to try and help you through this difficult period. You can find more help here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

If you’re employed but on furlough, update your CV during lockdown and use online networking, such as LinkedIn, to catch up and create new connections. Who knows where it might lead?

Our ethos at Co-Navigate is try not to panic. Our financial plans build in worst-case scenarios so that you always have a back-up plan and financial security.

We would urge you to do the same! During lockdown spend the extra time at home to plan for the unexpected… then it won’t be quite as unexpected, and you’ll feel more in control.

If you’re still concerned during these tough times, why not get in touch?